Take your curries to the next level with homemade hot Madras curry powder
It’s really good and you’ll be amazed at how much flavour you can add to a dish when your roast and grind your own spices.
So next time your planning a curry house feast with all those delicious curries, samosas, naans and chapatis and chutneys, don’t forget to make your own roasted curry powder. Read on to see how it’s done!
What is Madras curry powder?
A Madras curry powder is a spice blend like any curry powder that also has dried chillies in it to give it a spicy kick. So you could make this Madras curry powder recipe without the chillies and you would still have a great curry powder.
Why should you make your own curry powder?
The answer to that is quality! The flavour and aroma you get with this Madras curry powder is nothing short of amazing.
When you purchase curry powders, the spices are rarely if ever roasted as this would be too expensive for most producers. Add this to your curries or other recipes that call for curry powder and you will most definitely understand why shop bought blends just aren’t good enough!
What is the history of curry powders like this?
Commercially prepared mixtures of curry powder date back to the 18th century when spice blends were prepared by Indian merchants to sell to returning British army and government officials at the end of the British Raj.
Madras curry powder is still one of the most popular spice blends available in shops here in the UK.
Back then, returning British citizens wanted to be able to recreate the Indian dishes they had enjoyed so much while in India. In fact, the first UK curry restaurant chefs used imported curry powders to create their dishes as many of the whole spices used in the curry powders just weren’t available in the shops of the day.
What is the difference between curry powder and garam masala?
Garam masala translates as warming blend of spices. In a garam masala, there are only warming spices in the blend such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, mace and black peppercorns. There are countless recipes for garam masala as the spice blends change depending on the recipe that is being prepared.
Curry powders, on the other hand, include other complimentary ingredients such as dried chillies, dried garlic, ginger and onions. They were developed so that you could literally add them to a stew and get yourself a curry.
In the Indian Subcontinent, curry powders are rarely used as they add fresh garlic, ginger and onions to their curries as we do now in the west too.
How long can you keep Madras curry powder?
Whole spices keep for years but once they are toasted and ground, their flavour begins to weaken quickly.
You can keep your homemade Madras curry powder for at least three months with little loss of flavour. Store it in an air-tight container in a dark location.
Think about how long those shop-bought curry powders sit in warehouses and shop shelves before making their way to your cupboard! You just can’t get fresh madras curry powder like this unless you make it yourself.
Step by step photographs.
These photos are really just to show you what goes into a good Madras curry powder. At expensive restaurants, these spices are toasted separately as whole spices all have different smoking points.
For the home cook, you could just toast the spices together in the pan. Heat them until fragrant and warm to the touch but not yet smoking. You will get a delicious Madras curry powder that can be used in so many dishes.
- 6 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 6 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
- 1 x 5" piece of cinnamon or cassia bark
- 4 x Indian bay leaves (leaves from the cassia tree)
- 3 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
- 3 star anise
- 20 curry leaves
- 15 cardamom pods
- 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
- 8 Kashmiri dried chillies
- 2 tablespoons hot chilli powder (optional)
- Roast each of the different whole spice types individually as different spices roast faster than others.
- In a dry frying pan, roast each spice until they become fragrant. The curry leaves need to dry out and become lightly browned.
- Transfer the spices to a bowl to cool.
- When cool, grind them together into a fine powder in a spice grinder. You can also use a pestle and mortar but spice grinders make things a lot easier.
- Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder to the blend and stir to combine.
- Store in a dark location in an airtight container and use as required.
- Use within three months.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g