Crazy for Curry: A Tasty Way to Bump Up Your Spice Intake
Excerpts from “Turmeric: Spice Up Your Health,” by Barbra Wexler
If you’ve landed on this article, you’re probably reading this one of three reasons:
You’re a curry fanatic, obsessed with finding the perfect curry recipe
You want to increase your intake of healthful spices because you know how beneficial they are for you
All of the above
Lucky for you, this is a fantastic 2-in-1 combo, and it’s easy to make a fresh blend of curry spices.
For a simple curry recipe, toast the following in a skillet or a toaster oven:
Be careful not to burn them! In a skillet, the spices will darken and become richly fragrant in less than three minutes. The turmeric and cayenne need even less time—less than a minute of heat will bring out their aromas and flavors.
Although it’s traditional to use a mortar and pestle to grind spices, it’s much easier to use a clean electric coffee grinder. Grind the toasted spices—except the turmeric and cayenne— along with:
Green or black cardamom…
… until the spices are a fine powder. Strain the ground spices into a bowl and mix in some turmeric and cayenne. Allow the blend to cool completely and then store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry cupboard.
For an even fresher flavor, prepare the toasted spice—
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 coriander seeds
—and combine them with
1/4 cup of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of cayenne
in a container with an airtight lid. (For a spicier, curry, add some chili powder and black peppercorns.) When you are ready to use your curry, simply grind the amount you will need for your recipe.
To make an instant curry powder that requires no toasting, baking or grinding, combine:
5 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground chili peppers
Use curry to spice up chicken salad, deviled eggs or egg salad; to add flavor to roasted root vegetables, rice, boiled potatoes, potato salad, chickpeas or steamed cauliflower; and to flavor chicken, beef and fish.
Whether ingested or applied topically, turmeric may deliver health benefits because of its powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer potential. Adding this unusual and exotic spice to the diet is a culinary adventure well worth the effort.
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