We heard it’s National Curry Week in the UK and we just couldn’t resist sharing some of our favorite warm, comforting curry dishes. Whether it’s Thai red or green curry, Sri Lankan coconut curry, or Japanese curry, we’re always happy to spice up our 8fit recipes with curry powder.
Curry has many health benefits, so we’ll dive into those first. Continue reading as further down we’ve got a homemade curry powder recipe and three curry-forward 8fit recipes for you to try this week!
Health benefits of curry
You’d be forgiven for thinking curry powder is a single spice — but rather, it’s a blend of spices with a plethora of health benefits. We’ll reveal those magic ingredients in just a minute, but beforehand, let’s discuss the health benefits of the chief curry powder ingredients.
First up is turmeric. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry powder its yellow color and praised around the world for its medicinal qualities. The curcumin found in turmeric has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin also protects against heart disease and may prevent certain cancers.
Another primary ingredient of curry powder is ground-up coriander or cilantro seeds. Coriander seeds have blood sugar lowering effects and may help those with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels better. Coriander also acts as a digestive aid and is proven to aid those with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) lower the severity and frequency of their symptoms. It’s also shown to promote bone health and reduce cholesterol levels.
The other key component that makes up a large percentage of any curry powder recipe is cumin. Cumin, like coriander, promotes digestion and may help with diabetes. Cumin is also a rich source of plant-based iron, a nutrient many vegans and vegetarians tend to lack.
Other health benefits of curry powder include:
Antibacterial: The coriander contributes to curry’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, supporting your body in the fight against infections and prevents diseases such as E. coli.
Detoxifies the liver: Curcumin in turmeric helps prevent tumor growth and inflammation in the liver while also detoxifying it.
Boosts metabolism: Metabolism is always a hot topic for our 8fitters! Curry powder can increase your metabolic rate and transfer the nutrients in your curry-flavored meal from your digestive system to other parts of the body.
Anti-aging: A few of the spices (turmeric, cloves, ginger) in curry powder have antioxidant properties that contribute to slowing down the aging process by fighting off free radicals, resulting in the reduction of wrinkles.
Homemade curry powder recipe
Aside from the main curry powder ingredients of coriander, cumin, and turmeric, other essential spices include mustard seeds, ginger, cardamom, and pepper. Of course, you can customize your spice blend based on what’s in your pantry, but to reap the full health benefits of curry try to include those fundamental spice components.
We also recommend buying spices whole and grinding them yourself for freshness and a fuller flavor profile. If you don’t have a spice grinder or access to high-quality (preferably organic) whole spices, go for the powders. In the recipe below, we use whole spices, but you can swap them for the powders with a 1:1 ratio.
Curry powder recipe
- 3 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 Tbsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp cardamom seeds
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 5-8 whole cloves (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- If you’re using whole spices, grab your spice grinder and add the whole seeds in small batches at a time. Transfer them to an airtight jar.
- Add the remaining pre-ground spices to your jar and shake well to combine.
Healthy recipes for National Curry Week
Now it’s time to put that spice blend to work! To inspire your menu this week and pack in some health benefits of curry while you’re at it, we’ve got some delicious 8fit recipes for you to curry up.
Pumpkin soup with ginger-basil garnish
Pumpkin, corn, coconut milk, and white beans come together to create a warm bowl full of comforting flavors. We especially enjoy this soup in the fall months when pumpkin is in season.
Coconut curry vegetables
This dish isn’t short on flavor or nutrition. Give your body a healthy dose of vitamin C and K from the cauliflower, fiber and manganese from the peas, and protein from the chickpeas. Let the coconut transport you to fragrant, tropical lands.
Read more about the best sources of protein for vegans.
Tofu & pineapple
In the app, this dish comes on a skewer, but we suggest you save yourself some time and whip it up on the stovetop using a skillet. Cook until the onions start to become translucent and the tofu begins to brown and crisp on the outside. begins to brown and crisp on the outside.