Angelo Sosa, a former Top Chef contestant, always uses white pepper in his curry blends because he says black is too strong. He recommends using whole spices (because you can’t be sure how long ground ones have been there for), toasting, and then grinding them to use in mixes. While this is his favorite curry blend, he encourages cooks to experiment with different mixtures to find out what works best to suit their tastes. — Yasmin Fahr
Lightly toast whole spices until essential oils are released, cool, and then blend fine, reserve.