Kerala, that hidden tropical jewel in South-West India, abundantly grows so many of the spices we now prize and are fortunate to find in almost any store. Buy them whole and fresh, in small quantities, keep them in an airtight jar, preferably in a dark cupboard, and then you can enjoy the sensuous pleasure of crushing your spice blends and releasing all the exotic aromas anew.
They cost relatively little to buy and, if you are lucky enough to have Asian shops nearby, may well turn out cheaper than mass produced, so-called, ‘Curry Powders’ which are, in my not very humble opinion, a complete waste of time. Yes, when first opened some of them may seem fine but they will soon deteriorate into sad dusty memories of what a spice blend could be. Stick them in the compost today, they might as well have some use!
About the only ground spice I buy is good quality Hungarian Paprika, avoid the stuff which looks and smells like dry Poster Paint, ‘cos that’s what it tastes like too!
I wouldn’t myself use the ‘super-whizzer’ blenders that smash spices to hell, just get yourself a simple Pestle & Mortar instead. Pounding and grinding spices can be positively therapeutic, and a good way of building up your Chef Muscles!
A delicious Keralan Curry recipe to follow later today!