Colombo is the local curry powder of the West Indies, a spice mix whose exact composition depends on the maker. With roots that go back to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, colombo powder always contains four spices: coriander, chiles, garlic and turmeric. Depending on taste and local tradition, it may also include cinnamon, saffron, mustard seeds, pepper, cardamom, star anise, ginger, tamarind or cloves. A common flavouring for vegetables, meats and fish, colombo also lends its name and spice to the West Indies’ most typical dish, a stew of goat, pork or chicken. In Canada, colombo powder is sold in gourmet boutiques, spice shops and grocery stores that cater to a Caribbean clientele.
The other day I ran across a reference to a spice called colombo. What is it?