The Beauty of CURRY

| September 12, 2012

Indian cuisine is famous for featuring a wide array of spices, which varies by dish, region, and personal taste. One of the most popular and certainly the best known is curry. Curry powder is not a single spice but a blend of Indian spices with nearly limitless variations. Curry is one of those words like salsa; it means different things to different people. Curry is derived from the Tamil word Kari, which means sauce.

There are quite a large variety of spices that are found in the different curry powders available. The most prevalent combination is coriander and turmeric, followed by others like cumin, dried ginger, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black peppercorn, chilies, garlic, mustard, ginger, fennel seed and the list goes on. As curry is a blend, its content relies on its producer or the chef at hand.

What’s interesting is that India has a very low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Research indicates that curcumin, a component of turmeric found in most curry powders, is the protective agent. Curcumin has also been proven effective in killing cancer cells. Also, curry powder’s other main spices have long been known to give mental clarity. But most importantly… it’s delicious!

Whether it’s for your health, or just a yummy dinner, here’s a blend that you can try at home:

• 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
• 2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
• 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 3 tablespoons ground turmeric
• 1 tablespoon ground ginger
• 1 tablespoon dry mustard
• 1 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne powder
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• Small dry skillet
• Spice grinder or mortar and pestle
• Air-tight glass jar

Step 1

Place a small skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the cumin, cardamom and coriander seeds. Toast the seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they are fragrant — about two to three minutes. Remove the skillet from heat, pour them into a small, dry bowl and let cool.

Step 2

Once the toasted seeds have cooled, add the remaining spices and stir to combine.

Step 3

Grind the spice blend in an electric spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to pulverize them. If any spice husks or large pieces remain, pour the curry powder through a fine-mesh sieve, or an appropriate strainer.

Step 4

Store your curry powder in an air-tight glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep in a cool, dry place.

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