You may ask why would we would want to make our own Durban Curry Powder, when we can buy it already mixed?
Well, just as we all have our own taste in music, fashion etc, so do we all have our own preferences on what constitutes the perfect balance of flavours in a Durban style curry.
We know that it must be red, we know that it must be hot and we know that when we cook with it, it must send a whiff of wonderful fragrances over the fence to torment the neighbour. (Even if just to torment the neighbour with the wonderful smells coming out of our kitchen, that is reason enough to want to learn how to make Durban Curry Powder.)
let’s face it, some may like a little more ginger, some may prefer a dash more cardamom or fenugreek, some may prefer it a little milder or crave it more fiery and want to add more cayenne pepper or chilli powder.
In our quest to become currymasters, we must learn to master our own blend of spices so that we can prepare our own curries, according to our own tastes.
The recipe below is a good starting point, from which you can tweak and adjust quantities to find the perfect balance for your unique palate.
I have included the steps where we roast and grind the specific seeds to make the specific powdered ingredients, but it is also perfectly acceptable to use already ground spices – as long as they are of high quality.
To roast and grind seeds is simple: Place the seeds in a dry pan on a moderate heat until they become aromatic. Do not let the seeds burn, lift the pan and give it a shake to ‘stir’. Once you are happy with the roast, simply grind in a spice grinder, pestle & mortar or even in a food blender.
I have put a asterisks next to the ingredients which you can roast and grind at home. Use a blender or spice grinder to grind your roasted seeds into a powder, or use a pestle and mortar to crush into a powder. (The texture will be different with a pestle and mortar but being course, it will add a whole new dimension of flavour)
- *1 Tablespoon of ground Dhania Powder (Corriander Powder)
- *1/2 Tablespoon ground Elaichi (Cardamom)
- *1/2 Tablespoon of Dalchini Powder (Cinnamon)
- *1/2 Tablespoon Methi (Fenugreek)
- *1 Tablespoon ground Jeera (Cumin)
- *1 Teaspoon ground cloves (teaspoon not tablespoon)
- 6 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon Red Cayenne Pepper Powder (organic is best)
- 1/2 Adrak Powder (Ground Ginger)
- Set out your ingredients separately
- Get a clean, dry, glass jar and set next to the ingredients
- Roast your seeds, grind into a powder. Measure them out, as per the recipe, into the glass jar.
- Add your pre-powdered ingredients
- Close the lid and give a good shake to mix all the ingredients.
- Stand back and take a bow, you have just blended your own masala / curry powder.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
Hint: Taste each ingredient so that you become familiar with the flavour and learn which flavours you like most, so that you can add-a-little-extra of these ingredients to find your perfect balance.
Disclaimer: No neighbours were harmed in the making of our Durban Curry Powder. I love him to bits and he torments me right back with the flavours of his hometown – Mumbai.