Singapore Curry Spice Mix

While all-purpose Curry Powders are not a thing in India, they do exist in countries with strong Indian populations – for example, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore. This spice mix is representative of the Singapore Indians – Singaporean influences on traditional Indian flavours.

Use Singapore Curry Spice Mix in stir fry dishes, with noodles and in curry sauces. Add to coconut milk for Malay style curries, and to tamarind water for South Indian style curries.

Similar recipes include What is Curry Powder?, Sri Lankan 5 Spice Curry Powder,  and Malay Curry Powder.

Browse all of our Curry Powder Spice Mixes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

Continue reading “Singapore Curry Spice Mix”

Indian Essentials: Madras Curry Powder for Quick Anglo-Indian Flavours

I grew up with Keens Madras Curry Powder, the Australian introduction to the flavours of India. It was used for all sorts of Western dishes that home cooks believed were enhanced by a bit of spice and heat. It is still used by many to provide a generic curry base to English style curries and in general to add colour and spice to any non-Indian dish. Thankfully those who do cook more traditional Indian food (at least in Australia) generally grind their own spice blends that are specific to the dish. For anyone interested, this recipe is similar to the Madras Curry Powder of old.

Actually, Madras curry powder is not a traditional Indian spice blend while it does use Indian ingredients. It was originally a selection of ingredients that were designed to suit English colonial tastes, and differs quite a bit from the spice blends used in Tamil Nadu and South India.

Madras Curry Powder gets its heat from Indian chillies and black pepper, and has a lot of turmeric which provides an intense yellow colour. Spices like fenugreek and cumin provide much of the flavour. Use in lentil and vegetable dishes, as well as soups, dips, and slow cooked bean dishes. Add it to coconut milk, pureed tomatoes or tamarind water, to form a base for any dish.

There are many different blends for Madras Curry Powder. Here is one that I particularly like.

Similar recipes include What is Curry Powder?, Sri Lankan 5 Spice Curry Powder,  and Malay Curry Powder.

Browse all of our Curry Powder Spice Mixes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.
Continue reading “Indian Essentials: Madras Curry Powder for Quick Anglo-Indian Flavours”

Kerala Spice Mix

I am not a great fan of pre-mixed curry powder, preferring to mix and grind them as needed. However, sometimes you want to elicit the flavours of a region without  following a traditional recipe. In such cases, it is a perfect time to roast and grind spices into a powder and mix with ingredients. For example, this can be mixed with finely chopped or pureed onions, garlic, green chillies and ginger as they are sauteed in coconut oil, then this paste is mixed with coconut milk, yoghurt or stock for a great sauce for vegetables, even tofu.

It does not have to be restricted to Kerala style use. Use the coconut or stock mixture as a base for noodles and chopped vegetables, S. E. Asian style. Cook pineapple cubes or plantain in it, add it to sauteed okra. Your uses are limited only by your imagination.

Similar recipes include a Deeply Flavoured Coconut-Curry Stock, What is Curry Powder and Curry Paste, Madras Curry Powder, and Malay Curry Powder.

Browse all of our curry spice mixes, and all of our Kerala dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

Continue reading “Kerala Spice Mix”

Moringa Leaf Podi | Drumstick Leaf Spice Powder

One last item we are making in this particular focus on Moringa leaves is a podi, or South Indian spice powder. For this, the leaves are dried quickly and then powdered. Simple, easy and quick.

We like to make our own seasoning from Moringa Leaves. Moringa Leaves are the next big superfood to come to the West from India, but available mainly in pill form. Many will never have seen a fresh Moringa Leaf! We love to cook with them, dry them, and use them as a seasoning in a powdered form. Our Moringa tree is growing well and we hope to have our own leaves next season.

Similar recipes include Moringa Leaf Thoran, Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

Browse all of our Moringa Leaf recipes and all of our Podis. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Moringa Leaf Podi | Drumstick Leaf Spice Powder”

Indian Essentials: How to Dry Chillies and How to Make Chilli Powder

Chilli powder is ubiquitously available in Indian groceries, so little thought is given to grinding your own. But the benefit of making our own chilli powder is that we know that it is unadulterated.

Chilli powder is used in many parts of the world, from South America and Mexico, to Italy, through Spain into Hungary and Eastern Europe, across the Middle East, through India into China and Korea and across the ocean into Thailand, Vietnam and the rest of South East Asia. Chilli powder can be made with whichever chillies are your favourites.

When we speak of Chilli Powder, we mean powdered chillies without any additions – herbs, seeds, spices or nuts. If your preference is to include these, follow this basic recipe and grind your additions with the chillies.

Read more about Chillies, and about Using Chillies in Indian Food.

