Updated: Nov 1
Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. Next up, let's meet Spicy Coconut Curry!!
The Inspiration - What is "Curry" Anyway?
Let's be real. You probably have at least one jar of "curry powder" on your spice rack, and you probably love its smell and flavor. Maybe you like cooking Indian-inspired dishes, so that's when you use it. Or maybe you are more of a Thai curry person, so that's when it makes an appearance. Or is it Caribbean curry for you? There's no wrong answer...
What these questions reveal is that curry powders, with their intricate tapestries of flavors and aromas, hold a significant place in the culinary traditions of various cultures, symbolizing the diversity and richness of global cuisine. The concept of curry powder is believed to have originated in India, where a myriad of regional spice blends known as "masalas" have been used for centuries to create the diverse and flavorful dishes that are central to Indian cuisine. When the British colonized the subcontinent, they (not surprisingly) adapted these spice blends into a standardized mixture, giving birth to what is known today as curry powder, to cater to their palate and simplify Indian cooking. While I'm certainly not celebrating colonization (and all that entails), it is fascinating to me how adaptations of cuisines such as this facilitated the spread of curry powder to other parts of the world, including the Caribbean, where it became integral to local dishes, reflecting a fusion of African, Indigenous, and South Asian flavors. In Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand and Malaysia, curry powders meld with local ingredients, creating distinct flavor profiles that characterize their national dishes. The evolution and adaptation of curry powders underscore their cultural significance as a culinary bridge, connecting different cultures through a shared love for vibrant flavors and aromatic spices, and highlighting the transformative power of food in transcending cultural boundaries.
In this tradition, my Spicy Coconut Curry blend takes some of my favorite elements and flavors from various styles of "curry" - toasted coconut, chiles, coriander, cumin, fennel, and turmeric - and blends them together to create something new and unique.
Flavor Profile - Spicy Coconut Curry
Spicy Coconut Curry is a harmonious concoction of bold, aromatic flavors, meticulously crafted in small batches to ensure premium quality. The coconut gets toasted, which lays a sweet and creamy foundation, enveloping the palate in a velvety richness, while the New Mexico chiles impart a robust and smoky heat, creating a delightful dance of sweet and spicy. The coriander and cumin inject a layer of earthy and citrusy notes, adding depth and complexity to the blend. The fennel introduces a subtle anise-like sweetness, balancing the robustness of the other spices. The golden touch of turmeric brings a warm, peppery flavor and a vibrant color, enhancing the overall visual and gustatory appeal of the blend. Lastly, the kosher salt elevates all the individual flavors, allowing each spice to shine while maintaining a harmonious symphony of taste. This blend is a versatile and exotic journey of flavors, suitable for those who desire a culinary adventure in every bite.
Versatility in the Kitchen - Spicy Coconut Curry
Spicy Coconut Curry is incredibly versatile and can be used to elevate a variety of dishes in your own kitchen. Here are some suggestions:
1. Curry Dishes: Use it as a base for making various curry dishes, such as chicken, vegetable, or seafood curry. Simply sauté onions, garlic, and ginger, add the spice blend, and then add your choice of protein or vegetables and coconut milk.
2. Marinade: Mix it with yogurt or coconut milk to marinate meats like chicken, beef, or lamb before grilling or baking.
3. Rice Dishes: Stir it into rice dishes like biryani or pilaf, to infuse the rice with a rich, spicy, and aromatic flavor.
4. Soup: Add a teaspoon to soups or stews for an exotic twist and a burst of flavor.
5. Roasted Vegetables: Sprinkle over vegetables before roasting to give them a spicy and flavorful kick.
6. Pasta Sauce: Mix into tomato-based pasta sauces for an unexpected layer of flavor.
7. Dipping Sauce: Blend with mayonnaise or yogurt to create a flavorful dipping sauce for appetizers or snacks.
8. Salad Dressing: Incorporate into vinaigrettes or creamy dressings to spice up your salads.
9. Grilled Seafood: Sprinkle over fish or shrimp before grilling to add a tropical and spicy note.
10. Baked Goods: Experiment by adding a pinch to baked goods like savory muffins or bread for an exotic flavor profile.
11. Popcorn: Melt some butter with the spice blend and drizzle over popcorn for a gourmet snack.
12. Breakfast Dishes: Mix into scrambled eggs or omelets for a spicy start to your day.
Remember, the key is to start with a small amount and adjust according to your taste preference. Enjoy your culinary adventures with Spicy Coconut Curry!
Ready to get your own Spicy Coconut Curry? Get it here.