recommendation for yellow curry powder brand? (or recipe?)
I've been craving curried chicken salad--the kind everybody ate in the 80s with carrots and raisins, on a croissant.
But the yellow/Madras curry powder I bought (I forget the brand name but it's the most common kind, in the small rectangular canister) just tasted ancient, flat and stale--bought another canister, same thing.
Can anyone recommend their favorite brand?
I also have a cupboard full of Indian spices, if anyone has a recipe for a homemade version.
I'm fond of the Majarajah curry blend at Penzey's. It's more expensive because it contains a bit of saffron, but is worth the expense, IMO, because it's a lovely balance of sweet and bitter without much heat at all. You can always add cayenne or another chili like ground sanaam chiles, if you like heat. Their mild curry powder is also good, but doesn't have that floral sweetness of the Majarajah.
Sun, Shan, Sharwood, Ship, Rajah, any of those brands are fine, but the best bet is to make your own if you're so inclined. Here's my recipe:
Makes about ¾ cup loose spice mixture
¼ cup coriander seeds
2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons ground turmeric, or less, can add bitterness
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, or to taste, as fenugreek is a bit bitter
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon red chili flakes, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Tellicherry peppercorns or regular black peppercorns
1 teaspoon black cardamom seeds
I toast the seeds before grinding. Stir well before grinding in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder as needed. I keep it in the freezer.
Penzeys or www.thespicehouse.com sells very good curry powders.
Here's a CH thread with homemade curry powder tips and hints: