Created on: February 26, 2013
Curry powder is a name given to a wide variety of spice combinations. The word curry is actually a Western word as opposed to an Asian one and is used to refer to many different dishes from India, its subcontinent and the surrounding area. This means that defining how to make a homemade curry powder can in one sense be problematic but in a very different and more exciting sense affords limitless opportunities for experimentation and ongoing development.
How to make basic curry powder
When starting out making your own curry powder, it is best to keep things simple. This is for a number of reasons, including the cost of the different spices, the often wholly unfamiliar flavors and the opportunity to allow your own tastes to develop and progress as your knowledge of the individual spice flavors grows.
Curry powder most commonly includes ground turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and chili, or powdered red pepper (paprika). Try combining these five ingredients in equal quantities (perhaps going slightly easy on the fenugreek) and adding to your favorite chicken stew or casserole to get a feel for how the different flavors affect your enjoyment of the dish. One tablespoon of the prepared curry powder for a dish for four is a good quantity with which to start. The next step should be to tweak the quantities of these spices to suit your own tastes and preferences.
Developing a curry powder recipe
One of the easiest ways to develop knowledge of the different spices used in curry powder is to read the labels of your favorite supermarket curries. Alternatively in modern times, Google searches for recipes of your favorite dishes will often afford detailed recipes and spice combinations to let you improve your recipes and cooking techniques. What is vitally important, however, is that you don’t rush the process and that you allow your palate and the palates of your family time to discern which spices they do or do not like and in which quantities you best like them combined.
Tracking your curry powder development progress
There is nothing worse than developing a wonderful recipe, adored by all the family, and later being unable to recall the precise ingredient combinations. This makes it very important to write down each spice combination as you devise it, including the specific proportions of spices, that you can later recall your efforts. Keep these notes safe, the successes as well as the failures, for easy future reference.
Curry powder and developing your own favorite blend of spices is in many ways a minefield but should be looked upon more as a wonderful journey of discovery. There is no right recipe or wrong recipe and the right blend comes down above all to individual tastes. Failures or setbacks should therefore not be looked upon as disasters but learning experiences on the road to developing your own preferred blend.
Learn more about this author, Gordon Hamilton.
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