This spice powder is actually not something unfamiliar to Asian cuisine since many of their curries depend on this blend. In fact, this mix can be incorporated into a variety of dishes since the spices in curry powder are flavorful, aromatic, and rich.
This mix is an Indian-inspired British creation when it reaches Western cuisine. The ingredients are many and would vary depending on the household or brand. But some common spices often show up in a majority of recipes, such as:
- Cumin Seeds
- Coriander Seeds
- Black Pepper
- Red Chilies (cayenne pepper, paprika, Kashmiri red chilies, etc.)
- Mustard Seeds
In addition, some recipes might also include cardamoms, star anise, allspice, bay leaves, curry leaves, fennel seeds, nutmeg, etc.
So, out of the many variations, this article will focus on curry powder, which is prevalent in Western cuisine. Keep reading to learn more!
What Spices Are In Curry Powder?
Curry powder is probably “the one spice blend” which most supermarket spice aisles and Asian grocery stores tend to carry. It is such a generic combination yet useful and potent enough to stand by itself in many recipes.
As mentioned previously, each person and brand would have their own recipe for making this powder. Depending on the ingredients, it could be mild or intense in flavor. So, in this section, we will be discussing the most common spices that show up in many curry powder recipes.
Turmeric has a lovely aroma and holds a depth of flavor. It also gives a dynamic golden-orange hue to this blend. In fact, it is a spice “made for curries” with warm, bitter, earthy, and peppery undertones. Turmeric definitely pairs well with other spices in curry powder, such as cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon.
02- Cumin Seeds
Tiny cumin seeds provide a distinctive taste to our subject leader despite their size! This spice is warm, nutty, and slightly sweet, which can instantly upgrade the taste of meat and vegetables equally. Moreover, cumin seeds particularly get along well with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, etc., in this blend.
03- Coriander Seeds
Coriander is one of the essential spices in curry powder. And this spice is relatively gentle compared to other ingredients used in the mix. These small seeds hold a profundity of flavor with a slightly citrusy-sweet hint and a mild earthy fragrance.
Coriander seeds generally team up with ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. When combined with these ingredients, this spice improves the taste of many meat marinades, rubs, sauces, and vegetable dishes.
Fenugreek is typically bitter, tangy, and gives a burnt-sugar flavor effect. This flavoring is a staple in Indian cooking and goes with many vegetable curries, snacks, and paneer dishes. Fenugreek seeds pair well with mustard seeds, turmeric, and coriander seeds in this blend.
05- Black Pepper
Woody, piney, and earthy black pepper is one of the most versatile spices found in this mix. It gives an exceptional peppery kick to curry powder, while supporting all the other ingredients. The flavor profile of black pepper matches any recipe that calls for a rich and profound taste.
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that always holds a special place in the blend. The sweet, peppery, and woody tones of this spice are a bit nuanced. And its flavor profile can stand out alone even when it’s put together with strong spices like cumin, nutmeg, and cloves. However, cinnamon can collectively complement many savory dishes, sauces, and curries.
Garlic is often included in this mix in its powdered form. It has an intense aroma with a pungent and robust umami flavor. This spice often pairs well with ginger and almost all the other ingredients. Accordingly, garlic enriches the entire taste of curry powder and goes well with any savory dish.
Supported mainly by the taste of garlic, ginger also plays a significant flavor role when incorporated into our topic leader. Most often, like garlic, ginger is used in the powdered form. However, this spice has a warm bite with a slight sweetness and mild citrusy tones. It goes with many coconut milk-based curries and many other meat and fish dishes.
09- Red Chilies (Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Kashmiri Red Chilies, Etc.)
While many Western homemade and store-bought curry powder recipes use cayenne pepper or paprika powder, Asian cuisine often uses Kashmiri red chilies. Like turmeric, red chili powder is another colorant spice. And it also possesses a deep flavor and a decent amount of heat.
Nevertheless, the heat level varies depending on the type of red chilies used. This spice teams up with all the other ingredients in the mix and complements any spicy or savory dish.
10- Mustard Seeds
Depending on the recipe, either yellow or brown mustard seeds can become a part of this powder. This spice is typically earthy, bitter, and mildly spicy. Mustard seeds get along with other ingredients in the mix like turmeric, coriander, cumin, and garlic. Thus, it goes well with many coconut milk-based curries and sauces.
I profoundly believe that the power of food has a primal place in our homes, that binds us to the best bits of lifeJamie Oliver
This is one of the most intense curry powder spices, which has a robust aroma. Cloves have an astringent bite with bitter-sweet, warm and intense flavor notes. This spice has the ability to improve the taste of meat, fish, other seafood curries, and curry sauces when it is paired with coriander, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg etc.
Although both turmeric and cumin are among the main ingredients in curry powder, did you know that they are way different from each other? So, to find out how and why they are different, click on this link and read our detailed article for more information.
Wrapping Up With Curry Powder Spices…
Curry powder is a flavorful, aromatic, and lavish blend of spices which usually comprises ingredients like turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper, fenugreek, etc. This amazing blend will help you make incredibly delicious meat, fish, vegetable curries, or other dishes with a refined Asian touch.