Learn how to make this French Caribbean fragrant curry powder blend called poudre de colombo to add to your poultry, soups and stews.
If you are a fan of making your very own spice blends from scratch then you are in for a real treat because this curry powder is fragrant and very very complimentary to any dish which it is seasoned with.
In short pourde de colombo also known as colombo powder is a curry blend which hails from the French Caribbean. It is used in Guadeloupe, Martinuque, St Marin, St Barts and other local regional French colonies.
The origins of this seasoning is believed to come from immigrant plantation workers who came from Sri Lanka with the capital city being colombo.
Colombo also lends it's name to the dish known as chicken colombo, a thick stew. You can also make a stew using any type of poultry including goat, lamb or pork.
This curry vs normal curry
What I adore about poudre de colombo is it's unique blend of flavours. Curry is widely used by most Caribbean Islands. Like Jamaica has its own Curry Powder
However, in the French Caribbean their curry has a different take to that of Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and so fourth. Uncooked rice is toasted and included for a nutty taste and serves as a thickener.
What spices are used
The most common spices are
- Cumin seeds
- Coriander seeds
- Mustard seeds (black but can use brown)
- Black pepper
- Fenugreek seeds
- Rice (although not a spice, but very important!)
Some people like to add a dried chilli for heat along with ginger and cinnamon for a warming note. The quantity and various add ins make the colour of the curry varied - anything from bright yellow to a brown hue.
Colombo curry powder very very easy to make and is ready in less than 10 minutes.
1, All you need is some whole spices.
Alternatively, you can use ground spices but whole spice is preferred because they are more potent and a coffee grinder. If you don't have a coffee grinder you can make this recipe using a mortar and pestle.
2, The first thing you need to do is heat a pan, frying pan or skillet works just fine. This helps the spices to toast much quicker. I used brown rice because it's more nutritional dense.
3, Start by toasting the rice, you will know it's done because you will be able to smell it and the colour will have changed.
4, Then you want to add the remaining spices excluding the ginger, cinnamon and turmeric because these are your ground spices and there is no need to expose them to any heat.
Again, all of the spices should be fragrant and ready so allow them to cool, you can leave them off the stove in the pan to rest for 5 minutes.
5, Once the spices have cooled down then place them in your spice grinder
6, Mill into a fine, powder like consistency.
Ground spice method
If using ground spices this recipe is a breeze all you need to do is measure out your quantity needed. Then toast the rice grains and either use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to mill everything together.
How to store colombo powder
Put the curry in a airtight glass jar, label with date and what it is and store in a cupboard or pantry for several months.
Recipes to try curry powder with
- Caribbean Potato Curry
- Jamaican Curry Gungo Peas
- Jamaican Curry Shrimp
- Creamy Coconut Curry Chicken
- Vegan Caribbean Plantain Curry
- Curried Jackfruit
Poudre de colombo (Colombo powder)
- ¼ cup of brown rice uncooked
- ½ teaspoon of cumin seed
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ tablespoon of mustard seeds brown or black
- 1 /2 tablespoon of black pepper
- ½ tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
- 1 whole clove
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- ½ teaspoon of ginger
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- On medium-high heat add a medium sized skillet to the stove.
- Proceed to toast the brown rice until it is fragrant and slightly golden in colour, rotate and move the pan back and forth so each rice grain is toasted evenly.
- Add all of the other whole spice excluding the turmeric, cinnamon and ginger. Again, toast the spices until the a strong in smell.
- Once toasted set aside and allow to cool for a few minutes
- Add the whole spices along with the turmeric, cinnamon and ginger to a spice grinder and mill into a fine consistency.
- Store in an airtight jar, label and use within several months.