Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

spice essentials: homemade curry powder

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I am planning on making some curried turkey dishes after the holidays, so I decided to make a fresh batch of my curry powder. I make a lot of my own spice mixes. And, if a particular spice for my mix comes in a seed form, or pre-ground, I will always choose the seeds over pre-ground, and grind them myself. As to the mix itself, if you are making it, you can choose the spices and quantities you want. In other words, you control the process. As to grinding the spices… They will always be the freshest they can be. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 5 Min
method No-Cook or Other

Ingredients For spice essentials: homemade curry powder

  • 2 Tbsp
    ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground chilies
  • 2 tsp
    ground ginger
  • 1 tsp
    dry mustard, i prefer colemans’
  • 1 tsp
    ground cinnamon, has to be vietnamize cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp
    black or white pepper, freshly ground

How To Make spice essentials: homemade curry powder

  • 1
  • 2
    The only things needed, besides the spices, are a bowl to mix them in and a jar to store them. I would recommend saving old spice bottles for this purpose.
  • 3
    Can You Freeze Dry Spices? That is a question I have been asked more than once before. And I would not recommend it. Let me explain. Dry spices (being dry), do not really benefit much from the lower temperatures. A dry spice wants three things: 1. It wants to be kept in a reasonably neutral temperature environment, like a spice cabinet. 2. It wants to be kept in the dark. Light; especially sunlight, can zap the quality and flavors of your spices in a short time. 3. It wants to stay dry. Let me illustrate this with a mental picture. Close your eyes. Okay, you do not have to close your eyes… you might fall asleep. Anyway, you just made a bunch of soup that you intend to freeze in single-serving portions. So, you get out your Pyrex glass bowls, with the plastic snap-on lids, fill them up and chuck the lot into the freezer. A day or two later you get a craving for soup, so you decant one from the freezer and place it on the countertop to thaw a bit, and what happens next? The cold bowl draws moisture out of the air and condenses on its sides. If you have a lot of moisture in the air, and kitchens do have a tendency to have that, you could end up with a right large puddle. Now, imagine taking a cold spice jar out of the freezer. As soon as you open it up, the moisture-laden air in your kitchen enters the jar and is absorbed by the cold spice. Depending on how much you open that cold spice jar, you could go from having a nice dry spice, to a brick in no time at all. Freezing does little-to-nothing to extend the life of a dry spice. However, if you control the heat, light, and moisture, your spices will last you a good long time. This particular spice mix should last 4 – 6 months.
  • 4
    Is Curry Powder Indian? Makes sense, does it not? Curry is an invention created in the country of India and imported around the world. Trouble is you will not find many bottles of curry powder in India. You will see a lot of bottles containing garam masala, but not curry. Okay, so who did make it? The Brits did… That is correct, my crafty ancestors came up with this little nugget. The Back Story A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… oops, wrong story. Let me try that again. You may have heard the phrase: “The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire.” At one point, the British Empire spanned so much of the globe, the sun was literally shining upon some part of the empire every moment of a 24hour period. For example, in the early 20th century, the British Empire included Australia, New Zealand, Canada, as well as sections of Africa and Antarctica, so it was always daylight in at least one time zone at any time. And one of those places was the colony of India. For many years they ruled with a fist of iron. However, one day the citizens decided they did not like my ancestors, and they began fighting back. The Brits decided it was not fun anymore and decided to pack their trunks and sail back home. If you had the money you sailed back “POSH” style.
  • 5
    Okay, not the most detailed of stories; however, the point I was attempting to make is that the Brits, after living so long in India, went back to jolly old England. And, something amazing happened… they missed all those Indian-spiced foods. Chefs from around the land began working on variations of garam masala. But a funny thing happens when you mix two cultures together. Things change, it is not the way you remember the dish tasting. Maybe it needs a bit more of this, a bit less of that, and curry powder was born. To be sure garam masala and curry powder are close cousins. But the subtle differences the Brits introduced make them two different spices. And, now you know the rest of the story.
  • 6
    Ingredients Most curry powders "include a few common ingredients. We will call this the “curry base.” Most curry powders do contain these four ingredients. • coriander • turmeric • cumin • chili peppers From that point forward, additional spices are added based on where it was made and the whims of the person or company making it. To be honest, if you purchased several bottles from different companies (Spice Merchant, Trader Joes’, Spice Islands, McCormick, to name a few), they would all taste slightly different.
  • 7
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 8
    Blend all the dry spices together, and store in a non-reactive container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • 9
  • So yummy
    Use in any dish that calls for a good curry powder or you could always play mad scientist and try something completely different. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.