Mixed powder

Mixed powder

By
From
The Curry Guy
Makes
17 generous tbsp

I have to emphasize how important this recipe is. It’s one of the secret ingredients that makes BIR curries what they are. You will use it in almost all of the classic curries in this book.

The flavours of cumin, coriander, paprika and turmeric are in most BIR curries, and mixed powder makes it possible to add these spices all in one go, along with curry powder and garam masala. Obviously, you can adjust the flavour of your curry by adding a little more of the individual spices or masalas to taste, but adding mixed powder is usually enough to get the task of seasoning off to a good and easy start.

When I first began experimenting with BIR recipes, and before I knew of the existence of this widely used spice blend, I would add the spices individually, which works fine, but slows down the cooking process.

I have to say it wasn’t easy to get the recipe because no one – and I mean no one – was giving it away. They would wave me off and say that it was just ‘mixed powder’. It looked like garam masala or curry powder and I wrongly assumed that was what it was. When I finally saw it being made by chance at my local restaurant, I didn’t pay attention to anything else in the kitchen. It all seemed so obvious, but it wasn’t until that afternoon.

I drove home and heated up some base curry sauce while I combined the ingredients for the mixed powder recipe from memory.

With that one secret blend, my BIR curries suddenly became much less complicated to make. I finally had what I didn’t even realize I was looking for!

I’ve since learned that many chefs also add a little ground fenugreek to their mixed powder, but as it is quite strong and bitter I only add as required to some curries at the cooking stage. There is, after all, already a little fenugreek in the mix from the curry powder used.

Since I learned this recipe, you wouldn’t believe how many chefs have challenged me, asking if I knew what was in their special blend. They’re amazed when I name the ingredients exactly. This one is no longer a secret.

It is a good idea to roast whole cumin and coriander seeds then grind them to a powder for that extra flavour boost. If you only want to make a little or you want to make a lot more, simply substitute the word ‘tbsp’ with ‘parts’.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground coriander
4 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon Garam masala

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, and use as needed. If you are using fresh, homemade garam masala and curry powder in your blend, your mixed powder should last for up to 2 months without losing much flavour.
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