Dry toasting and grinding spices is the key to getting the most flavour out of your ingredients and into your home cooked recipes. These simple techniques can make the difference between a very good meal and an absolute smash hit!
The only equipment you need is a pan, coffee grinder or mill and a sieve. I imagine most people have a sieve and pan and if you don't have a grinder/mill, and aim to make a lot of home made blends, they are quite inexpensive.
Step 1: Add your whole ingredients to a dry pan, and over a low to medium heat, dry toast them. After a few minutes when you can really smell the aromas, they're ready.
Note: Keep them moving by stirring with a wooden spoon or shaking the pan, this helps prevent burning and will evenly toast them.
If you do burn them, it's best to throw them away and start again.
Step 2: Let them cool for a few minutes, and then grind according to your recipe.
With some mixes it's advised to grind to a fine powder, whilst others call for a coarse powder.
To get a coarse mix, a pulsing action works best.
Step 3: After you've ground them you may need to give them a quick sieving.
Certain recipes generally need to be a bit coarse, so there's usually no point in sieving.
(Photo of ground peppercorns, fennel, coriander and fenugreek seeds).
Step 4: Once ground,
transfer to a bowl.
Step 5: Now add your
powders to your sieved,
or unsieved, mix and
The ground spices and
A homemade curry powder packed full of fab flavours and mouthwatering aromas that only took 10 minutes from start to finish.
Note: If not using immediately, store in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight and use within 3 months or so.
You can of course use a mortar and pestle. Ideal if making blends is something you only do occasionally and in small amounts.
Failing that, wrapping them in an old tea towel and bashing and crushing them with a rolling pin or other heavy object will suffice.
Note: To prevent some funny tasting coffee, I recommend having a dedicated grinder just for your blends!
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