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Bengal Curry Powder? or Recipe

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello there,


many years ago when I was actually working in the Catering field I was introduced to a Bengal Curry powder, first in the UK and then by chance I found a 1kg sealed tin in Calgary, Alberta in an ethnic store which I used often and stored in the freezer but have long run ago out of sadly. I believe it was a product of Lalahs Spices who make the popular Madras blend too.  I wrote to Lalahs and have never received a response. I have been into a few Indian stores and have yet to get any help as to how to locate a recipe or the Bengal Curry powder so am turning to you as someone may know the answer please?


The Curry powder was much darker in colour than Madras and more Garam Marsala type smells I recall?


I am wondering if politics in the border areas have in some way required a new name for what I once knew as Bangal Curry Powder perhaps?


Any help or suggestion welcomed please:-)



Vancouver Isl, Canada

post #2 of 6

@Jumper I've been sniffing around on the internet since this subject interest me highly. This is what I found;


There seems to be two possibilities;


1. A Bengali fish curry powder which is a spice mix à la garam massala. A webshop in Holland sells the stuff and... mentions the ingredients, so, time for you to experiment!!! To make it more easy for you, they have a dutch and an English version of their webpages.

... This Bengali curry powder is composed of coriander, ginger, turmeric, pepper, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, fenugreek, garlic and mustard. Bengali curry is full of flavor, just a little spicy, slightly sweet and very suitable for making a fish curry. ...



2. Their is also "Panch phoron" which is a Bengali 5-spice mix. (It has nothing to do with the well known Chinese 5-spice powder). You can read about it on Wikipedia. And, there's the ingrediensts and recipe again. Here;

Bengali 5 spices (=Panch phoron)

All of the spices in panch phoron are seeds. Typically, panch phoron consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts.[2] Some cooks prefer to use a smaller proportion of fenugreek seeds, which have a mildly bitter taste.[3]



Note; As you know there are hundreds of spice mixes all made according to the mood of the maker and what's available. I would guess that the first is a one-of-many kind of Indian curry mixes. And, maybe the 5-spices panch phoron is more authentical?

Happy experimenting!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Many thanks for your considerable efforts in locating the Bengal Curry info for me Chris, Brilliant work:-)  After I posted the request I spoke to an East Indian man at the pool and today he came in with a recipe from a family member of his who still seemingly lives in Assam, India.


Anyway here is that recipe for those interested:-)


Bengal Curry Paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon paprika
1-3 dried red chillies
1 bay leaf
a healthy dollop of tomato paste (around 2 tablespoons)
2 garlic cloves
1 inch (2.5 cms) peeled root ginger


Pour some oil into a pan over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, remove from the heat and add the rest of the spices and the red chillies. Stir over a low heat until everything is gently roasted and smelling wonderful. Put everything together in a blender or pestle and mortar and turn into a smooth paste. Add a little water if necessary.


I just processed the recipe and it smells very similar to that I had in the powder form earlier so am very happy to share this Curry Paste recipe with you all:-)


Cheers Jim.

post #4 of 6

Thanks for sharing that recipe too, Jim!

post #5 of 6

i live in India and can get the powder easily in any store here.i don't understand how you did not find it in an Indian store in UK as it is pretty basic.but I'm really amazed that you would go through the effort of actually preparing the powder.bravo!! know what they say,smell can take you back in memory and i am sure you must have enjoyed the final product.however just an out of topic suggestion i will give is to use MUSTARD OIL while making Indian meat recipes especially mutton/ will see the amazing difference in taste.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello there Aks and many thanks for the feedback, sadly when it comes to supplies I am not in England I am in fact located on Vancouver Isl, B,C. Western Canada where we have very limited Indian shops to choose from.  The ones I have found I have asked at for help with none so far. Authenticity of taste means everything to me as I have been fortunate to travel much of the world and have a great sensory awareness and tastes from each food experience deep in my veins to pull from. When I can get mustard oil locally I do use it and you are definitely correct it makes so much difference :-)  My son just spent several weeks in NE India after traveling up the east coast from Sri Lanka where he stayed with a local Tea manufacturer who took him the auctions, showed him the Tea Gardens etc as part of my son's final education prerequisite to receive his Tea Sommelier designation etc. Jonathan was so well looked after throughout India in his stay your country and Sri Lanka I must take this opportunity to say, Namaste. 


My son came back with a renewed vision of the world and is now , right now! being interviewed for a great job using his Tea skills in a Coffee producing company in Vancouver where they hope he will earn the same designation in Coffee so he can teach Caffeine based information to the people who later study with him. He has also been a Coffee Roaster for 5 years with a Fair Trade company.


I wish you  luck and great adventures in cooking wherever your future takes you.


Cheers Jumper

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