Before last season's Top Chef, I'd never heard of vadouvan,so when I saw a small sample packet at the The Spice House in Chicago last summer, I couldn't pass it up. Basically, it's a French version of a South Indian curry powder (which can be a blend of up to 30 spices), and just as curry powders vary from one cook to the next, so does vadouvan. Sometimes it's more of a paste, made with cooked onions, that needs to be stored in the refrigerator. The packet I bought, which is a dry spice mix, contains curry, curry leaves, white and toasted onion and garlic powders, brown mustard seeds, shallots and kosher salt. Some blends also include fenugreek and cardamom. Use it as you would a sweet curry powder; the flavor is milder and a bit more fruity, with just a hint of smoke.