Madras Curry powder is misnomer. It is actually a pulverized blend of up to 20 spices, herbs and seeds. Among those most commonly used are cardamom, chiles, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, mace, nutmeg, red and black pepper, poppy and sesame seeds, saffron, tamarind and turmeric (the latter is what gives curried dishes their characteristic yellow color). Madras Curry is an old and venerable spice, and although the familiar yellow powder might seem out of place in the world of modern spices.
Curry powder typically has a rich, earthy and pungent flavor with many citrus-like overtones. The word, Curry, is said to be derived from the Tamil word, Kari, which is the name that they used for their spicy sauce. Curry differs greatly, depending on its region of origin, in both taste and content. And, of course, each chef adds his own individual style and touch to each meal. However, the various additions of spices, add a distinctly delicate and highly sophisticated taste.
How to Select
It is easily available in the food markets. Check the contents and the manufacturing date for the fresh curry powder.
· Madras curry powder has all the exceptional blending for ultimate flavour but with an added kick for those who like their curries slightly hotter.
· It is used in sauces, marinades and to create intensely flavored oil.
· "Madras" style curry powder has some heat to it, so use conservatively in your dishes. Besides adding to a traditional curry, add to yogurt, marinades, sweet potatoes, stuffing and cheese sauces.
· Blend with yogurt, lemon/lime and garlic for 3 hrs in the fridge (season to taste)
before roasting, grilling or cooking with all the juices in a pot...for finger licking luxury with rice or naan bread
· Madras Curry Powder that is really versatile - use a small amount to lift a vegetable soup or as a dry... Curry powder is used to flavor soups and stews, and is great for adding a kick to all kinds of sauces and marinades, as well as burgers, and pasta and potato salads.
How to Store
Since curry powder quickly loses its pungency, it should be stored, airtight, no longer than two months.