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September 7, 2008

Curry powder (Recipe: curried green tomatoes)

Greentomatoes

On my very first spice rack, in my very first apartment, the most exotic tin, rectangular and red and gold all over, held Madras curry powder.

You know exactly what I'm talking about.

You probably have a tin just like it on your spice rack.

Though I'm 25 or 30 tins down the road from my first spice rack, the tin in my pantry today is exactly the same as the first one: Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder, imprinted with seals of approval so tiny you can't possibly read them, from organizations (or expositions, or governments) you need a microscope to identify. A silver medal from St. Louis 1904 must be from the World's Fair, but whoever bestowed a gold medal from London 1905, the most recent prize listed on the tin, remains a mystery.

However, what's not a mystery is why this particular spice blend is sold in supermarkets everywhere.

Curry powder is the ultimate convenience food.

In every pantry in every Indian kitchen, a masala dabba -- a round container with an airtight lid and small bowls inside -- holds the component spices to make the family's favorite dishes. Hot or mild, more smoky or more salty, whatever your preference, you can make it from your masala dabba.

If you're not well versed in Indian cookery (and I'm not), curry powder is a great place to start. Sun Brand's Madras curry powder contains coriander seeds, turmeric, chile peppers, salt, cumin seed, fennel seed, black pepper, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves, anise and mustard. The bright yellow color comes from the turmeric, not from any additives.

The flavor of this particular curry powder, available in the spice aisle of every supermarket, is medium hot, but my spice rack also holds sweet and super-hot curry powders from Penzeys, which sells a wonderful eight-jar gift box of Indian curry powders from tandoori to vindaloo to rogan josh.

Currypowder

Use the curry powder of your choice to make cauliflower puree, curried chicken salad, chicken burgers, deviled eggs, roasted chickpeas, satay, curried carrot soup, and pumpkin seeds. It will keep in your pantry for up to one year. 

Curried green tomatoes

Try this with some brown rice, and throw in some leftover cooked chicken, salmon, or tofu to make a main course dish. Or make it vegan, without the additional protein. I had some cooked salmon in the fridge, and Ben thought it would work well with the tomatoes. He was right! Serves 2.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
2 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp sweet or hot curry powder
2 cups green tomatoes, diced (3-4 large tomatoes)
Salt and pepper to taste
Leftover cooked salmon, chicken or tofu, chopped or shredded (optional)

Directions

Heat the oil (or melt butter) in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and sauté 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, and cook slowly until well heated, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder; if the mixture seems dry, add a few tablespoons of water. (After 5 minutes, add cooked chicken or other leftover meat, if desired.) Season with salt and pepper, and serve with steamed rice.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Curried squash, apple and pear soup
Curry dip
Punjab five jewels
Egg curry
Chicken curry, Lombok style

Comments

I love curry (unfortunately Hubby hates it)! And the spice rack looks like an ingenious space-saver, just what my cluttered cabinet needs!

I definitely need to increase my curry collection, as I do enjoy the hotter side of things (something my guests don't always agree with). As of late, I like it nice and simple with a little curry powder over steamed cauliflower! mmmm good.

I envy! For some reason, though my regular store has quite a spice collection, I can rarely find curry powder - and a lot of the time, it's just out of stock. I'd like to get a few different kinds... and I DID find a little Indian/Middle Eastern shop that has loads of spices for very, very cheap. However, they're all in plastic bags instead of plastic shakable canisters. Maybe I can find some of those for sale! And this spice rack - too cute!

Thanks for the recipe for oven dried tomatoes. The community garden has had a huge crop this year. We are dividing everything up so that everyone's oven will be at capacity then when finished split them up between us. I know I will be thinking of today in February and thanking you for this great idea.

I love madras curry powder! I use it like an all-purpose seasoning -- with corn, cous cous, you name it! And this recipe looks great, especially since I'll have a huge load of green tomatoes in a few weeks.

I'm still too intimidated to try Indian cooking, though I know I should just jump in & give it a try.

I love the ingenuity of the spice rack! Thanks for the giveaway!

