Vadouvan Indian Spice Blend
Yield: Makes about 3 cups
Prep Time: 45 min
Total Time: 3 hrs
There are many versions of vadouvan, but we like the one that Grimes came up with, starting with a formula by chef Inaki Aizpitarte, of Le Chateaubriand, and roasting it for an exotic meatiness.
Make one big batch and keep it in the freezer for weeks–we’re sure you’ll be tossing it into all kinds of dishes.
2 pounds onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound shallots, halved
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
an electric coffee/spice grinder or a mortar and pestle
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Pulse onions in 3 batches in a food processor until very coarsely chopped (there may be a few large pieces remaining), transferring to a bowl. Repeat with shallots, then garlic.
Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onions, shallots, and garlic (stir often) until golden and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes
Grind fenugreek seeds in grinder or with mortar and pestle. Add to onion mixture along with remaining ingredients, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir until combined.
Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined large 4-sided sheet pan and spread as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake, stirring occasionally with a skewer to separate onions, until well browned and barely moist, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Vadouvan keeps in the refrigerator 1 month (cool before covering) or in the freezer 6 months.
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