All Purpose Curry Powder

A few nights ago I was craving curry something awful. The trouble is that there are no good Indian Restaurants here in the Antelope Valley. Not wanting to drive the 90+ minutes through rush-hour traffic in LA to get to our "Little India" on Artesia Blvd, I decided to break out my curry powder and fix something at home.

This was originally a Vindaloo recipe that I altered to make it more friendly for people who can't take the heat of a real Vindaloo.

I love this recipe because it is easy and adaptable for several different meats. You can use chicken, duck, or game fowl, shrimp, oysters, any oily/flaky white fish (cod, flounder, sea bass, Turbot, etc...), or pork, or even wild boar. I don't recommend this one for beef or venison though as they are tasty enough on their own.

Here is the recipe with a few variations at the end:

All Purpose Curry Powder
1 Tbs. Turmeric
1 Tbs. Coriander
1 Tbs. Black mustard seeds-finely ground (you can use yeloow but the curry will be a little different)
1 Tsp. Chipotle powder (use Cayenne if prefer a very hot curry)
2 Tbs. Smoked Paprika (use hot paprika if you cannot find smoked, use sweet if you prefer it mild)
1 Tbs. Sea or Kosher salt
3 Garlic cloves-mashed to a pulp (use more garlic if you like a stronger flavor)
2 Tbs. Red wine or Malt vinegar (white wine or rice vinegar work in a pinch)
1 1/2 Lbs. of you meat of choice-I used chicken below(I have used extra firm tofu with great success too!)

1 Large onion peeled and sliced
1/2 cup water (or cream if you like a creamier curry)
 about 1 cup of leftover cooked peas (I didn't have them so you do not see them below, but they are great in this curry)

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a glass or nonreactive bowl until you have a dry clumpy paste. Cut your meat into 1 inch cubes-Add your meat (or tofu) and toss with your very clean hands until the spice mix coats your meat. Cover and set the bowl in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 48.

When you are ready to proceed: Heat a couple Tbs. of oil (your choice) in a very large sauté pan. Add your onions and sauté over medium heat until nicely browned (about 10 minutes). Remove the onions fro the pan and add a little more oil. Add your meat and turn the heat as high as it will go.

Allow the spice paste to brown, tossing occasionally to ensure even browning. Add the water (or cream), and onions, and cover the pan. Allow the curry to cook 5-7 minutes until your meat of fully cooked. Uncover the pan and let most of the water evaporate before serving.

Serve with yellow rice (recipe to follow) or Naan bread. And veggies/chutney of your choosing (I like apricot and garlic pickles for this recipe).


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