I love curried tuna salad with diced apples and almonds and a pinch of ginger.

I have green tomatoes and this might be a good way to introduce me to a curry dish.

I love the spice rack and much as I love curry. My pantry is filled with bottles of all sizes and there is no organization. Thanks for the green tomato recipe (I have tons of them) and will be making it for dinner.

I'm keeping my spices in the drawer of one of those rolling cart things at the moment, and having to guess which one I want form what the top of the bottle looks like, so this would be great for me; I may have to look into it.

Believe it or not, I've never used a curry powder. My first curry recipes listed component spices rather than calling for pre-done mixes, and I've been making it that way ever since. (Except garam masala -- I do have a jar of garam masala, though I want to experiment with mixing my own when that's run out.) I'd like to say this gives my Indian cooking a real personal touch, but unfortunately I'm not fluent enough yet in the way the spices interact to really shape the flavor on my own. I should really try to learn them better.

I've been experimenting with curry powder lately and find I really like it! I almost bought this exact spice rack a few months ago, but since I couldn't find one in a store to inspect I never got it. I'm a hand's on buyer with most things that will be used in the kitchen.

Thank you for the informative post and the great give away!

A green tomato recipe YAY! I have a bumper crop in my garden just waiting for the perfect recipe. And with salmon mmmmmm!

I love curried cucumbers, cold, spicy and yummy.

I was inspired by "other peoples pantries" and have been looking for a way to organize my spices. What a great rack, no more digging around and bottle avalanches.

I love curry powder!
We use it on potatoes, chicken, stir fries, and even our desserts- my apple pie wouldn't be prize-winning without it!

That is an ingenious spice rack. I could see that I'd use several of them and sort my spices by the way I use them- baking, cooking, etc...

Hurry, hurry, let's eat curry. Yum!
Spice stack looks really neat, literally.

I love to use curry powder to dress up chicken salad (cut up chicken, mayo, chopped onion, curry powder)---add a few halved green grapes and you have a refreshing meal.

I use curry powder in... curry! And dahl, chicken, rice...
We are big on Indian flavours, they are a fave of my daughter as well.
What do you use espazote for?

I use curry powder in egg salad and chicken salad, daal curry, my MIL's curry recipe that she adapted from her 1976 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and an amazing stir-fry sauce from the Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Penzey's Hot Curry Powder is my favorite.

Mmmm... curried cauliflower is a favorite of everyone around here, and we use a blend from the bulk section of the local organic place. I also love a curried chicken sauce that is served over rice - even more fun if you put the rice in a mold! All very 70's dinner party. The spice rack looks fab.

I like to use curry powder on my deviled eggs, but I also love to use it on chicken breast with worcestershire and soy sauce baked in the oven. Too bad the worcestershire sauce doesn't fit in the spice rack since it is a must have along side the curry.

great contest! i like to add curry to lentil soup...i knw, not very imaginative *wink*

love your blog!

Barbara

I have some green tomatoes on the vine and I can't wait to try this recipe!

Enjoyed curry today! Coconut chicken curry, actually,with autumn vegetables.The cool fall weather is making me start up with the comfort food again.

Curry powder is fantastic mixed with mustard, (whatever is your favourite kind) honey, and butter, then use it as a chicken glaze.
Love your site!

I usually make my own masala paste from raw spices. I make a variation of the curried green tomatoes and use roasted and powdered mixture of mustard and fenugreek seeds instead of curry masala. Not much is required and it adds a very unique flavour. Love your site.. I have an rss feed on my yahoo page.

The spicerack looks like a great space saving device.

Just this evening we had an Indian dinner with the two other couples on our floor. I'm reviewing Raghavan Iyer's wonderful 660 Curries book. I thought it would be fun to have this group dinner. Mostly it was each of our first times cooking Indian food at home (other than a jar of simmer sauce!)

One of the comments above is just like Iyer's comment during a demo I saw him give. "When someone says "Oooh I don't like curry." He replies "Oooh I'm with you."

His point is that most of us haven't the slightest idea what a good/true curry tastes like. I was THRILLED with the the yummy dishes we all produced from the cook book and website.

