Before diving into the recipe for this spice mix I thought it worth talking a little about one of the main ingredients – turmeric. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. Perhaps that’s why it’s often called the ‘king of spices’ and is said to have ‘healing powers’. But what makes it so special?
The health benefit most often linked to turmeric is its natural anti-inflammatory powers – powers that come thanks to curcumin, an active compound within turmeric. Given that chronic inflammation is contributing to modern day diseases these anti-inflammatory powers are reason enough to spice up your cooking with turmeric. Add to this other benefits of turmeric – from preventing Alzheimer’s, to helping liver detoxification and even improving skin conditions – and it seems turmeric really is a super spice.
For these reasons whenever a recipe calls for turmeric I typically double the recommended quantity. I also sneak turmeric into items that are usually turmeric free – like soups and even sauerkraut. Here I’m sharing a conventional use for turmeric with a recipe for homemade curry powder. This curry powder comes in handy for everything from curries, to grilled vegetables and can even be used for marinating meat and fish.
Curry powder is a spice blend that, unlike garam masala, most spice fans would be familiar with. Probably because it features in supermarket spice sections, usually alongside the cumin. But I imagine most shoppers who pick up ‘ready-made’ curry powder don’t realise how simple it is to whip up a batch of this simple spice mix at home.
It seems there are a few must include spices in curry powder, including cumin, coriander and of course turmeric. It’s a heavy hit of turmeric that gives curry powder its yellow or golden colour. From what I’ve gathered beyond these base spices you can experiment to make a blend you can call your own. Here I’m sharing the results of my research with a basic recipe and a list of spices that can be used to take your curry powder to the next level.
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp yellow mustard seeds (ground)
Advanced – add 1/4 tsp each of 2 or 3 of the following:
- Ground cloves (for a sweeter flavour)
- Dried ginger
- Cinnamon powder (for a sweeter flavour)
- Black pepper
- Ground cardamom (for a sweeter flavour)
As far as home made spice blends go it doesn’t get much easier than curry powder – all you need to do is mix the spices and then add the mix to an airtight jar – where it will keep for months. If you’re like me then once you’ve made your own curry powder there’s no going back to the ready-made variety….