seeds from 4 star
aniseed pods (or 1 teaspoon fennel seeds),
1 teaspoon black mustard
1 teaspoon smoked chilly
3 dry red chillies,
10 curry leaves,
3 tablespoons chopped
2 cm piece of ginger
finely chopped without skin,
2 medium garlic cloves
1 medium size onion
Please note that all spoonful measures are flush spoonfuls.
In a dry thick bottomed pan, under mild heat
slowly dry roast (stir continuously to prevent burning) the
following ingredients: coriander
seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, seeds from cardamom pods, fenugreek
seeds, black pepper seeds, seeds from star aniseed pods and
black mustard seeds. Roast until you can smell the fragrance of
these ingredients. Do not allow to burn. This will bring out the
aromatic oils from the spices. Allow to cool down.
To save time and effort, use a coffee grinder to grind to a
coarse consistency the dry roasted ingredients: coriander seeds,
cumin seeds, cloves, seeds from cardamom pods, fenugreek seeds,
black pepper seeds, seeds from star aniseed pods and black
mustard seeds. Also add the cinnamon stick to the dry roasted
ingredients. You can do this in batches.
Coarsely chop the coriander leaves, onion
and curry leaves. Coarsely crush the ginger and garlic. Chop the
dry red chillies into 1 cm lengths pieces. In a large bowl, add
these ingredients to the ground roasted seeds from the coffee
grinder, together with the turmeric and smoked chilli powder.
Mix well together using a spoon. Use gloves to avoid the
turmeric from colouring your fingers.
In small batches, use a roche cari or
alternatively use a large stone mortar and pestle to blend
together the mixed ingredients. If you are using a mortar and
pestle, use a circular motion to gradually bring together the
crushed ingredients. Use a spoon to push down the ingredients.
Add the rest to the crushed ingredients in the mortar in small
batches. Add small quantities of cold water to assist in the
blending process. When the curry paste starts forming, you can
use vertical pounding movements from the side down to further
crush the curry paste. You'll need to be patient. Slowly but
surely, the ingredients will come together and you will get the
famous roche cari paste (or at least its equivalent) as shown in
Continue crushing to your desired
consistency, using circular and vertical movements. You will
have enough curry paste for at least two curry dishes.
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