...going out tomorrow looking for Sun brand madras curry powder

Paul

Looks so good, I love curry.

I made a curry dish once, 13 years ago.

It turned out rather delicious, was a big hit, and now I'm wondering why I haven't used curry since!

Curried potatoes are my favorite winter food; they're quick and easy to make.

Mix curry powder, a splash of olive oil, and scrubbed and cut potatoes together in a bowl until well coated. Cook the potatoes either in a frying pan (if diced small), or on a cookie sheet in the oven (if quartered).

Green tomatoes are hard to come by when you don't have a garden, or a friendly gardener. In the photo it looks like you have brown mustard seeds in there? (I'll add them anyway.)
Cute and clever spice racks. Takes care of the deep shelf/shallow bottles dilemma.

I love Indian food and mix my own curry with spices I've found at various Indian or Middle Eastern markets. Except when I'm pressed for time and then I just grab the generic curry tin. Curry chicken, curry butternut squash soup, curry on fish. Yum. Pick me. Please.

What a fabulous recipe! Since the moles decimated my garden, most of my tomatoes didn't ripen; this is a great way to use them - thanks! As for favorite curry recipes; can't say that I have just one - my son and I adore curry, and I add it into tons of things - from egg salad to mashed potatoes, as well as "regular" Indian dishes. And thanks for showing this spice rack; I may order two! *smile*

I've only recently learnt to cook curry and it is a lot of fun! The curried tomatoes look like a great dish to go with rice, and I like that it doesn't need coconut milk ;)

I've never tried Sweet Curry - that sounds intriguing. I'll have to track that down through Penzeys. Sounds like it would be delicious in some of the lamb braises I've been enjoying this year from the Dutch oven.

I was at the farmer's market yesterday, saw some green tomatoes, and thought, "Nah, won't get them today." Now I'm kicking myself!

I love prepared curry powder. I know true Indian food purists would say "Make it yourself!" but really? I would rather just go with the pre-made stuff from a great purveyor.

You know, I don't think I've ever actually worked with curry powder. If I come across some green tomatoes I'll give this a try!

I am the lone curry wolf in my household of 3... which is really, truly, unfortunate - hearts for curries!!

You can't forget that curry is the perfect complimet to turkey, either! It's my secret ingredient for every holiday bird!

I love curry!

You aren't going to believe this, but I served Chicken Divan to my guests this week - a real throwback to the 60s - and they loved it! Especially the hint of curry in the sauce. I had to swap out the canned cream of chicken soup for a nice bechamel made with chicken stock, so it wasn't truly authentic, but it did the trick. I just happen to have a bushel of green tomatoes here as we speak - Thanks for the recipe!!

I love playing around with different spices. What a fun giveaway! I love curry too!

I tried to use a cheat for curry one night and my husband got all sad faced, he wanted my curry from scratch.

I'm dying for the perfect spice rack, haven't found it yet, but that one looks fairly close.

FYI: in this terrible housing market, making curry is a guarantee your house will be shown the next day. :)

This is a perfect late summer recipe. I can't wait to try it.

The housemates and I are frantically trying to find easy solutions for attractive storage in our new (very crowded) kitchen. Four cooks in a tiny space equals LOTS of spices. All of mine are in shoe boxes right now. Not attractive or convenient! I'd love a spice rack!

Lydia, I have curry powder around for one thing: using a rolling pin, I roll small discs of pizza dough very thin, until they are almost transparent. Then, I brush them with very good olive oil (peppery is my favorite) and sprinkle them with curry powder, dried oregano, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. In the oven for a couple of minutes. Joao and I are addicted!

I love curry. Love the smell it leaves the behind, the smell of it steaming away on top of hot rice.
When I lived in DC for a spell I lived next to an Indian couple who made curry everyday, and the smell drove me crazy. I hated it then, but now back to loving it.

Oh, am I gonna have green tomatoes. Thanks for the recipe.

Curry powder? Chicken salad and egg salad...makes it wonderous. A little Major Grey's Chutney in the chix salad makes everything taste like Mumbai.

