What is Curry Powder and How to Use It

Curry
Curry

The history of curry, and by extension curry powder, is a rather interesting one.

Essentially, the term “curry” means “sauce,” and was used by Indians to describe any sort of dish made with a sauce. The British colonials basically misunderstood the locals when asking about their cuisine. They ended up calling the dishes “curry” instead of just referencing the sauce.

Traditionally, spices are used both whole and ground; cooked or raw; and they may be added at different times during the cooking process to produce different results.

Creating a flavourful curry sauce can be quite time consuming and elaborate.

Today, many companies create “curry powder” to help cooks create a curry sauce much more quickly and conveniently.

Curry Powder

Trying to talk about “curry powder” is like trying to talk about “meat seasoning.”

Yes, there are many similarities between all of the different meat seasonings, but there is no set formula for what makes a good meat seasoning. In India, most “curry” dishes, and by extension curry powder, are distinguished by location, ingredient, or flavour.

But, as I said before, there are a few notable similarities between most types of curry powder.

Most curry powder blends contain coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers. Some contain other ingredients like ginger, garlic, and nutmeg. Really, it all depends on the flavour preference of the chef preparing the curry powder.

Because the idea of a specific type of curry powder is slightly fanciful, it is up to you to use your best judgement when making a recipe that uses curry powder. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to make curry powder, so it is important to make what you personally enjoy.

Don’t be scared of modifying any curry powder you purchase at the store, or even make your own personal curry powder. This will give your dishes a unique flavour to them, and make them truly your own. Just remember to experiment with your curry powder often.

What Are Curry Leaves?

Curry Leaves
Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are an herb used in South Asia, but is no relation to curry powder. They are not used in place of curry powder.

It is used in Indian recipes to add extra flavour to dishes.

They can be found fresh, frozen or dried. However, dried leaves will have very little flavour.

Uses For Curry Powder

Curry powder can be used to add another layer of flavour to many dishes. Using a small amount will add just a hint of flavour without it screaming “curry”. It will create an extra layer of warmth that will make all the difference.

  • Add to soups like carrot, squash and sweet potato
  • Sprinkle on roasted vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, squash, etc.)
  • Add to yogurt to create a curry yogurt sauce or dip
  • Add to egg salad or deviled eggs
  • Add to salad dressing
  • Add to rice dishes

Here is our recipe for homemade curry powder. It is a very basic recipe that allows you to easily adjust the flavours. Be creative and customize it to your liking.


Do you use curry powder? Let our readers know how you use it.

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