Similar recipes include Harissa, Goan Chilli Paste, and Red and Green Chilli Pastes.

Browse all of our Chilli dishes and all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Indian Essentials: How to Dry Chillies and How to Make Chilli Powder”

Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder

Sundakkai Vathal are dried pea eggplants (also called turkey berries), and they have a salty, slightly bitter taste. They are quite addictive, but are an adult taste. You have to grow into them. We adore them.

One way to use them is to grind them into a powder. Sometimes we do this without mixing them with anything else – saute them in a tiny bit of ghee until the puff a little, then grind into a powder, and sprinkle on rice and into dishes. It is amazing!

This recipe is a podi, or a South Indian spice mix, which includes lentils, pepper and chillies. You can add cumin as well. Curry leaves are crisped and ground with the other ingredients. It tastes great with hot rice mixed with ghee, and used to make Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu.

Other Spice Mixes include Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

Other Turkey Berry recipes include Sundakkai Kuzhambu, and Sundakkai Sambar.

Browse our other Podi recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder”

How to Make Singalese Thuna Paha, Badapu Thuna Paha and Kalu Kudu | Sri Lankan 5-Spice Curry Powder

You will have heard that India doesn’t have Curry Powder, and that is sort of true. There is no such general-purpose mix of spices such as the Keens Madras Curry Powder that we all grew up with – bright yellow-orange powder that added the same taste to a variety of dishes that my mother cooked. But there are mixed spice powders used throughout India and Sri Lanka, called podi in Tamil Nadu. These differ to our notion of curry powders in that they are made for specific uses including specific dishes.

One such spice mix from Sri Lanka, from the Singalese community, is this unroasted curry powder or spice mix called Thuna Paha, which means three to five. It is the generic term used in Sri Lanka for the spice mixtures used in every day cooking, made from between 3 to 5 spices. Recipes vary, as households cooks include different spices in their mix, and use different ratios of spices.

Once the spices are roasted, it becomes a different spice mix, so don’t confuse them. Badapu thuna paha is the roasted curry powder, and Kalu Kudu is roasted for longer and is much darker in colour. You can always tell what kind of thuna paha you have by the colour – normal thuna paha is light brown, badapu thuna paha is a darker, richer brown and kalu kudu (as the name says) is almost black.

Are you after other Curry Powders? Try our Madras Curry Powder, Malaysian Curry Powder, and Kerala Spice Mix, and read What is Curry Powder and Curry Paste?

Or perhaps you are looking for Sri Lankan dishes. Why not try Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, Thattai Vadai, and Carrot Sambol. Browse all of our curry spice mixes, and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

Continue reading “How to Make Singalese Thuna Paha, Badapu Thuna Paha and Kalu Kudu | Sri Lankan 5-Spice Curry Powder”

Dried Curd/Yoghurt Chillies of Kerala

Dried Curd Chillies have been marinated in curd/yoghurt on and off for several days, to absorb the yoghurt, and then dried in the sun. The yoghurt tempers some of the spicy heat of the chillies, and they develop a tangy, yogurty flavor. They are commonly eaten alongside the dishes that form a meal, like a pickle, or are used as a salty, spicy garnish. Like Dried Stuffed Chillies, they can also be used instead of dried red chillies in recipes, particularly in tadkas.

Curd chillies are favourites of Kerala but also made in Andhra Pradesh and the Konkani regions.

Continue reading “Dried Curd/Yoghurt Chillies of Kerala”

Talni Mirchi | Dried Stuffed Chillies

Talni Mirchi are dried chillies from Maharashtra. They are first stuffed with fenugreek and often other spices, sometimes soaked in curd or yoghurt, and dried in the sun.

To use them, they are deep fried or sauteed very briefly, then crumbled over dishes or eaten alongside the dishes that form a meal. They can also be added to a tadka or used in curd rice,  with rice and dal, in raita and Koshimbir salads.

Continue reading “Talni Mirchi | Dried Stuffed Chillies”

How to Make Malay Curry Powder

While India does not have a “curry powder”, it does have a range of masalas and podis that are used in specific ways or with specific dishes. For example, chole masala, chaat masala and garam masala.

Not so in the Indian community of Malaysia. Influenced by Malaysian cuisine, curry powder is a common staple in Indian and non-Indian homes in that country.

You can usually purchase Malay Curry Powder in Indian groceries, at least that is the case in Australia. But if you prefer home made, here is one version. Enjoy!

Similar recipes include Madras Curry Powder, and Kerala Spice Mix.

You might like to explore our Malaysian recipes here, and our Spice collection is here. Browse all of our curry spice mixes, our Indian recipes, and our Indian Essentials.

Continue reading “How to Make Malay Curry Powder”