Madras Curry with Shrimp

Hot Fun (And Curry) In The Summertime

Katherine Loffreto

Summer is nearly here, and we’re ready for it! Those bright warm sunny days that seems to never end – bring em on! While many may reserve our Madras curry powder for the warmer months, you would really be missing out on some fabulous opportunities to create memorable summer flavors with this wonderful spice blend. Let’s take a look at what makes the Madras Curry Powder so special, then we’ll dive right into some fun and delicious summer applications. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

As you may or may not know, Madras Curry is one of our absolute favorite spice blends we carry here at Lafayette Spices. It’s aromatic, intense, complex, and instantly transports us to the India. This intense blend of coriander, turmeric, fennel, salt, cumin, fenugreek, caraway, and chili is mesmerizing and delicious.

Curry Powder itself actually has a very interesting and even controversial history. Contrary to popular belief, curry powder is not a staple ingredient in the Indian kitchen. This exotic spice was first invented for the British in the 19th century and while not as hot as some Indian spice blends, Madras Curry is considerably hotter than most western-style curry blends. The confusion likely stems from a popular Indian dish known as “curry”, which is made up of a spiced sauce alongside vegetables or meat, but almost never contains curry powder itself.

The blend itself is an intense combination of 5 spices – each procured and treated with the utmost care before becoming part of the blend. The mixture contains coriander, turmeric, fennel, cumin, fenugreek, caraway, and chili. A little salt is added to really make it all pop and balance out the intensity of the heat. All of these spices are blended together with great care and skill – combining just the right ratio of each to create something truly magical. The curry is bold and potent, with just a small amount being able to carry an entire dish from start to finish. Because of its very strong flavor profile – it’s best used to season items prior to cooking, rather than used as a finishing element

But what to create that will really highlight this magnificent spice blend and the summer ingredients soon to be hitting the farmstands? Let’s take a look! First of all, just about any protein you plan to throw on the grill could easily benefit from a solid dash of Madras Curry. With the help of a little olive oil and some nice sea salt, rub it into your steaks, chops, chicken, shrimp – literally anything you’re going to throw on the grill! You won’t be able to grill again without it! It’s not just for meat too. That grilled corn, squash, and spring onions would be totally boring without a splash of Madras Curry. How about tomatoes? Summer is the prime time season. While you’re sprinkling your sea salt, don’t forget a pinch of Madras Curry. It’s going to liven up that lame tomato salad in an instant. Your dinner guests will be singing your praises!

Madras Curry is a simple and revered ingredient that’s going to turn some of your boring summertime dinners into real works of culinary art. Don’t take it for granted and enjoy it in good health. Bon appetite and happy summering!