Vadouvan. Sounds like a piece of furniture, doesn’t it?!!
I first heard the word while watching Top Chef, and just had to look it up. Sometimes it’s difficult to look up unknown culinary terms or names because you don’t know if they’re being pronounced properly. But this one was easy, and I’d definitely never heard of it. I so love coming across new things!
Vadouvan is a combination of French influence on African curry – probably from during French rule. But wow! Doesn’t that sound like a perfect combination???!!!! It’s onions, shallots and garlic combined with a Berbere-style curry.
So I found a recipe and here is my version because I can never leave a recipe alone:
4 onions, I used 1 purple, all coarsely chopped
6 shallots, halved
Dozen cloves garlic
3 tablespoons plain oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon crushed dried curry leaves
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
Place the onions, shallots, and cloves in a jar of a food processor and pulse away until they are chopped.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the onion mixture to the oil and sauté the mixture for about 20 or 25 minutes.
The mixture will have reduced in volume and softened.
Meanwhile, get all your spices measured out. If you have whole spices, like cumin and mustard seeds, you can just use the approximate amount and grind them up. Also, I know that any whole spices could be roasted first for extra flavor in this recipe. When I make my own curry powder I pretty much toast every spice. Just don’t let them burn.
Have any of you used this? I can’t remember where I bought it, but I not only toast whole spices in it, but also sesame seeds, which tend to hop around when they’re hot. It’s very handy.
Add all of the spices and stir well. Oops, I forgot to crush the curry leaves first!
Pour the vadouvan onto a parchment-paper lined jelly-roll sheet and spread into uniform thickness as thin as you can get it.
Place the jelly-roll pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. It will brown, but make sure it does not burn. After that, turn off the oven and leave in the oven for about one hour.
Place the vadouvan in a sealable jar and refrigerate until use.
Verdict: I’m excited to use this mixture in all kinds of dishes. From the smell alone I know it’s going to be good. But I don’t understand why it’s dehydrated. Why can’t it just be left in the mush stage? Since I wasn’t familiar with vadouvan, I googled it to see what it’s supposed to look like, and it definitely looks like this. We’ll see…