Recipes > Herbs & Spices > Home-made Curry Powder

Home-made Curry Powder

In England

  • 1 lb. coriander seed
  • 1/2 oz. saffron
  • 1 eggspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 doz. pepper corns
  • small bit of cinnamon (1 in. square)
  • 8 dried chillies capsicums
  • 4 tablespoons good rice

In Ceylon

  • coriander
  • saffron and cumin seed
  • pepper corns. cinnamon
  • dried chillies
  • rice
  • curry leaves, and few other things of which cannot be procured in England


N.B. I only mention this home-made Curry Powder, if you can procure the above said Curry Stuffs separately from the chemists or grocers. As I heard from a gentleman in Liverpool, "Everything the world produces can be bought in London"!!!

Place a frying-pan (not an enamelled one) on fire; soon as it gets hot put in the coriander; when nice and gold colour take it off and put on a plate again. Set the frying-pan on fire and add the cumin seed, pepper corns, dry chillies. Just give a shake, and take it off and give it two or three more shakes and put on a plate, but don't put the saffron in the frying-pan. Now wipe the frying-pan, and set on fire again; when hot, put in the rice, and keep on shaking till each grain gets goldish brown; do not let it burn. The rice on board of ships will answer to this better than you buying from your grocer's; but in the scarcity of above any rice will do.

Now when all these are done we shall have to grind it to a smooth powder. These cannot be done unless you have a stone-made pounder or Curry stone and grinder. The latter I have not seen in England, still there is the finest strong metal stones in England. The Curry stone and grinder is bought for no money in up country of Ceylon, but in Colombo, the chief city here, we pay 50 cents, to Rs. 2 50 cts. each. Curry stone and grinder will last for generations. It is better to grind all Curry stuffs separately and keep each in its own bottle, then you will be careful of what you are about, and you will know how much you are using of each stuff.

For any meat Curry (per lb.) add one tablespoon coriander seed, a saltspoon of saffron, a pinch of cumin seed, dash of pepper, small bit of cinnamon, one-half tablespoon of rice powder; if preferred hot, add a bit of cayenne. For white Curries, only one-half teaspoon of saffron to be added. If at hand, just cut a young capsicum in quarters and add to the Curry. You can add a green chillies to Meat Curries also. If the above home made Curry Powder cannot be done, you shall have to buy three sorts of Curry Powder. Coriander, rice, cumin seed, and pepper (one mixture); cayenne and saffron each separately bottled. Other things can be got from your respective grocers. If you buy a mixed Curry Powder or Paste, it will taste everything too much, as following: Heat! hot? bitter, sour flour, spice, and too much of yellow colour of saffron, and too much of a nice Curry smell. The fact is, I have tasted several Curry Powders and Paste in England, and also in Scotland, but nothing equal to separate Curry stuffs. If the Curry stuffs, etc., are imported from India to Europe it will keep good for a long time, and will have a good market, except the dry chillies, because there is plenty of cayenne in England. Garlic ginger (green), used for any Meat Curry, it is very healthy and helps to digest the Curry and rice sooner, as parties think Curries are not easily digestible. The Curries must not be prepared too rich, as richness takes away all flavour, and the meat will taste like stewed Curry. The butter you add to fry the Curry stuffs will be quite sufficient to richen the Curry without using fat meat.


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The Curry Cook's Assistant (1889).

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