Indian Curry Powder

Indian Curry Powder.jpg

This aromatic curry powder makes cooking curries a breeze! Use it in your favourite curries of course, but also in soups, stews, salad dressings or anything that needs a hit of flavour and spice! If you wish, you can toast the whole spices before grinding them. That deepens the flavour and adds smoky notes to the curry powder. Use it in recipes such as Jungle Shrimp Curry or Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches or anything that you like!

Indian Curry Powder

2 tbsp each, whole spices: cloves, green cardamom, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori methi)

1 tbsp each, whole spices: black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorn

1 tbsp each, ground spices: turmeric, dried ginger

2 each, whole spices: cinnamon sticks (each 2 inches long), star anise

2 mace florets (optional)

6 dried red chilies

1 whole nutmeg, crushed

A generous pinch of saffron strands

Combine all of the whole spices in the jar of a spice grinder and process to a smooth powder.

Add the ground spices, fenugreek leaves and saffron and grind again till well blended.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark cabinet.

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

Soft cheesy doughnuts, soaked in cardamom saffron syrup - the ultimate decadent Indian dessert! Home made Gulab Jamuns are easier than you think and taste great. The secret to soft, spongy gulab jamuns is to have a soft and slightly sticky dough, roll them into smooth dough balls with no cracks and fry over low heat so that they get cooked through. Then let them have a good long soak in the sugar syrup, and they will be meltingly soft and delicious!
For more Indian desserts, try Mango Kulfi!

1 cup each, crumbled: paneer, *khoya (thickened milk solids, see note below)    or use  2 cups crumbled khoya

2 tbsp each: all purpose flour, milk

1/4 tsp each: baking soda, ground cardamom

1 1/2 cups oil for frying

3 cups sugar

3 cups water

A pinch of saffron

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

2 tbsp chopped pistachios for garnish

Place paneer and khoya in food processor and process until finely crumbled and well blended.

Transfer to a deep bowl and add flour, milk, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom and baking soda. Knead with your palms until smooth. If dough is too dry, add a few more teaspoons of milk. Knead for a few minutes until soft, smooth and slightly sticky. Let rest 10 min.

Lightly grease your hands with oil and shape dough into small balls, the size of a walnut. Roll them in your palms until dough balls are very smooth with no cracks.

Warm oil for frying (preferably in wok), set over medium low heat. Once the oil is heated, add 2-3 dough balls first to make sure they hold their shape.  Gently spoon some oil over them to seal. Let them brown lightly and expand, before turning them over gently to cook evenly. Once they are golden brown in colour all over (this should take about 10-12 min), remove them to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Reserve.

Bring sugar and water to a boil in broad bottomed saucepan, over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 min. Remove from heat, cool 10 min, then add saffron, cardamom and reserved gulab jamuns. Stir gently to mix. Make sure all the gulab jamuns are submerged in the syrup in a single layer. Cover and let Jamuns soak for at least 8 hours or longer, shaking pan occasionally and turning them over gently to coat with syrup.

Warm them gently before serving and garnish with chopped pistachios.

Makes 14 - 16 Gulab Jamuns

* Note: Packaged khoya is available in Indian stores. It is usually kept near the paneer in the refrigerator section. Leftover khoya can be frozen.