2000s Recipes + Menus
Vadouvan (Indian Spice Blend)
- Active time:45 min
- Start to finish:3 hr
Learn the story behind this dish in our series The Recipe.
- 2 lb onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb shallots, halved
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Equipment:an electric coffee/spice grinder or a mortar and pestle
Preheat oven to 350ºF with rack in middle.
Pulse onions in 3 batches in a food processor until very coarsely chopped (there may be a few large pieces remaining), transferring to a bowl. Repeat with shallots, then garlic.
Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onions, shallots, and garlic (stir often) until golden and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.
Grind fenugreek seeds in grinder or with mortar and pestle. Add to onion mixture along with remaining ingredients, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper and stir until combined.
Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined large 4-sided sheet pan and spread as thinly and evenly as possible. Bake, stirring occasionally with a skewer to separate onions, until well browned and barely moist, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
- Vadouvan keeps in the refrigerator 1 month (cool before covering) or in the freezer 6 months.
- We’ve also got a web-exclusive recipe using the leftover vandouvan.