I dislike commercial curry-powders, on the whole, but for some reason I am intrigued by the idea of spice-mixes in general. Don’t ask me to explain that little quirk, because I cant!
Some time ago, over a number of posts, (see the list following the story) we enjoyed the spice blends in eccentric William Kitchiner’s Magazine of Taste (here.) I remembered some more recently, in another of my favourite sources, Domestic economy, and cookery, for rich and poor, by a lady (1827.) They would make a find addition to your pantry, methinks.
First of all the author makes some general comments:
For very nice seasoning, it would be advisable to use the spices whole or sliced; they can be afterwards dried for common purposes. When they are ground, they should be passed three times through the mill, tightening it every time, and kept in well-stopped labelled bottles. Grate nutmeg, beginning at the top, for, if begun at the stalk end, the fibres will separate, which wastes, and rubs off in lumps. When the different peppers are mixed, they ought to be passed through the mill once or twice together.
To use truffles and morels in powder is great economy. Let them be cut in chips, and dried in the sun, pounded and ground. The French use them in dried chips. Mushroom powder is better made in the same way than any other, and may be mixed with any spices.
These powders are ready to mix into farces, and to powder panures, and other dressed meats. There should always be fine-pierced dredging-boxes kept on purpose, with double heads.
Peppers for Soups and Ragouts.
Allspice, nutmegs, cloves, long pepper, in equal parts, with a double quantity of common pepper; sweet herbs to be used with it. Lemon, thyme, winter savory, sweet basil, parsley, coriander, or celery ground together, in equal parts.
Lemon Zest, Mace, White Pepper
For Pease Soup
Mint, Celery, and Black Pepper
For Pig, Pork, Geese, Ducks, and Water Fowl.
Sage, Lemon or Orange Zest, Black Pepper, and Cayenne
Coriander, 2 oz; Cloves, 2 oz; Anise, 1 oz; Fennel 1 oz; Cinnamon 1 oz; Winter Savory 1 oz.
Mace, 2 oz; Nutmegs, 1 oz; Cloves, 1 oz; Ginger, 1 oz; Allspice, 1 oz; Lemon Thyme, 1 oz;
Red,- Sanders Wood, Cochineal, Beet Root.
Yellow, - Saffron, Turmeric
Green, - Spinach and Parsley Juice
Parsley greening is used for first-course dishes, and spinach greening for second-course dishes.
LINKS to the Magazine of Taste stories