The Mother Blend / Madras Curry Powder
A few minutes of prep and grinding time will award your senses with this versatile, flavorsome blend that can be savored for months to come.
Excerpted from On the Curry Trail: Chasing the Flavor That Seduced the World by Raghavan Iyer. Illustration by Neethi (@Kneethee). Workman Publishing © 2023.
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
½ tsp whole cloves
1 tsp cardamom seeds
8 to 10 dried red chilis (like chile de árbol), stems discarded
2 sticks cinnamon, broken up into smaller pieces
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pile all the ingredients except turmeric, ginger and nutmeg in a spice grinder (or a clean coffee grinder). You may have to grind the whole spices in batches if your grinder is unable to accommodate that voluminous pile in one swoop. Grind the ingredients to the consistency of finely ground black pepper, tapping the lid to release any of the intoxicating blend back into the grinder’s cavity. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining whole spices.
Stir in the turmeric, ginger and nutmeg to fashion a blend that may very well draw the word “wowee” from your lips (after the nose does the talking).
Store this spice blend in an airtight jar (preferably glass) in your cool, dry pantry, away from sunlight. In my opinion, refrigerating the blend will adversely affect its flavors (because of the moisture in the cooling unit). This blend will keep for up to 6 months.
Award-winning author and instructor Raghavan Iyer explores the origin of curry across the globe with 50 recipes in this illustrated cookbook about the simmering, scrumptious history and lore of a globally beloved dish.
On the Curry Trail is an enlightening journey across Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas to explore the origins of curry and the signature, essential curries of each region. This diaspora of curry brings alive not only the most iconic, category-defining recipes from these continents, but also the history, lore, anecdotes, and familial remembrances that fashion each dish. It delves into the story of curry—what it was and what it is, the places to which it has traveled and the ways it has evolved en route (whether because of local ingredients, cultural tastes, or other factors)—and embraces the many interpretations and definitions of this beloved dish. It makes the flavors of these scintillating curries accessible to the everyday home cook. On the Curry Trail is at once a mash note and an education—one rich in history and sense of place—that tells the definitive, delectable story of this beguiling dish in 50 irresistible recipes. Illustrations throughout.
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