Friday, 31 January 2014

Malaysian Curry Powder

The thought having occured to me that I would like to make a Malaysian-style curry, I examined the cupboards. Unfortunately, I was out of Malaysian curry powder, which means I needed to make my own. I'm pretty happy with this one; I think it has that lighter, more floral quality that Malaysian curry has compared to some others.

So now that this is done, it will be used to make Malaysian-Style Chicken & (Sweet) Potato Curry.

Makes about 1/2 cup curry powder.

Toast Some Spices:
3 tablespoons coriander seed
3 tablespoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon fenugreek
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 cloves
1 star anise
dried chiles (see NOTE)

Measure out the spices and have them standing by. Heat a dry heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and add the spices once it is hot. Toast, stirring or shaking the pan, until you see signs of slight browning and the spices are fragrant. This will not take more than a minute or two. Turn them out onto a plate to cool.

NOTE: You do not need to add the chile here. You can add ground chile (cayenne) with the other ground spices if you prefer. I used 4 small dry Thai chiles, but you can use whatever kind you like in whatever quantity seems right to you. Just remember my favourite mantra... you can always put in more... but once it's in, it's in. 

Finish the Curry Powder:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
about 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne, if no whole chiles used

Grind the toasted spices, mechanically if you have the means, or by grinding them with a mortar and pestle, in which case I would do it about 1 tablespoon at a time.

Mix the remaining pre-ground spices in with the ground toasted spices. Store the curry powder in a tightly sealed jar in a cool, dark spot until wanted.

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