Monday, January 21, 2013

Bengali curry powder

This is a medium strength curry powder based loosely on one of the spice mixes in Food of the Great Trunk Road. The Bengali flavour comes from the use of amchoor (mango powder) and panch phoran (a mixture of five different seeds). You can buy the individual seeds and make up your own panch phoran or buy it ready mixed.

I've been meaning to make up my own spice mixes for a few years, but have never quite got round to it. However, as I have been revising my blog recently I found myself getting annoyed at my own frequent and vague references to "good quality curry powder". And I also realised that my curry recipes fell into one of three groups: those with a dauntingly long list of ingredients (too long for my kids to follow); those with vague references to "curry powder"; and those with minor variants on a standard combination of chilli powder, coriander, cumin and turmeric.

1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
3 tbsps chilli powder
6 tbsps ground coriander
3 tbsps ground cumin
3 tbsps amchoor (dried mango powder)
3 tbsps turmeric
3 teaspoons garam masala

Grind the whole fennel, mustard, cumin, nigella and fenugreek seeds in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Add the chilli powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, amchoor and garam masala. Mix well and trasfer to an airtight container.

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