About 20 years ago, I knew a Tamil Sufi named Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. He was tiny, very old, had a bald head, a white beard, and very much reminded me of a spider monkey. And he was a great cook. This is Bawa’s curry powder.

Powdered spices:

Grind in a suribachi or with a mortar and pestle:

Seed Spices

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (you could grind this if you're not going to cook the curry long).
When Bawa made a curry, he made up fresh curry spices. He cooked the seed spices in hot oil first and would add these to vegetables along with some fresh garlic, a piece of cinnamon stick (which would be extracted before serving) and might add fresh chili to curries to make them even hotter. The powdered spices were added half-way through the cooking. After grinding spices he would add water to the suribachi, swirl it and add it to the curry as well.
If you are used to using store-bought curry powders, you will be pleasantly surprised if you try this. The flavours of the 14 fresh spices roll across the tongue and as one fades, another begins.

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