We made the famous red lentil soup this week, only with black lentils (it's isn't Shabbat Parshat Toldot, after all) and as a curry to serve over rice, rather than a soup. Here's what gets me: the recipe calls for cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and chili powder. Now, there are a number of ways to make curry powder, but I believe they all include cumin, turmeric, coriander, and some form of hot red pepper. Chili powder also contains cumin and hot red pepper. See where I'm going with this?
Every time I come across a recipe of this nature, I wonder, does this have something to do with the proportions of ingredients in the blends, or were the people who came up with the recipe just throwing together whatever spices they had in their pantries, without paying attention to their contents?
One of the many things that I like about the Moosewood Cookbook is that it never calls for spice blends. Speaking of Moosewood, a bit of advice: if you don't have it, get it. And if you do have it, try the Mushroom Curry. It's wicked good.
A bit of work to prepare, though.