Recipe: How to make Mauritian curry paste

Mixing curry spices in to a curry paste is a complex task which must be handled properly if it is to release the maximum of subtle flavours. The local Mauritian grandmothers, our “grandmas“, used to crush these spices on a rock with the help of a stone rolling pin. Along and painful practice, this ancient skill was passed down from mother to daughter.

Making a Mauritian curry paste

Making a Mauritian curry paste

Ingredients (serves 4)

The spice mixture for the curry paste:

  • 24g coriander seeds
  • 18g cumin seeds
  • 12g cardamom capsules
  • 6g black peppercorns
  • 9g fennel seeds
  • 9g mustard seeds
  • 3g cloves
  • 1g dried chilli without seeds
  • 12g green saffron (fresh turmeric), root soaked overnight in water (keep the water)
  • 150g onions
  • 30g garlic
  • 15g curry leaves
  • 30g fresh ginger

1. Peel and wash the herbs and roots, the onion and garlic.

2. Roast all the spices separately (except the green saffron and the dried chilli) in a non-stick pan over a low heat for less than a minute. (You need to be very attentive to the colouration and to the aroma that is released during the roasting.)

3. Put the ingredients into a blender with the minced onion, the garlic, the ginger and the chopped curry leaves, and the crushed green saffron. Mix it together with 250ml of the water used to soak the green saffron until you get a smooth even paste.

4. Take the mixture, cover it with a film of soybean oil and keep it in the fridge.

The curry sauce:

  • 150g onions
  • 60g ginger
  • 120g garlic
  • 300g tomatoes
  • 60g coriander leaves
  • 15g curry leaves
  • 50ml cooking oil

1. Wash and peel all ingredients.

2. Finely chop the onions and coriander separately, put them aside. then chop the garlic and ginger, again, putting them to the side.

3. Cut a tomato into small diced pieces, after removing the stem.

4. Brown the onions in oil, add the garlic paste and ginger. Cook it so it forms a compote.

5. Stir in the mixture of spices, cubed tomatoes and chopped herbs. Simmer for another ten minutes, stirring regularly with a spatula. You will get your base for any curry sauce that you may need for future dishes.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Oxidative white wine:

  • Côtes-du-Jura, Vin jaune, Domaine André et Mireille Tissot, 2004 France
  • Côtes-du-Jura, Tradition du Château d’Arlay, 2004 France

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