To make sambar podi - Combine 3 tablespoons ground coriander; 3 tablespoons besan (chickpea) flour; 1 tablespoon ground cumin; 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper; 1 teaspoon each salt, ground fenugreek seeds, amchur powder, dry mustard, and hot red chile powder; 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and turmeric; 8 crumbled dried curry leaves; and 1/4 teaspoon asafetida. Makes about 2/3 cup.
To make a basic curry powder - Combine 5 tablespoons ground coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon ground chile peppers. Makes about 3/4 cup.
To make poudre de Colombo - Toast 1/4 cup white rice in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking frequently, until light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and cool. In the same skillet, toast 1/4 cup cumin seeds; 1/4 cup coriander seeds; 1 tablespoon each black mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and fenugreek seeds; and 1 teaspoon whole cloves until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Cool the spices, combine with the rice, and grind to a fine powder. Stir in 2 teaspoons turmeric. Makes about 1 cup.