yellow curry powder

yellow curry powder

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.

yellow curry powder

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

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.

yellow curry powder

baharat : lebanese spice blend

Baharat: Lebanese Seven Spices

My recipe for beata't tdamata (eggs fried in tomato) calls for a mixture of black pepper, cumin, and paprika. This Lebanese baharat ("baharat" simply means spices in Arabic, but often refers to a spice blend) is just a slightly more complicated version of that combination. The added warm notes of coriander, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg give the blend a lovely well-rounded flavor. Think of it as Lebanese garam masala.

Baharat: Lebanese Seven Spices

A spice blend is the kind of thing that you make in a big batch and use over the course of a several months to a year (it will last closer to a year if stored in a sealed glass or stainless steel container). While it takes a small amount of effort up front, you'll reap the benefits for a long time. This spice blend works perfectly with beata't tdamata, hummus, labneh, falafel, potato chop, salad dressings, marinades, dry rubs, lentil soup, or anything else that needs a little extra something. If I'm cooking with this spice blend (as opposed to sprinkling it on something right before serving), I usually temper it in oil over low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, which gives it a toastier flavor.



  • 12 parts ground black pepper

  • 12 parts ground paprika

  • 12 parts ground cumin seeds

  • 12 parts ground coriander seeds

  • 6 parts ground cloves

  • 2 parts ground cinnamon

  • 1 parts ground nutmeg

  • 1 part ground cardamom (green cardamom pods)

For just over 1 cup of spice blend

  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper (3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns)

  • 1/4 cup ground paprika

  • 1/4 cup ground cumin seeds (1/4 cup whole cumin seeds)

  • 1/4 cup ground coriander seeds (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds)

  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves (2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons whole cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (2 1/2 inch cinnamon stick)

  • 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg (1 small nutmeg)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (8 to 9 cardamom pods)

If using ground spices, simply combine. If using whole spices, combine whole spices in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or very clean coffee grinder until powdered, then mix with the ground ones.

Baharat: Lebanese Seven Spices