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Old 11-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
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Curry Powder Quality

Good morning, I joined just a few minutes ago. Cooked for decades, but far from gourmet.

I am having trouble finding a good curry powder for my curried soups. My health-food store no longer carries what I used to buy (in bulk, so I don't have a name) and what I have found in grocery stores and even Indian groceries seems to be hotter/sharper, yet somehow less flavorful. If I increase the quantity to get a richer flavor, the soup is then too hot. Does anyone have a suggestion for me? It is unlikely that I would buy the ingredients and grind my own spices.

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:37 AM   #2
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Welcome to DC. This may sound weird. I have found that some curry powders benefit greatly from adding salt. I have cooked more than one curry that tasted flavorless until I added a good bit of salt.

Take a look at Penzeys for quality spices.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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Penzey's has a sweet curry and a hot curry...sweet does not mean sugar sweet, but not hot.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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Welcome to DC! Another Penzeys fan here.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sosocook View Post
Good morning, I joined just a few minutes ago. Cooked for decades, but far from gourmet.

I am having trouble finding a good curry powder for my curried soups. My health-food store no longer carries what I used to buy (in bulk, so I don't have a name) and what I have found in grocery stores and even Indian groceries seems to be hotter/sharper, yet somehow less flavorful. If I increase the quantity to get a richer flavor, the soup is then too hot. Does anyone have a suggestion for me? It is unlikely that I would buy the ingredients and grind my own spices.
I usually mix my own according to the recipe I'm using but Sharwoods is a good old name in "Indian" ingredients and condiments, also Pataks curry pastes. Rajah brand seems very popular where I used to live (a town with a big Asian population). There is also Spices of India (mail order) but haven't used them so couldn't comment. Korma and passanda have hardly any "hot" spice in the mix.

Plenty of recipes for powders on the 'net if you want to experiment and make your own. Madhur Jaffrey's is particularly good, takes little effort and you can fiddle about with the ingredients if the recipe as given isn't to your taste. Only make a small quantity at a timeas spices lose a lot of their flavour when stored for any length of time in non-airtight containers.

Have you discussed what you want with the proprietor in the Indian grocers? Not all Asians like their food to lift their heads off and you'll be getting advice straight from the horse's mouth.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Penzey's has a sweet curry and a hot curry...sweet does not mean sugar sweet, but not hot.
I love their yellow sweet curry in Snip's curry/cream mussel dish. The flavor suits mussels really well
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #7
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I like to make curries from scratch, so I don't usually use pre-packaged blends. But since you specifically mention you likely wouldn't go that route, then I think Patak's jarred pastes are a decent alternative. My only complaint is that they all have kind of a "sameness" to them.

Other than a few dry garam masala blends, I have yet to find a generic "curry powder" that suits my taste. They also tend to lose flavor very quickly in the cupboard. Since the spices in jarred pastes are blended with oil and refrigerated after opening, the unused portion seems to stay fresher tasting.
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I like to make curries from scratch, so I don't usually use pre-packaged blends. But since you specifically mention you likely wouldn't go that route, then I think Patak's jarred pastes are a decent alternative. My only complaint is that they all have kind of a "sameness" to them.

Other than a few dry garam masala blends, I have yet to find a generic "curry powder" that suits my taste. They also tend to lose flavor very quickly in the cupboard. Since the spices in jarred pastes are blended with oil and refrigerated after opening, the unused portion seems to stay fresher tasting.
+1

I don't know if Penzey's ships to Ottawa.
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #9
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I use Spice Islands Curry Powder, which I buy in one of the local supermarkets. It has a great taste, and is not too spicy/hot. Although I like Penzeys for many spices, I prefer Spice Islands for curry powder, cumin powder, and chili powder.
Curry Powder, Seasoning Mixes, Spice Islands
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
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Thank you for all the suggestions. I will get back to let you know if my dishes have improved.
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