Thursday, 1 October 2015

History Bakers: Georgian Curry Powder

This recipe comes from the collection of cookery, medicinal, veterinary and other household recipes from the countess of Stradbroke c.1820 and is found at U DDHO/19/5.

Original 1820s recipe for curry powder

The recipe for the curry powder is quite simple but shows some of the spices that were available to well-to-do households in England as far back as the Georgian period.

The spices were ground together in a mortar and pestle and then dried in a warm oven for about 20 minutes.

The spices and herbs used including the curry powder in the ramekin with the ground spices.

Having made the curry powder I decided to use it to flavour some vegetable samosas. There are plenty of recipes available on the internet for samosas. I picked one that took my fancy and omitted certain spices from the list of ingredients and replaced them with the history bakers curry powder.

The ingredients for the filling

I boiled three small potatoes and a cup of frozen peas to make the vegetable filling. I fried the onion in a tablespoon of oil adding the whole spices, the ground spices and the grated ginger chilli and garlic. I then added the potatoes which I had broken up with a fork, the peas and herbs and continued to fry the filling for about ten minutes.

I made the pastry with chapatti flour which was better in taste and appearance than ones I had made with plain flour. After resting in the fridge for half an hour (the pastry not me) it was rolled out into approximately six inch circles. These were then cut in half and made into cone shape and filled with the samosa mixture which were deep fried in oil for about five minutes until brown.

The finished samosas

Here's what History Centre colleague’s thought:

Mrs West - Very Subtle Flavour- Very tasty
Paul - Perhaps lacked a bit of punch, could have done with a bit more spice
Christine - Enjoyed them very tasty
Michele - Delicious, even though there mild I really like them
Claire - Very nice but need more spice, good pastry
Verity - Just the right amount of spice
Carol - I thought they were just right. Lovely taste
Neil - Very nice I like spice but they were about right
Laura - Nice and spicy! Tasty filling with lovely crisp pastry

Pete Dixie, Reader Assistant

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