Roche Cari Curry Paste
Ingredients (for 2 dishes)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds,
2 tablespoons cumin seeds,
2 tablespoons ground turmeric,
3 cm cinnamon stick,
1 teaspoon cloves,
seeds from 5 black (or green) cardamom pods,
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds,
1 teaspoon black pepper seeds,
seeds from 4 star aniseed pods (or 1 teaspoon fennel seeds),
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds,
1 teaspoon smoked chilly powder,
3 dry red chillies,
10 curry leaves,
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves,
2 cm piece of ginger finely chopped without skin,
2 medium garlic cloves crushed,
1 medium size onion finely chopped.
Please note that all spoonful measures are flush spoonfuls.
In a dry thick bottomed pan, under mild heat slowly dry roast (stir continuously to prevent burning) the following ingredients: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, seeds from cardamom pods, fenugreek seeds, black pepper seeds, seeds from star aniseed pods and black mustard seeds. Roast until you can smell the fragrance of these ingredients. Do not allow to burn. This will bring out the aromatic oils from the spices. Allow to cool down.
Shortcut: To save time and effort, use a coffee grinder to grind to a coarse consistency the dry roasted ingredients: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, seeds from cardamom pods, fenugreek seeds, black pepper seeds, seeds from star aniseed pods and black mustard seeds. Also add the cinnamon stick to the dry roasted ingredients. You can do this in batches.
Coarsely chop the coriander leaves, onion and curry leaves. Coarsely crush the ginger and garlic. Chop the dry red chillies into 1 cm lengths pieces. In a large bowl, add these ingredients to the ground roasted seeds from the coffee grinder, together with the turmeric and smoked chilli powder. Mix well together using a spoon. Use gloves to avoid the turmeric from colouring your fingers.
In small batches, use a roche cari or alternatively use a large stone mortar and pestle to blend together the mixed ingredients. If you are using a mortar and pestle, use a circular motion to gradually bring together the crushed ingredients. Use a spoon to push down the ingredients. Add the rest to the crushed ingredients in the mortar in small batches. Add small quantities of cold water to assist in the blending process. When the curry paste starts forming, you can use vertical pounding movements from the side down to further crush the curry paste. You'll need to be patient. Slowly but surely, the ingredients will come together and you will get the famous roche cari paste (or at least its equivalent) as shown in the photo.
Continue crushing to your desired consistency, using circular and vertical movements. You will have enough curry paste for at least two curry dishes.
Madeleine's recipe : Roche cari curry paste
Discover more of Madeleine’s Mauritian cuisine and recipes by following this link