To kick off masgouf week, I'm sharing my favorite recipe for yellow curry powder, since curry is such an essential ingredient in masgouf. This is not to say that if you make your masgouf with a little half-cup shaker from the supermarket, you'll be disappointed (when it comes to masgouf, you will never be disappointed), but blending your own spices really takes things to the next level.
While turmeric, cumin, and coriander seeds are a pretty standard base in many spice blends, I like to also use a lot of fenugreek seeds, which give this blend an almost celery-like flavor that's simultaneously fresh and umami.
You can use this blend in a number of different dishes. This curry is especially delicious in masgouf, biryani, chicken stew, pickled mangoes (amba), curried potatoes, sautéed shrimp, veggie frittatas, and retro chicken salad with halved red grapes and celery. You can also use it along with some salt as a dry rub for any meat or veggie. While this curry works really well raw, tempering it in some oil or dry roasting it in a pan for 1 minute will deepen its flavor. This is especially important for anyone who doesn't really like the flavor of cumin; many people who think they don't like cumin will find that it tastes completely different after tempering.
Yellow Curry Powder
Yield: about 3/4 cup
Total time: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons ground curry leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom *
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground chili
Prep any whole spices by grinding them and then measuring them. Use a very clean coffee grinder, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle.
Combine all ingredients and store in a sealed glass container for 6 months to a year.
* If you're using whole pods, use green cardamom, rather than black. If you're using ground spices, green cardamom is the same thing as a standard shaker of cardamom you'll find in the supermarket.