Chicken with Madras Curry

In life, there are flavors and scents that immediately transport you to another place and time

Katherine Loffreto

Aromas that take you back to a childhood kitchen, or a dinner out with friends, or maybe to a place you’ve never been before. Our Madras Curry does just that. It’s a hauntingly exotic blend of spices that may or may not be familiar to you, but you’ll become instantly entranced with. The Madras Curry is an intense amalgam of coriander, turmeric, fennel, salt, cumin, fenugreek, caraway, and chili.

The mixture is complex, mesmerizing, and delicious. Curries – as a stewed dish, have been made in India for centuries. But the potent spice blend that we’ve come to know as Curry Powder has a much younger origin. The mixture is a commercially prepared mixture of spices first marketed in the west in the 18th Century. The blends were exported to Britain, by Indian merchants. It was a mixture similar to garam masala. 

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.

Let’s take a closer look at some applications for this wonderful spice blend. It couldn’t be easier to use, and instantly applies layers of complex flavor. We used the Madras Curry to make a simple but so so delicious curried chicken preparation. Chunks of tender chicken breast were seasoned with sea salt and Madras Curry, then sautéed. A coconut curry sauce was added and the whole mix was used to top some fragrant basmati rice. The entire concoction was topped with some crushed toasted cashew and scallion. It all came together in about 15 minutes and was filling, beautiful, and exotic tasting!

We also used the Madras Curry for a heartier beef preparation. Cubes of meaty beef ribeye were dusted with the curry powder and seared in a hot pan. A pre-made curry sauce was added (Don’t knock em! They’re quick, easy, and delicious!). The beef was simmered for just a couple minutes to achieve a perfect medium temperature then spooned over toasted jasmine rice. To accompany our beef curry, dollops of cool raita, spicy red chile, and herbs like mint and cilantro were added. This dish is a real winner. Hot and cold, spicy and savory, rich and pops of cool herby flavors. The Madras Curry adds a depth of flavor that could never be reached with an ordinary curry powder. You have to try it to believe it!

While the history of curry powder may be long and complicated, one thing isn’t – its uses in the kitchen! Grab some of our Madras Curry Powder today and begin exploring the flavor possibilities. You’ll soon find that it’s one of the easiest spice blends to introduce to all of your favorite recipes. Get cooking!