Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Indian Food is Medicinal Food

Last night's dinner began as a post on Heidi Swanson's blog 101Cookbooks For some reason I hadn't noticed that the recipe called for yellow curry powder. I thought it was red. Disappointment sank in with the realization that I'd planned dinner around an ingredient I truly disliked: that pre-made yellow curry powder.

Remembering that curry is a term for a blend of spices, toasted and crushed together, I hunted about for a recipe I could call my own. I read through a few online and cobbled together this one.

Yellow Curry
1.5 TBS Coriander seed
2 tsp Turmeric
1.5 tsp Cumin seed
1.5 TBS black Peppercorn
1.5 tsp crushed red Chile
0.5 tsp Cardamon seed
0.5 inch Cinnamon stick
0.5 tsp whole Clove
0.5 tsp ground Mustard
0.25 tsp ground Ginger

Toast the whole spices in a pan over medium heat until fragrant and toasty. Grind whole spices together with the powdered ingredients using mortar and pestle.

Grinding all these herbs and spices together brought home the fact that tonight, dinner would be medicinal: anti-inflammatory and supportive of digestion. The recipe (a lentil/carrot stew served over brown rice) called for 2 TBS of this curry mix, and I ended up using three -- quite a dose of these kitchen medicinals!

And yes, it was far better than the pre-fab yellow mix. This recipe's a keeper.

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