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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 9:03 pm 
In addition to my recent adventures in Slavic food, I've been putzing about with curries as well. Now, as I understand it, there are a wide variety of curry powders, with varying by region and purpose, and that the common threads of most of them are turmeric, cumin and (though not as universally) cardamom. Beyond that, the mixes seem to range from cinnamony and slightly sweet (as in the case of some garam masala) to hot enough to kill a Texan chili chef. The general idea, though, is to get a balance of several flavors and aromas.

(One web site I've seen claims that there actually is something called curry leaf, but said that it doesn't travel, and most curry powders are designed to mimic it. Does anyone know how true this might be? Given the profusion of different types of curry, I rather doubt it.)

Anyway, I have tried to mix some curry powder of my own (sadly, I didn't write down the measurements for the first try, which wasn't so well balanced anyway), which I applied to a piece of chicken breast I was baking (I actually sliced it into three parts, and tried my powder side-by-side with two that I found commercially). I found that mine was somewhat hotter and more aggressive than the two commercial ones, but it still seemed fairly well balanced and mild. I suspect that the other two were rather timid members of the family meant for Americans, but it's hard to say. Here is my recipe:

Schol-R's Curry Powder #2

2 tsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp onion powder
t tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 bay leaves, crushed

Pretty straightforward, really. I used a bit more than half a tsp on the chicken breast, which came out nicely. The aroma is thick with both cumin and turmeric, with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, and it is pleasantly warming on the tip of my tongue without being hot or unbalanced. It's missing the ground cardamom, but I may remedy that once the store I like gets some more in. I'll also see if I can get powdered bay next time, too.

I wasn't sure if this was an appropriate mixture, though. Does anyone have any ideas about that? Also, would you usually use curry powder directly like that, or would you mix in into a sauce? Inquiring minds want to know.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 9:56 pm 
The best use I have ever found for curry powder is a crock pot curry my we make for football games. It is best served over steamed rice with coconut, banana, peanuts, raisins, ect. to the individuals taste. I will post it as soon as I find it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 5:20 pm 
There is in fact such a thing as a Curry Tree, with edible leaves that can be used as seasoning (but lose their flavor when dried). However, the word "curry" comes from the Tamil word for "sauce", and there are several kinds of curry that differ widely in flavor, so it seems likely that the tree is named after the dish, not the other way around.


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