Although Thai cookery is widely known for curry pastes, some Thai recipes call for curry powder made from ground toasted spices. The curry powder favored by Thai cooks owes much of its flavor to fenugreek seeds. While you may never have used this spice, its flavor will seem uncannily familiar to most Americans. During some classes I taught at the Culinary Institute of America, I infused sugar syrup with fenugreek and asked my students to taste the concoction blindfolded. Most said they thought they were tasting maple syrup. That’s no surprise, since fenugreek is the main element of imitation maple syrup. It lends a deep sour flavor to Thai curry powder, which is balanced by the mystical essence of cumin.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.