homemade Trinidad-style curry powder
May 14, 2020 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I have some goat meat. I would like to make goat curry using a Trinidadian recipe, but the recipes I'm looking at call for a commercial curry powder. How can I approximate the right one? Do you have a homemade curry powder recipe you like for food from the Caribbean specifically? Alternatively, do you have a sense of which spices are most prevalent in curry from Trinidad?
posted by yarntheory to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can try making your own with this recipe, or purchase some such as this brand.
posted by blob at 8:27 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

This may cause many an eye roll, but: anything you can find in your supermarket spice section labeled “curry powder” will do. Any such products are waaaaay more alike than they are different, and this is coming from someone with 3 bags of Chief in the cupboard.
posted by STFUDonnie at 9:07 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

No eye rolls here: IME homestyle Caribbean cooking usually depends on pre-made curry powder both back home and among immigrant communities, there's no need at all to make your own mix. Just buy some Chief if you can find it, and if not, find a generically North American-looking package of curry powder. Trinidadian curry shares a lot of spice similarities with Indian curry (more here).

Trini and Guyanese curry is similar to, but a bit different than the curries associated with Jamaica and most of the other Caribbean islands, so you probably want to avoid brands of curry powder like Grace or anything labelled as Jamaican-style curry. Jamaican curry powder (and jerk seasoning as well) tastes distinctive because's heavy on the all allspice, but there's also other things going on with the spice mix there that differentiate it (more here). You will definitely end up with some tasty curry goat if you use a Jamaican-style curry powder, but it'll taste and look a bit different if you're accustomed to authentic Trini curry.
posted by blerghamot at 10:29 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

I lived in Guyana for a while and people said Guyanese and Trini curries were quite similar. Any mild or medium curry powder is fine. Hot peppers provide the heat, if you want it. They were always a little bit saltier than an average curry. Guyanese curries (at least where I was) also had some thyme in but that may not be authentic for Trinidad.
posted by dowcrag at 2:28 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

(Please note that I asked this question in the way that I did because I can't go to a store and buy curry powder right now!)
posted by yarntheory at 5:55 AM on May 15

Madhur Jaffrey's "Ultimate Curry Bible" includes several Trinidad recipes. She gives a recipe for Trinidad amchar masala, "often sprinkled in towards the end of the cooking period": 4 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 2 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp brown mustard seeds, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds; roast for 1-2 minutes in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, and grind finely. There's also a hot curry powder recipe that adds dried red chillies and turmeric to the above. And now I'm really hungry...
posted by offog at 7:04 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

My family is Indo-Guyanese. To the point that I was sent to college with cans of the family-used brand of curry powder (Bolst's) because otherwise I'd never get proper curry flavoring. I actually can't eat Indian curry because it tastes "wrong" to me. (No, random grocery store "curry" powder doesn't work, it flat-out tastes wrong for this style. I've tried. So many, many times.)

To answer your question, I went into the kitchen to pick up said can. Ingredients list: coriander, turmeric, chilies, mustard, ginger, cumin seeds, fenugreek.
posted by ultranos at 8:52 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]

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