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Old 11-10-2006, 05:55 PM   #11
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thanks boufa, I will try a few leaves in our next curry!!
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:31 PM   #12
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boufa, I should have reported back earlier, but I did try the curry leaves, by now I used them a few times in our dinners, and it is wonderful!! I take a small handfull of the leaves, kinda crush them by hand first, then put it in the pestle and grind them together with the freshly toasted coriander seeds, and mix with other curry spices, like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and (later towards the end of cooking) cardamom. The combination of toasted coriander seeds and the leaves definitely fill the gap where I always thought my curry dishes were missing little something. Now I don't even use garam masala, and get a pretty decent flavour, I think I can pat myself on the back...
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
boufa, I should have reported back earlier, but I did try the curry leaves, by now I used them a few times in our dinners, and it is wonderful!! I take a small handfull of the leaves, kinda crush them by hand first, then put it in the pestle and grind them together with the freshly toasted coriander seeds, and mix with other curry spices, like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and (later towards the end of cooking) cardamom. The combination of toasted coriander seeds and the leaves definitely fill the gap where I always thought my curry dishes were missing little something. Now I don't even use garam masala, and get a pretty decent flavour, I think I can pat myself on the back...
Thanks for your feedback, I am glad that you were successful in your experimentation and you truly deserve a big pat on the back.

However, in case you want to try your hand at making good Nonya (Peranakan) curry chicken, here is the curry powder recipe of Mrs Leong Yee Soo, an authority on Nonya cooking based on her bestseller cookbook, Singaporean Cooking Vol 2.

1.2kg (42oz) coriander seeds
425gm (15oz) cumin seeds
285gm (10oz) aniseed
425gm (15oz) dried chillies
140gm (5oz) tumeric
140gm(5oz) white peppercorns
75gm (2-1/2oz) cinnamon bark
40 cloves
3 nutmegs
50 cardamons
2 star anise
75gm (2-1/2oz) poppy seeds (optional)

1. Wash coriander, cumin and aniseed in separate lots in a large saucepan of water. Drain well and dry in sun together with the dried chillies.
2. Put on a tray the rest of the ingredients except the poppy seeds. Heat oven slightly and toast the tray of ingredients for 30-45 minutes till ingredients are heated through and smell fragrant.
3. Mix all the ingredients together and blend into a fine powder. Spread to cool completely before storing in an airtight bottle.

Please note that this curry powder is only for meat dishes. Due to the strong flavour, there is no need to add curry leaves to make it any stronger.
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Old 11-29-2006, 05:33 PM   #14
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Wow, thanks for the recipe boufa!! Okay, sorry for being a pest, but upon seeing this ingredient list, I must ask you another question...

I detest the flavour of aniseed with passion, also fennel, by themselves. But these two are often called for many curry mixes and I just have been avoiding adding them to mine.

But I know some spices and herbs, also certain food can take on a surprisingly different and pleasing flavour when they are blended or cooked in certain way. And probably among some of the dishes I enjoyed at various Indian restaurants may have contained aniseed or fennel or both without my noticing, I suspect. Do the flavours of aniseed/fennel transform themselves in some way when mixed in other curry spices? Would they be still recognizable? Should I give it a try?
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:28 PM   #15
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Generally, I do not cook a lot of Indian curry dishes but I think that if a recipe calls for aniseed or fennel to be included in the mixed spices, you should do so. This way you will be able to taste the full flavour of the dish. In Indian curries, garam masala which is a blend of spices consisting of cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, fennel and black peppercorns, is used quite often to give flavour to the dish. Likewise for sambar powder, which is made up of roasted ground dhall, coriander, cumin, black pepper and fenugreek. You could however, reduce the amount of aniseed or fennel if the taste is not up to your liking.

The spice mix in meat differs very much from fish and vegetable dishes. That is what it is so unique and mysterious about the tantalising taste of curries.
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