Vadouvan, pronounced "Vad oo van", is sometimes spelled as Vaudouvan and is also known as vadavam, vadagam, or vadakam. This is the French's version of an Indian masala. It's believed to have originated in the Puducherry (formerly known as Pondicherry) region in southeastern India which was under French colonial influence on and off beginning in 1675 and lasting until 1962.
Recipes for Vadouvan spice blends vary, with the most common ingredients including onion, garlic, cumin, mustard and fenugreek.
Curry powders tend to be a love or hate spice blend for many people (similar to the "crave it' or "can't stand it" emotion that cilantro ignites). Most curry powders that take up residence in a typical spice cabinet tend to find their way to the back of the pantry only to be brought out when the cook (who most likely isn't a big fan of curry anyway) is in the mood for something different. Most mass produced curry powders are not only boring but tend to disguise a dish more than enhance it.
This is why a top quality curry powder will blow away your perceptions of a curry powder. Vadouvan is a French modified curry powder that's enjoyed an eruption of publicity the last couple of years from chefs at top end restaurants as well as several of the more popular cooking shows. The typical Indian Madras style curry powder is going to be based on turmeric, cumin, coriander and maybe curry leaves. Vadouvan is the French providing their sophisticated palate twist and building this masala curry blend around shallots, onions and garlic. The end result is almost impossible to exaggerate.
This trendy curry blend is currently en vogue in Australia, France and the U.S. It has a rich savory flavor that are more familiar to Western palates than many Indian spice mixtures. Vadouvan can be used as a replacement in any recipe calling for curry powder and most frequently with better results.
With nuanced complexities Vadouvan adds delightful flavor to chicken, compound butters, homemade chips, crostinis, dips, dressings, lamb, marinades, meat rubs, popcorn, salads, seafood, tangy yogurts, vinaigrettes as well as roasted and steamed vegetables.
Hand blended from toasted onion, shallots, roasted garlic, cumin, brown mustard, fenugreek, cardamom, turmeric, curry leaves, nutmeg, maras chile flakes and clove.
You'll pick up a smokey onion taste with nutty and sweet undertones. Our Vadouvan has an unexpected richness that isn't disturbed by chile heat and enhances the flavor of all the other ingredients in the dish.
This is a delicate blend and doesn't do well with high heat or long cooking times as that tends to cook away most of its great complexities. Because of this we recommend adding it toward the end of the cooking process so that you achieve optimum flavor.
To make into a paste, mix equal parts Vadouvan, olive oil and water. To make a thinner paste to use during a final basting for grilling, add a bit more of the liquids.
One of our favorite recipes using Vadouvan is Red Lentil Soup with Vadouvan
Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*