Balti Spice Mix

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Joined May 28, 2015
Balti is a type of Kashmiri curry which originated in an area which is now Northern Pakistan. It became established in the UK in the '70's in Birmingham. Its generally speaking a quick cooked curry - but of course, you need the spice mix to hand. Its usually cooked in a flat bottomed wok like dish know as a karahi or balti dish, but you can use a non-stick frying pan. Here's my recipe. Don't worry if you can't obtain all the ingredients. There is no definitive Balti Spice Mix. You can add or subtract spices to taste.

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Balti Spice Mix.
Whole Spices:
4 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
One stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
1 Tbsp green cardamom seeds
1 Tbsp lovage seeds (Aijwan seeds)
1 Tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 Tbsp kalonji (black onion seeds)
6 cloves or 2 pieces of mace

Ground Spices:
4 tsp turmeric
4 tsp hot chilli powder (or to taste)

Method:
  • Put all the whole spices into a dry hot frying pan and cook over a high heat until the spices emit a distinctive odour and just begin to pop. Do not burn!
  • Grind the roast spices (I use a spice grinder but you can use a pestle and mortar)
  • Mix in the ground spices.
Keep in a jar for up to there months. This mix should be enough to make 4 curries for two people. To use the spice mix, add just enough water to make a thick paste. The paste is then fried in oil or ghee, usually with onions, garlic and ginger, before adding the main ingredients of the curry.
 
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