Curry Powders and Chana Masala Powders....Please
I would suggest getting a copy of "Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking by Julie Sahni", the first 80 pages or so are dedicated to recipes for different regional spice blends and instructions on how to make other essential ingredients, such as yummy paneer (Indian cheese). I have owned the book for years and it is my go to Indian cooking bible!
Here's the garam masala I use -- Gujarati-style garam masala
1/2 cup coriander seeds
3 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp cardamom seeds
10 whole cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2-inch piece cinnamon stick
Dry-toast the spices in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat until slightly darkened, about 14 minutes. Transfer to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine pwoder. Sift through a sieve. I store mine and use it in all kinds of curries and Indian dishes. mmmmm.
Here's an easy garam masala recipe:
1 Tbs Cardamom Seeds
1 Ts Cumin Seeds
1.5 Ts Cloves (whole)
1 Ts Black Peppercorn
2 Inch Cinammon Stick
.5 Ts Grated Nutmeg
.25 Ts Saffron (optional, but suggested)
Toast all spices in skillet (except nutmeg and saffron) until they turn dark and give out a spicy aroma. You will need to use coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Stir in the nutmeg and saffron at the end. This should keep for several months if you keep it in an airtight container in a dry place.
I make my own and use it for Indian and Chinese dishes. This is a Madras style curry powder, moderately zippy and nicely aromatic:
Makes about ¾ cup loose spice mixture
¼ cup coriander seeds
2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon red chili flakes, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or grind to order
2 teaspoons Tellicherry peppercorns
1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds
Toast the seeds and stir well before grinding in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder. I keep the extra powder in the freezer.
Here's another one a poster here passed on to me last year:
1 TSP BLACK PEPPERCORNS
2 TSP CUMIN SEEDS
2 TSP CORIANDER SEEDS
1 TSP GREEN CARDAMOM SEEDS
1 TSP BLACK MUSTARD SEEDS
1 TSP FENUGREEK SEEDS
6 HONTAKA CHILIES
1/2 TSP GROUND CINNAMON
1 TSP TURMERIC
1/2 TSP BROWN SUGAR
1/2 TSP SALT
3 TBS WHITE VINEGAR
3 – 4 TBS NEUTRAL OIL
Toast the seeds and chilies and grind, blend in the sugar, salt, vinegar and oil, makes about 2/3 cup. Keep refrigerated.
He referred to it as a vindaloo paste, so it's hot. I decided, after some discussion with the poster, to use cayenne peppers instead of the Hontaka, not easy to find where I am. The vinegar is particular to vindaloo curry pastes.