Although dissolving the conversion for the kati and tael measurements in the recipe was a simple task, we realised that following the traditional method of making the curry powder is impracticable and time consuming in today's household. Instead, we have adopted some short cuts and the use of some of the the electrical kitchen gadgets for cooking traditional dishes and recipes at home. These save time spent in the laborious task of pounding wet ingredients in the pestle and mortar and grinding of the dry ingredients on the grinding stone. In this recipe, you can use the ground chili and turmeric powder from the store but the coriander, cumin and fennel are best freshly ground for their aromas. Many of the other spices like the cinnamon, cloves and cardamon pods are used whole and discarded after cooking.
Ingredients to be ground for the traditional homemade curry powder:
600g coriander seeds (ketumbar)
400g cumin seeds (jintan puteh)
200g fennel seeds (jintan manis)
100g peppercorn Ladah puteh)
60g cardamon pods (buah palaga)
30g cloves (bunga cengkeh)
300g dried chili
125g dried turmeric (kunyit kering)
90g cinnamon stick (kayu manis)
The above is a translation of the original recipe which was given in kati and tael and the names of the spices were written in Malay. We have adopted a short cut by purchasing ground chili and turmeric from the store. The cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamon pods are used whole as and when required. To make this homemade curry powder, you only have to ground the coriander, cumin, fennel and peppercorns. Mix the ground ingredient together except the chili powder which is added later according to taste. To make curry paste for an Indian-style curry, mix 2 tablespoons of the mixed powdered spices with 1 dessertspoon of chili powder into a paste with a little water. Add 5 cardamon pods, 5 cloves and 4cm piece of cinnamon.