Thursday, July 21, 2011

Died-and-Gone-to-Heaven Curry

The sweet, rich, rising aroma and complex weave of warmth and depth, like a smell-taste tapestry, could lead a person to part ways with the world happy.   

You might be wondering about the connection between the Texas Hill Country and curry.  You're thinking curry originated on the other side of the world.  You're right.  

But in the way of human migration, food traditions travel and adapt.  And since Texas is as much a state of mind as a place of being, any version of spice is eligible to be Texan.  And I'm claiming this curry spice mix, even though the point of origin for the blend was Jamaica. 

I started on this curry trail the first time a local goat farmer brought his free-range meat to the Farmer's Market. I love the Farmer's Market and the people who put their hearts and souls into raising food on this hard-scrabble land. 

So then and there I bought a package of goat stew-meat and put it in the freezer. Freezer instead of  stove because I hadn't a clue about cooking goat.

For the next three months, every time I opened the freezer door I saw goat.  Along the way I learned that the meat was probably tough and would need long, slow, moist cooking.  Preferably with spices to scent the house and whet the appetite.  Voila, Jamaican Curried Goat.  Except that I didn't have any Jamaican Curry Powder, which every recipe assured me was essential to the dish.

Eventually I found a recipe for Jamaican Curry Powder and the surprise was that it had NO heat.  Monty, who posted it, says that hot pepper should be added separately to any dish.  So this mix can be used by folks who have to avoid a burn.

I made the goat curry, it was spectacular, and yes it bubbled for 5 hours before those free-range sinews were tender, but the wait was worth it.  

A couple of weeks later I used leftover curry powder in  a chicken curry.  Half an hour cooking time, but thank-you-lord good on the tongue.

So if you want a Caribbean Texas gone-to-heaven experience in your kitchen, here's the curry powder to carry you.

The recipe title is a link to the original recipe, which yields 3/4 cup.  I cut it in half (the proportions listed here), which made enough for 3 dishes feeding 4-6 people each.  Ground spices don't improve with age and the powder is easy to make so maybe less is more.

Prep Time 10 Min, Cook Time 10 Min, Ready In 20 Min
Yield 3/8 cup
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole anise seeds (I used fennel seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons whole fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric


**Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, anise (or fennel) seeds, fenugreek seeds, and allspice berries in a skillet. Toast over medium heat until the color of the spices slightly darkens, and the spices are very fragrant, about 10 minutes. 
**Remove the spices from the skillet, and allow to cool to room temperature. 
**Grind the spices with the turmeric in a spice grinder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Here's the goat curry, from a recipe at Jamaica Travel &, including step by step pictures and a video.  I added a cut-up cauliflower late in the cooking but did NOT use TWO scotch bonnet peppers, which would have been a searing experience.

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. I love curry. This looks fantastic. I'm forwarding it to my grown young-uns.

  2. Alas, curry is not something I'm fond of, though I've made numerous attempts. I'm not sure why I can't get into it, but maybe I need to try again.


  3. Mmmm...I LOVE curry! This looks great.
    When I lived IN NC, a little Jamaican place opened up and I was able to get goat curry and another kind of a stew. I loved was a little hole in the wall...and don't you know that's where you find the best food!

    I've been trying all kinds of new foods this year, including some of the masalas from India, with all those magnificent aromatic spices like cardamom and stuff.

  4. It looks wonderful, Kathleen!

    Much love to you. I hope all is well.


  5. www.lambscrib.blogspot.comJuly 22, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    This does sound Heavenly...I have acquired a taste for curry. I will use pork for this dish. Also, in a pinch I have purchased curry sauce at Costco that is excellent...for store bought!
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Wow, i love your enticing title! However, when i read on, please forgive me because i don't eat goat, but we have goats in the farm, and they are sold to people who like you eat them. I love the goats, i mean their kids, but their meat, yaicks!I prefer to stay in the world yet. LOL.Happy Sunday.

  7. I've been hankering to learn more about curry, but haven't been confident in where to stick a toe in. This is perfect. I'll print the curry mix recipe.

  8. What are you using to grind the fenugreek. I fold them in kitchen paper then a teatowel and hit them with a hammer before putting them in the morter. Even then they are like chips of granite. I'm certain that the Indians have another method to deal with them. There must be another way beyond tween two millstones or a unit that sucks 60% of power from an atomic station. And heating then just annoys them.

  9. I can almost smell it! Will try this mix.

  10. I adore curry and this sounds tantalizing!

  11. I can hear my husband's heartburn complaints now... Me? Love rich spices. Him? Not so much.


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