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Fresh Masalas & Curry Powder Recipes

Freshly made curry powders and masalas (spice mixtures) are relatively easy to make and definitely worth the effort. Home made spice mixtures add a rich depth of flavor that simply can’t be found in ready made pre-packaged products.

When making home made masalas, it is important to dry roast the spices first to enhance their flavor and prolong their shelf life. The spices are toasted in a warm skillet on medium heat with no oil for just a few minutes until they slightly darken in color and their aromatic fragrance is released. The best way to grind whole spices into a fine powder is to use a proper spice grinder or a coffee grinder (which is used only for grinding spices).

There are literally hundreds of possible variations, these are few of my tried and true recipes but feel free to experiment and create your own signature curry powder or masala!


BASIC INDIAN CURRY POWDER:

Ingredients:

2 dried red chilies
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds
10 dried curry leaves

Method:

Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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GARAM MASALA:

Ingredients:

2 cinnamon sticks
3 dried bay leaves
3 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
4 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tbsp cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp ground mace

Method:

Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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CHAAT MASALA

Ingredients:

1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cloves
3 peppercorns
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp dried mint leaves
2 tbsp amchur powder (dried mango)
pinch of asafetida (hing)
2 tsp kala namak or black salt (preferred but you can use regular table salt)

Method:

In a large frying pan over medium heat, lightly toast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and peppercorns. Stir the spices so as not to burn. Remove completely from the heat and allow to cool.

In a spice grinder, add the toasted spices along with the dried mint leaves, chili powder, paprika, ginger powder, garam masala, asafetida, amchur powder and salt. Grind into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.
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MADRAS CURRY POWDER:

Ingredients:

2-3 dried red chilies
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
4-5 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric

Method:

Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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RASAM POWDER (South Indian Spice Mix)

Ingredients:

½ cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
8-10 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of asafetida

METHOD:

Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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SRI LANKAN CURRY POWDER

Ingredients:

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
6 cardamom pods, crushed
6 dried curry leaves

Method:

Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
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GOAN RED MASALA PASTE:

Ingredients:

12-14 dried red chilies
8 black peppercorns
5 cloves
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp desiccated coconut (or 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut)
4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp vinegar
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

Method:

In a food processor or blender, grind to a fine paste. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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GOAN GREEN MASALA PASTE:

Ingredients:

6-8 green small thai green chilies
6 garlic cloves
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 tbsp desiccated coconut (or 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut)
½ tsp turmeric
2 cloves
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbsp vinegar
juice of 1 lime

Method:

In a food processor or blender, grind to a fine paste. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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