The colonisation era brought to Britain a palette full of flavour. One such food that dominated the English tastebuds was the Indian curry. Once the British left India, they wanted to take with them a spice which could mimic the flavour of the Indian curry. Thus, curry powder was born.
Curry powder is made by combining turmeric powder, crushed coriander seeds, powdered dried yellow mustard seeds, ground ginger, ground white pepper, crushed cumin seeds and ground cardamom seeds. For a stronger flavour, spices like fenugreek, bay leaves, fennel seeds and cinnamon may also be added to the mix. Depending on which spices are added in higher quantities, the curry powder can either be spicy or sweet.
This powder is added to Indian dishes during cooking. Since it is an all-purpose cooking ingredient, it can be added not just in curries, but also in soups, stocks, stews and marinades. It can even be added to dough, to make curry bread, which is another British creation.
When cooking, the curry powder is added once the whole spices and sauces or vegetables are added. Water may be added to temper the curry powder or to make a gravy dish. After this, the rest of the vegetables or meat are added.