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Sep 13, 2013 08:29 PM

Coffee Beans, Dill Seeds in Beef Curry Powder?

I hope I'll hear back from some curry experts on this one!

Every January 1st, I've created a tradition to make a massive pot of completely from scratch curry sauce. I've only done it 2 years now, and I'm already preparing for this coming winter's batch. So far, I've followed a bouillion, roux and sauce recipe from a hard core curry lover's cook book, and it turns out....alright...I guess. That's my problem.

The bouillion recipe is fine, don't need to change that. The part that's starting to bore me, though, is that it only requires using commercially bought curry powder for the roux....Blechhh....I always use the most popular curry powder blend they've got here, S&B (I'm in Japan), and I'm getting tired of the taste. There's something bitter, flat, and overly turmeric-y about it, even when it's a brand new can. I don't want to use it anymore.

I want to make my own powder, this time. I would like your opinion on how I"m thinking of going about it!

This time, I'm going specifically for a beef curry, and I want it to be somewhere between a delicious pot roast and a nice, mild Indian curry with a fresh bite to it. I like warm, sweet flavors, so will definitely be doing the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, cardamom and plenty of fresh ginger, but for the savory side, I like it really cumin-y, with coriander, fennel, mustard seeds, black pepper and a ton of fresh garlic. The usual stuff, right?

Where I'd like to branch out on my own is with a few things.
What do you think about dill seed? My favorite kind of pot roast involves using a lot of dill, and since I want to give it that hint of a pot roast flavor, do you think the dill will blend in well with the other spices? What if I grind up a few dark roasted (then toasted) coffee beans in there, too? I worry that the grounds might not end up integrating with the sauce, and leaving it grainy, but what if I ground it down to a fine powder? How about a little semi-sweet chocolate for taste and texture? I don't think I can get any actual cocoa beans, but maybe a high quality bar will do?

Just wondered if any of you have ever used these extras and have any tips. Especially where the coffee is concerned. I have a feeling the sultry taste of a dark roast might really lend a great accent to the sauce, but I've never tried anything more than a tsp. or so of instant to a regular box curry I've made. I want to try to be as from-scratch as possible with this one, since it'll be a base sauce I'll be freezing in portions for the whole year afterward. I'd love your input!

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  1. I am not especially helpful except for the coffee question- please don't cook with the grounds!! There will always be a sandy gritty texture.
    I would suggest to try using a small amount of very strong coffee to get the flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ttrockwood

      Thanks for confirming that!! It's funny, after posting this, I saw on TV a show where they put a tsp. full of instant coffee granules into their roux, so that might end up being the way I go with it, to get the flavor without the grit! :)

    2. I'm a little confused. Are you trying to make a Japanese style curry or an Indian style curry? They are quite different both flavor wise and technique wise. Indian curries usually don't call for boulliion and roux. You usually brown onions, sometimes garlic, ginger, etc and then add your spices, then meat, water if you want, cover and simmer.

      1 Reply
      1. re: boogiebaby

        I'm not following a strict set of rules based on either one.