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Cooking with Curry Spice

By Alana Sugar, February 27, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

Learning about traditions and ancient ways has always fascinated me, but nothing stirs up my curiosity more than what’s on the menu!

Seems I am not alone in my fascination with the various uses of foods and spices around the world. Many a traveler on a culinary expedition has noted the difference between eating ethnic food in America vs. eating it in its “native country.”

Curry spices are a good example. In the US curry powder is fairly standardized, tasting similar from brand to brand. Most rely on turmeric — the dark yellow/orange spice that gives curry its famous color — along with black pepper, cayenne, cumin and coriander.

Remember, though, there are as many curry powder variations as there are people creating them, and cooks around the world have always relied on an assortment of spices with varying flavors.

A few other spices you may find ground into specialized curry blends include fenugreek, cloves, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves and caraway, fennel or mustard seeds.

Whatever your curry spice preference, you are going to love our delicious ideas and recipes.

Want to go the extra mile? Play around with crafting your own special curry blend. Remember, spices can be ground, partially ground or left whole. Some spices may be toasted for greater depth of flavor. Make your own using the spices you love, or try this simple recipe:

Basic Curry Spice Blend

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together; store in an airtight container. If time permits, purchase whole cumin, coriander, mustard and cardamom seeds; toast in a dry skillet over medium heat for about ten minutes, or until spices are fragrant and slightly darker. Cool completely, grind and add powdered spices.

Got a crush on curry? What about a favorite recipe? Let me know.

Category: Food & Recipes




vered says ...
Love your suggestions! This honey-baked chicken is flavored with honey, olive oil, Dijon mustard and curry powder. It is amazingly juicy and delicious - so good served with rice.
02/27/2012 8:55:44 AM CST
Carol Schreib says ...
Love it!
02/28/2012 6:26:39 PM CST
melanie mcneill says ...
I love curry and make it in a chicken or shrimp stew from a Jamaican recipe I was given from a friend. I was always told though, by jamaicans, that you need to cook the seasoning curry well or it can disturb your instestines..so to speak... And I am wondering if that is not true since you are recomending it as a stir in to mayo....?
02/28/2012 6:46:55 PM CST
David McJonathan says ...
I love curry, but as with chili powder I generally use it only as a base and boost up the flavor of my favorite constituents - cumin and cardamom.
02/28/2012 6:47:12 PM CST
Sue says ...
vered- your Honey Baked Chicken sounds delicious. Do you have a link to a recipe? Thanks.
02/29/2012 4:09:21 PM CST
HM says ...
I have been learning Indian cooking for a while, so I love all these ways to stretch the curry flavor! Once you get used to cooking with it, it's a great way to flavor just about any vegetable dish, and if you add some sheep's yogurt it can be really yummy!
02/29/2012 7:39:39 PM CST
Katherine says ...
Big curry fan here! One of my easy curry recipes is a curried tomato peanut soup from Epicurious. I usually add much more curry and garam masala as well as cous cous to make it a meal. Great for those cool winter nights.
02/29/2012 7:47:50 PM CST
vered says ...
Oops - forgot the link. Honey baked chicken: http://healthyrecipesblogs.com/2012/02/27/honey-baked-chicken/
02/29/2012 7:56:16 PM CST
Yumiko says ...
My family LOVE curry of ANY kind - Japanese, Indian, Dutch, Thai, Malasia or else! Thanks for the tips. Our two years old tots love them too!
03/01/2012 12:42:36 AM CST
JoAnne says ...
I Love indian food so glad to get some of these reciepes Thanks can't wait to try them
03/01/2012 8:06:37 AM CST
Dave Beauleiu says ...
I agree that curry is way underused as a spice in itself. It can be a great additional to traditional recipes to make them more exotic tasting. One of my favorites is Butternut Squash soup.
03/01/2012 9:42:22 AM CST
Preena @ A Teaspoon Of Turmeric says ...
Great tips! The health benefits of using Curry Powder or Curry Masala is astounding particularly because of the turmeric. Try putting curry masala everywhere and anywhere to gain the health benefits--that's what I do! Works like a charm in pasta sauces too!
03/13/2012 9:52:56 AM CDT
ayousbox01@gmail.com says ...
wow! it's a yummy food.Thanks for sharing informative post about Spices.
08/09/2012 11:59:10 AM CDT
Lucille Rosenblum says ...
About 8 months ago I purchased Curry Roasted Cashews from Paramus NJ Whole Foods. I served them to my guests and everyone loved them. We no longer can find them at any Whole foods. Please get them back. They are the BEST.
05/15/2013 8:24:02 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LUCILLE - Our products vary between store locations. Were you able to check with the store to see if the cashews were discontinued?
05/20/2013 1:53:51 PM CDT
Maylene says ...
How would I know what spices to use for various curry dishes
07/24/2013 5:26:40 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MAYLENE - Each recipe should state the type and amount of each spice to use in the particular dish.
08/05/2013 4:59:33 PM CDT
Susan Zastrow says ...
Whole Foods used to make a curry blend called Pondicherry Curry Powder and I loved it because it had the best flavor but when I went to buy another bottle, they had stopped making it. Can you encourage Whole Foods to make it again and bring it back OR, find out what the recipe is so I can make it myself? The bottle indicates what the ingredients are but not the proportions. In the order listed on the bottle they are: turmeric, paprika, fenugreek, coriander, black pepper, cumin, ginger, celery seed, cloves, caraway and cayenne. This was my favorite and I would really appreciate any assistance you can provide
08/07/2013 2:29:22 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SUSAN - I checked in with our national Private Label team and they did not find this in their list of new or discontinued products, which means it is more than likely something made from a regional office. Check with your local store directly to find out if they can check with regional to see if this is something they plan to get back in stock!
08/08/2013 4:37:09 PM CDT
pdxbabu says ...
Yup. Curry Foods is yummy. I am curry addicted. I buy Shiba's Curry Powder at Bellevue Whole Foods in Seattle. This blend is awesome. One bottle is generally enough to cook any curry dishes. Its taste differs when you cook different veges or meat products even though it comes out from the same bottle. Actually try some of their products, they just are amazing. Sorry it may sound awkward but it is excellent. I even send to my relative to Korea every year.
03/28/2014 5:01:44 PM CDT