Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is this the long lost recipe of Mum's homemade curry powder?

We found this handwritten page of an exercise book while looking through an old cookbook. On closer examination, we do not know whether it is a shopping list or a recipe because nothing else was written beside the weight measurements of the spices. We have no idea how it had found its way to the cookbook but for all we know, it could be the lost recipe of my mother's secret recipe for her famous homemade curry powder.
The weight measurements were written in katti and taels and the first thing for us to do, is to work out the conversion into metric. Although the metric weight measurement has been implemented since the 1960s in most South East Asian countries, the katti is still used in the markets in Malaysia and Thailand. This weight unit is said to be originated from Malaya during the colonial period and it is still commonly used among the older generation in the kampong as a weight measure. In Thailand, the katti is used now as a metric unit equal to exactly 600 grams.
In the next couple of days, I will attempt to retrieve this homemade curry powder from oblivion in our kitchen by following the weight measurement as closely as possible. And most of all, relying on the past memory of the traditional way my mother made curry powder before the store bought versions become a common product. I can vividly remember how she would laboriously removed all grits from each ingredient and washed before drying them thoroughly in the sun, using large flat bamboo trays for two to three days. She would then roast the spices in a wok over a slow charcoal stove in small quantities and in the process released the most wonderful aroma that would rise and float throughout the house. She would then take the roasted spices to the mill to be ground into fine powder. To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Would love to know the result. I'm in need of a good recipe for good old Singapore style curry. Been trying different mixtures/ratios from the internet but somehow it lacks that good'ol "dapur-kwali" (kitchen-wok) flavor lah :(