Vadouvan

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Vadouvan

Technical guide

Ingredients Onion, garlic, curry leaves, *mustard seeds, coriander, fenugreek, spices.
Origin Original creation
Net weight 40 g
Storage / Use In a cool, dark, dry place.
Price incl. tax €8.80

A traditional blend from Puducherry, with a French twist.

Recommendations Use to season 'moules marinières' (mussels in white wine), oven-roasted fish, and sauteed potatoes. Vadouvan can also be used to add depth to sauce-based dishes like beef with carrots and sautéed chicken.

The words of Olivier Roellinger

Vadouvan is a mild, curry-style blend with onion and garlic as well as herbs that would otherwise be found in traditional French cuisine. Think of it as a blend of Indian spices—with a French twist. Vadouvan could be considered the ancestor to my own signature blends, which are formulated with spices from around the world according to my own French culinary sensibility.

For me, Vadouvan is the gateway spice that French cooks use to explore the extraordinary culture of the Indian sub-continent.

People often forget that Madras curry powder and Bombay curry powder were spice combinations developed for and by English families living in India under the British Empire. These differ from traditional Indian blends like masalas and garam masalas. In my opinion, Bombay and Madras curry powders have flavors that are tailored to English palates.

Story

Vadouvan hearkens back to the history of India and its five former French outposts: Puducherry, Chandannagar, Mahe, Yanam, and Karaikal.

The blend also tells the tale of how chefs incorporated ingredients from other cultures in traditional French cuisine. Cookbooks by Auguste Escoffier and Antonin Carême include recipes for “kari” or curry sauces. The ingredients list usually calls for the mildest curry powder available, to which finely chopped onions are added.

No one really knows where the term ‘vadouvan’ came from. It could be the name of a renowned site when the French outposts were flourishing that is now forgotten. Another possibility is that ‘vadouvan’ comes from ‘vadavam,’ a South Indian recipe for small balls made with spices and sun-dried onions that are used to season traditional recipes.