Omg I love Penzey's! They have the best Rogan Josh blend ever! And speaking of which, I have entirely too many spice bottles clogging up the counter. My new roommates need your random generator to pick me!

Hi Lydia,
That spice rack is a great idea. too bad I live in Australia ;-)

As for curry, there is only one brand of curry powder that I use and it's from Malaysia called Baba's. http://www.babas.com.my/curry_powders/curry_powders.shtml

I swear by this brand because it's as close and authentic as blending your own at a "curry paste shop" at traditional Indian grocers (which is still commonly done in Singapore/Malaysia). Baba has different blends of spices depending on what meat/veg one uses. For e.g., if it's a fish curry, then the blend has a higher proportion of tumeric, etc.

Unfortunately, my supply is running low, so I'll have to make a trip back to Singapore soon :-)

I'd heard of fried green tomatoes but never curried, you find the most interesting recipes! Nice looking spice rack, I could argue that Oz is the 51st state...

I was just thinking I'd like to make some fried shallots and dust them with curry powder to use as a garnish on some pumpkin soup.

Well I always said I was going to make those slow roasted tomatoes of yours and now that it's the end of tomato season we've got way too many to eat - so I FINALLY get to do it! Yay! I came to find which herbs you use and temp of oven and saw this post first..

Of course I couldn't help myself but to comment! My spice drawer is so crammed and unorganized that it won't even shut anymore, so heck yes I'd be very grateful to be put in the running for a brand new spice organizer!

I can't say much about curry as I'm not very familiar.. But I know that the mild type is excellent on homemade coconut curry & corn flakes chicken strips! :)

xoxo

Everyone: thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and recipes for using curry powder. Deviled eggs, potatoes, chicken salad ... even curried cauliflower sounds delicious!

Paul, you started out where I hope to end up, mixing my own spice blends, tailored to my taste.

Natashya, epazote is often used in cooking black beans.

Patricia, I absolutely have to try those pizza dough curry crisp things, or whatever you call them. Wow!

Nora, I have no idea whether I can get this brand in the US, but I'm going to look for it.

A friend directed me to this site and it is really very interesting to this 86-year old woman, interesting enough for me to post a comment for the first time on a blog. I use curry powder for egg salad - when my daughter cooks in my home, she uses it for any number of delicious, improvised dishes and she does use it in her own home.

I've never had much luck with curry powders, so knowing about good mixes out there is always a helpful tip. I really like the sound of the tomatoes--I've never done any kind of green tomato before (imagine that), let alone curried!

Also, that spice rack looks like a very convenient thing to have around. lol, like I've said about your other people's pantries event, my spice rack, er...spice area, is just as embarrassing and not something to be shared in photo form ;-)

Gosh, what a handy little spice rack. I feel so insignificant, all I have is one half used jar of curry, but hey, I'm a gardener not a cook and I have a very imperfect pantry. I'll just look at your pantry and pretend it's mine.

Thanks for the opportunity. I'd love to be considered for the drawing. This would be very helpful in getting the spices organized in my cupboard. Sounds like I'd need a second one to get all of them organized though! THANKS.

I could always use more spice storage!

So funny! I was just looking at our spice cabinet yesterday and thinking what a mess and wishing for some way to be more organized! And now here you are with your giveaway. I'm crossing my fingers! And my toes!

I can't say that spice rack wouldn't be handy in my apartment - I can't tell you how many times I've knocked one of my jars off the shelf and flinched when it hit the tile (thank goodness for thick walled glass).

I DO have Madras curry in my pantry, but it's in a blue, woven box. I don't even know the manufacturer - all I know is that both boxes were bequeathed to me from an old roommate, and it goes good with carrot soup.

I love curry, but must say I've yet to use curry powder in any recipes personally. I love the south Asian spices; I regularly use Garam Masala, cumin seeds, corriander, tumeric and the like with various dishes, like aloo gobi or samosas, etc. My spice rack is pretty sad -- whether I win or not I definitely need to make a few purchases!

