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Classic North Indian Curry Powder

Classic North Indian Curry Powder
Wednesday, 20 May 2009


This recipe and others can be found in the 12-part illustrated series "A World of Curries". You can read all about this unique Indian flavor here.


At a glance
East Indian
Cooking Method
Heat Level
New Mexico Red
about 1 cup

6 New Mexican red chiles, stems and seeds removed (or substitute 4 small, hot dried chiles, such as piquins)
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon dried, powdered curry leaves



Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Place the chiles, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, mustard, cardamom, cloves, and fenugreek on a baking pan and place in the oven.  Roast for 15 minutes, taking care that none of the spices burn. Grind these spices in a spice mill to a fine powder in small batches.

Mix the ground spices with the turmeric and the curry leaves in a bowl and seal in an airtight jar.

Additional Tips

Here is a basic curry powder that utilizes the most common spices grown in India for centuries.  Lacking a ready source of large Indian cayenne-type chiles, this particular powder uses a large amount of fairly mild New Mexican chiles, but cooks may substitute lesser amounts of hotter chiles.  Traditionally in India, such spice mixtures are sun-dried, but these days the oven works quite well.


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