Indian Curry Paste and Powder (I)

A former pal at work came back from lunch one day with all the ingredients to make curry pastes that evening. I was in total awe. I thought she was amazing but she assuredc me that, not only was it simple, but that making your own paste made the final dish tastier. She was so right! A good hand blender and they are easy to make.

The list of ingredients may seem a little daunting but most are kitchen staples. The method is also simple.

This recipe produces enough for 3 curries (each serving 4 people). It can be stored in a jar in the fridge for two weeks or frozen in portion sizes

1lb onions, roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
6 inches, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 tsp, salt
2 tsp, paprika
1 tsp, turmeric
½ to 1tsp, cayenne pepper (adjust according to taste)
1½ tsp, ground coriander
1½ tsp, ground cumin
1tsp, curry powder*
2 tbsp, tomato puree
1¼ pints, cold water
1 dessertspoon, sunflower oil

1. Toast the spices in a pan for 1-2 minutes being sure not to let them burn
2. Place the onions, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan
3. Cover with water and bring to the boil
4. Reduce to a strong simmer, cover and leave to cook for 45-50 minutes until the onions are very soft
5. Add in the other ingredients
6. Place in a blender and whisk into a paste


*Curry powder

The recipe for curry paste requires curry powder. With all the spices now in my cupboard, I have given up buying ready prepared curry powder. Instead, I like to make my own. Here is an example of one of the combinations I use.

This makes enough for one curry serving 4 people

1 tsp, coriander seeds
1½ tsp, cumin seeds
½ tsp, turmeric
½ tsp, caraway seeds
½ tsp, black peppercorns
½ tsp, chilli powder (or ¼ cayenne powder)
¼ tsp, ground cinnamon
½ tsp, ground ginger

1. Heat a small frying pan
2. Toast the seeds for 1 minute
3. Add the powdered spices and toast for a further 1 minute, making sure not to burn
4. Transfer to a pestle and break up the seeds with a mortar**
5. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 months

** If you do not have a pestle and mortar, you can put the spices once cooled into a plastic bag and use a rolling-pin to break them down.


One thought on “Indian Curry Paste and Powder (I)

  1. Pingback: Korma (vegan) | The Teen in the Attic

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