Curry Powder

Curry Powder 

Indian spices are globally renowned for their rich aroma and distinctive flavour. These spices are used as a whole or in powdered form to add a kick in many yummy dishes. Before understanding ‘Curry Powder’ lets clear up the haze from the word curry.

Curry refers to hot, spicy, gravy-like dishes best-known in Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepali, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, and other South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. The spices are used either in whole form or in the form of a powder namely “Curry Powder” that contains 12 – 14 different spices and the heat of each varies from relatively mild to extremely hot.

Curry powder is prepared by blending and grinding various herbs and spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, fenugreek, red peppers, nutmeg, mace, etc. Sometime it also contains other ingredients like paprika, cloves, saffron, fenugreek, cardamom, or fresh curry leaves.

Ingredients of Curry Powder*
Generally curry powder is a combination of spices15-20 herbs and spices. The following is a detailed list of the spices used in preparing a standard curry powder:
  • Coriander Seed
  • Cumin Seed
  • Fenugreek Seed
  • Turmeric
  • Cloves
  • Garlic
  • Curry Leave
  • Fennel Seed
  • Ginger
  • Chillies
  • Mustard
  • Red Pepper
  • Salt
  • Cassia
  • Black Pepper
  • Poppy Seed
  • Anise
  • Bengal Gram
  • Cardamom
  • Cassia bud
  • Celery Seed
  • Cinnamon
  • Dill Seed
  • Mace
  • Nagkeser
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion
  • Trifala
  • White Pepper, etc.

The word curry originates from ” koora “, a Telgu word which means  stew  or gravy of any vegetable. In Tamil, curry means meat. The word “Khari” from which “curry” is derived, comes from Southern India and refers to a sauce of any kind.

Curry powder was actually developed by Britishers during their colonial rule of India, who wished to take the taste of Indian food home, without having to utilize fresh spices. As a result “curry powder” in the Western world has a fairly standardized taste, but there are literally millions of curry flavors in India.

History of Curry Powder

  • It was largely  popularized after World War II, when immigrants from Southeast Asia moved to the UK
  • The late 60s and early 70s saw a large increase of Indian food consumption by the UK populace, resulting the increase in the number of Indian restaurants
  • In the modern era, curry powder if quite popular in every corner of the globe.

Curry Powder…A Vital Health Tonic
Each and every spice contains certain medicinal properties, and since curry powder is a blend of spices, it contains many healing properties. It is largely composed of turmeric, the rich source of Curcumin. For centuries, curcumin has been widely used for its medicinal properties in the Indian traditional medicinal system. This antioxidant (curcumin) agents helps the body to fight against cancer and stops the cancer cell growth. It inhibits the build-up of amyloid plaques in people with Alzheimer’s.

Thus, curry powder offers a pleasant, easy way to add these vitally important substances to one’s diet. Only a spoon of curry powder will not only add a kick to the dish but also helps the body to fight against many diseases.