I love spices, and curry definitely has to be at the top of my list. My favorite is curried chicken salad.

I am just beginning to explore the world of curry powder. I appreciate all of your spicey informatin and advice.

Thank you, Lydia.

K

I love curry and any spices. Collecting spices is a hobby of mine, and my collection has taken over an entire cupboard, a drawer, and a huge shelf in my pantry. This would definately be of great use!

Everyone: thanks so much for your comments and for sharing your favorites ways to use curry powder.

Louise, I'm so excited to welcome you to The Perfect Pantry. Thank you for leaving your very first blog comment here!

Mike, I'd definitely recommend the Penzeys sweet curry as a good starting point for your exploration of curry powders.

Chigiy, I'll look at your garden and pretend it's mine.

Dan, sounds like you are way ahead of me in mixing your own curry spices.

I don't use curry powder a lot, only for my favourite pumpkin curry (made with coconut milk and a little dash of rum, just delicious!)The curry powder I currently use(the brand is called Migros) is from my last trip to Switzerland, pretty unusual, I guess...

Curried green tomatos sounds very taste.

I swear I did not come to your blog before I posted my dish today! Coincidentally, my secret ingredient was curry powder ! Hmmph...need to find the Madras one somehow and try it. The one I'm using now is a Penang-Malaysia concoction I believe - at least that is what the packaging is telling me.

Nice giveaway! I use curry powder for oven fried chicken that I make. It gives it a nice kick!

What a great invention. My spices are in a rubber container and I have to sift through all of them every time I cook! Thanks for the tips on curry powder. I've started using it more since I read how healthy turmeric is.

Ooh, sounds good. But I wonder where I would find green tomatoes since I didn't grow any this year.....

Would love a Spice Stack too, what a space saver!

Gee...I love curries.I seconded Nora.Baba curry powder is the best,but we[ Malaysia] have the best of curry powder in the whole wide world.so many brands that I have lost count of them.yummy...my fav. is fish curry.

Could really use the spice rack, you don't even want to know how mine our stored now!

The tomatoes are waiting on the counter for this recipe. As an A to Z spice organizer I would love to have this for organizing my
stash of jars. Thank you for recipe and the chance to organize!

CURRY...the perfect spice! Just added some to my scrambled eggs this morning! I've been collecting & using curry for over 40 years now. I've experienced curry in India, the UK, & the Middle East. But, some of the best I've ever sampled were with Indians living in East Africa. Along the coast we had delightful fish curries that I've never tasted since. I live in Jackson Heights, NY, which is locally known as "Little India". Lucky me!

I love your blog!! My recipe file has grown by leaps and bounds since landing here. The contents of my spice cabinet have also multiplied.
btw, you are my go-to blog for finding something new to make for dinner!! Thanks.

I love a good spicy dal or any veggie curry dish, like potato curry.

An Indian friend of mine is teaching me to cook Indian food. Indian food the way Indians make it, not the way Westerners make it. So right now, I'm using my curry powder in some of those recipes. Others call for curry leaves. Good thing an Indian grocer is near me - otherwise, I might be SOL.

Everyone, thanks so much for your comments and suggestions of great ways to use curry powder.

Eva, that touch of rum sounds perfect!

Ron, you know that your neighborhood is one of my favorites. The grocery stores, and the Jackson Diner, always tempt me.

Barbara, thank you for your kind words and for having so much fun here in the Pantry!

Chirky, if I had an Indian market nearby, I'd be so happy.

Interesting, one never knows which of those tin spice cans is dependable and which is a collection wood shavings. Sun Brand Madras Curry powder can now be on my safe to buy list.

Cool spice rack too !

Oooh man do I need to reorg my spices.

I love Curry. there is nothing better than a great curry vegetable over simple white rice.

I can vouch for this recipe. I used heirloom zebra tomatoes which are a beautiful green and gold. It was, indeed, delicious!

I was on the hunt for a spice rack when I stumbled upon your site. i love it! BTW I just found out that Turmeric is great for reducing the risk of Alzheimer Disease.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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