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CURRY: paste v.s. powder
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
CURRY: paste v.s. powder on 03/18/2011 17:55:24 MDT Print View

I've used small packets of Indian curry paste with couscous & chicken but never curry powder. The paste won't keep long like the powder.

That being the case I just bought curry powder.

1. Is powder as good as the paste or is it marely a brand & taste prference thing?
2. Should I try adding anything to the powder like cumen to liven it up?
3. Is there any cook book reference with good curry recipes? (Or do you guys have any recipes using curry powder?)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: CURRY: paste v.s. powder on 03/18/2011 18:54:33 MDT Print View

What is in the curry paste you are using? Reason I ask is that many curry pastes that are base ingredients are shelf stable no matter what the English on the side tells you.

This is true with both Indian and Thai curry pastes.....

Now though if they contain milk or coconut milk that is different.

As for curry powder it comes down to taste and experiment at home :-) I use a couple different versions and also make my own from base spices.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
the difference on 03/20/2011 08:52:31 MDT Print View

The most distinct difference is that most curry pastes use fresh components such as fresh herbs whereas dried curry powder is just that, dried. If you compare a Madras curry powder to Madras curry paste you'll find that the flavor of the paste is more intense. Curry powder can quickly lose flavor and you'll notice that most Indians create and grind their powders almost daily. Toasting the spices before making the powder can develop the flavors. Curry paste is ready to use because it already contains ghee or other suitable oil. With powder you'll have to add that.

When looking at the differences between Thai curry powder and Thai curry paste the differences are somewhat similar. The paste is generally ready to use and contains fresh lemongrass, oils, and sometimes coconut milk.

What I use depends on what I am making. Sometimes I will bring the paste on the trail because it works out the same weight-wise if I have to carry extra fats for the powder.

In most cases, the flavor of the pastes are better for some recipes. It's a preference thing and highly individual. I'd recommend trying both (at home) and seeing which you like more.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 03/20/2011 08:54:28 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Thanks on 03/24/2011 21:35:23 MDT Print View

LAurie.

I had some curry paste that went rancid in 6 months while still sealed in its plastic packet. I'll still use based on your recommendations about its better taste it but refrigerate it until ready to use.

Guess when I use powdered curry I'll add a bit more to get the correct taste.
This summer I'll be backpacking the southern half of the Colorado Trail at altitudes often reaching 12,000 ft. so every gram counts. Powdered curry for that trip and shorter, lower trips will be paste curry.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Thanks on 03/25/2011 10:45:58 MDT Print View

Six months is pretty long for curry paste. I usually pick it up close to when we are leaving. Often I make the dish at home and dry the whole thing, paste and all, and use it in the first week or so of the trip.

Wesley Witt
(weswitt)

Locale: Northwest
Re: CURRY: paste v.s. powder on 05/04/2011 09:45:07 MDT Print View

What I do is buy the little cat food sized cans of Thai curry paste from my local Uwajimaya and then dehydrate it. After dehydrating I process it in a food grinder and I have a very nice Thai curry powder.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: CURRY: paste v.s. powder on 05/04/2011 10:01:36 MDT Print View

I found a packet of "Indofood GULAI" at 99 Ranch Market. It is a powder(? haven't opened it yet), but the ingredient list looks good: Coconut milk, shallots, herbs, salt, garlic, vegetable oil, sugar, spices Flavor enhancer (yeast extract), antioxidant (tocopherol). You get pretty far down the list before you hit the chemicals.

I see that there's a 99 Ranch in Las Vegas. There is plenty of interesting stuff to try at a place like that.

Edited by JohnJ on 05/04/2011 10:03:01 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: CURRY: paste v.s. powder on 05/04/2011 12:48:08 MDT Print View

BTW, if I haven't mentioned it before: If you live in an area with no ethnic food sections go check out importfood.com - they carry a wide variety. Disclaimer is I worked for them for a couple years - but if you live in Ohio you could come to love them ;-)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: CURRY: paste v.s. powder on 05/04/2011 17:50:45 MDT Print View

"What I do is buy the little cat food sized cans of Thai curry paste from my local Uwajimaya and then dehydrate it. After dehydrating I process it in a food grinder and I have a very nice Thai curry powder."

Genius idea!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
RANCH 99 Las Vegas on 05/15/2011 13:53:31 MDT Print View

John,

I was showing my Filipina wife your link to Ranch 99 in Las Vegas. Her first comment was, "If you go there be very careful. That store was where I had my wallet stolen!"

So thanks for the link. That store is in 'Vegas' Chinatown. I'll try it (and hide my wallet).

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: RANCH 99 Las Vegas on 05/15/2011 17:32:56 MDT Print View

hahaha, I'll start watching my wallet in the local stores.