It might not be Sharwoods…

Curry spices roasting

Curry spices roasting

I have just been making a new supply of my own brand curry powder although no Indian or Pakistani would recognise it. But I like to have it ready when I make my curried apple chutney (coming up shortly) or have a teaspoonful to add a background spiciness to a turkey curry, or whatever, and there was a lot of that last Christmas!
There is no set list of ingredients or quantities but I do ladle out three tablespoons each of coriander and cumin into a bowl before adding a teaspoon or so of fennel, black peppercorns, two inches of cinnamon stick, some green cardamons in their pods, fenugreek seeds, black onion seed, yellow mustard seed, allspice berries, a couple of dried bay leaves and some salt. Then I heat a cast iron skillet and gently roast the spices (making sure they do not burn) until the mustard starts popping out the pan.
If I wanted to be authentic I would grind them all by hand but life is short. I pour the mix into my electric grinder (it is so infused with the essence of curry it is now good for no other purpose) and start adding ground spices: some ginger, mixed spice, turmeric, chilli powder, paprika (my neighbours brought me back some from Budapest) and a pinch of asafoetida. The clue is in the third and fourth syllables. Plus whatever else I can find easily in the four shelf jungle which is my spice cupboard. I draw the line at juniper berries, though.
Then I whizz everything to a powder and put it in jars. Every time is different. It might not be Sharwoods but I reckon it’s better.

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