My Latest and Favourite Madras Curry Powder Recipe is in my New Hardbound Cookbook!
This hot madras curry powder is curry powder in the true sense of the word. Most of the spice mixes I developed for this blog are garam masalas. These are based on authentic blends of warming spices such as black peppercorns, cumins and cinnamon that are added to curries and other recipes to give them that delicious flavour boost.
Curry powder is essentially the same idea but usually a few other ingredients such as chilli powder, onion and garlic powder, turmeric and even flour are added to the mix to make it much easier to make a curry. Some brands add flour as it is a lot cheaper than spices so they make a bigger margin.
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. Many of the whole spices used in the curry powders just weren’t available in the shops of the day.
You can use this blend whenever hot curry powder is called for in a curry recipe. I like to use fresh onions, garlic and vegetables when I cook my curries so I leave these dried products out of my curry powders. Many companies still include them though.
If you love spicy madras curries, this is the curry powder to use!
- 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.
Thank you LeCreuset for the fantastic non-stick pan.
When grinding spice powder, it is a good idea to use a good, high quality spice grinder. I use this Waring Spice Grinder supplied by my sponsor Nisbets.