Curry is an international flavor, familiar in many types of Asian cuisine. But because no foodstuffs stay in one place for long, you will find examples of curry in places as far apart as Jamaica and Afghanistan. Then again, it is also in a variety of cuisines closer to east Asia. So, the question remains, what in the world is curry powder?
It may surprise you to know that curry powder isn’t authentic. It is a British take on garam masala, the spice that curry powder approximates. While it is common to use it in the west, you won’t find it used anywhere in its homeland. No actual recipe exists for the creation of new curry powder. However, it relies on cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Red and black pepper is also thrown in, as is mustard, ginger, bay leaf, fenugreek, clove, and cardamom. One significant difference from regular curry is that the powder doesn’t have any curry leaf in it.
The Flavor Profile
Savory spices and sweet spices are combined to make an extraordinary blend. If you can get past the notion that curry powder is inauthentic, then you might find a new flavor that sets your imagination ablaze. It’s highly useful, and you can make anything from curry noodles to curry and rice while adding it to bread or other baked goods to add an extra dimension of flavor. The heat of the powder comes from how much pepper is used in it. For the milder curry powders, that is black pepper and ginger, and sometimes cinnamon. Hotter curries will use hot chilies and other types of hot peppers.
Cooking with It
Beyond attempting to make your versions of traditional Indian dishes, you can also use the curry powder in many other recipes that we failed to mention before. Soups, stews, marinades, sauces, stews, meats, and veggies can all benefit from an extra kick of spice. Picnic and backyard barbecue staples such as hamburgers, potato salad, and even deviled eggs can be upgraded when you switch out of one Maryland’s favorite seasonings and consider using curry powder instead.
How Available It Is
Curry powder isn’t the same as the exotic variety of herbs and spices that you could use when they are still fresh. However, it is often more convenient to find and use curry powder. Look for them in Asian supermarkets or attempt to make your own!
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