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Must know basics of curry powder

Curry powder – that yellow spice mix that is always available at your kitchen rack. Some of you might still be confused about how to use it even though it’s an inevitable part of Indian cuisine. However, do you know that curry powder is neither a native of India nor a part of any Southeast Asian kitchen? So, how come it found its place in India, and where was its origin? You will find out soon after having scrolled down below.

curry powder

curry powder

Origin of curry powder

You will be surprised to know that curry powder is a British invention. Strange, isn’t it? The best part here is that it resembles Garam Masala, the most popular spice mix in India. Despite having an Indian identity, this amazing delight was invented by the English colonialists of the 18th-century during the early Indian spice trade. The British were, obviously, unknown about the complexities associated with the spice preparation procedure in India. Moreover, they were living among the locals who were always busy grounding fresh spices for every meal every day. That is how they associated with the word ‘curry’ – a unique blend of spices used to flavor the broth-based dishes and traditional meat of the country.

So, one thing is clear for sure – curry powder is British, not Indian. However, the best part here is that it can be used to make several authentic Indian dishes. For the unversed, even Garam Masala can be used as a base curry powder in some dishes!


2 tbsp ground cumin

2 tbsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tbsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp clove

2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cayenne powder


  • Mix the ingredients together. That’s it!

What goes into it?

You will be surprised to know that there is no standard recipe for curry powder. Not only the selection of spices but even the ratios vary from brand to brand and recipe to recipe. However, certain spices are not included in curry powder. We can take the examples of fenugreek, fennel, bay leaf, garlic, red chili, and black pepper here. The main goal of creating a curry powder recipe is to ensure a good balance of flavors that goes into any dish.

Difference between curry powder and Madras curry powder

Both curry powder and Madras curry powder have the same ingredients. However, both differ in context to the level of heat. Normal curry powder is a bit milder. However, Madras curry powder, on the other hand, is hot. Now, the question that arises is – where does the heat come from? So, the answer is – it comes by adding the red chilies and yellow mustard seeds to the same. Anyone can adapt to this recipe by using these two ingredients to make Madras curry powder.

How long does it last?

The natural oils present in whole spices perish quickly once they are grounded. That is why it is recommended to make seasonal blends in smaller batches so that one can use them quickly. This blend will stay as it is for several months. However, the flavor potency is bound to weaken with time.


Although it is not meant for traditional Indian dishes, curry powder has a place in the spice drawer of Indian cuisine. It can add a unique taste and flavor to a variety of recipes. You can use curry powder to season roasted vegetables, hummus, pureed soups, popcorn, and egg salad. It gives a touch of depth and warmth to the original recipe.

Cooking instructions 

You can add this amazing spice blend to yogurt, broth, or coconut milk instead of adding it directly to the dishes. That helps the flavors of the curry powder infuse themselves properly with the other ingredients. Moreover, curry powder is also meant for slower-cooked dishes. That gives it sufficient time to release flavors.


You should always keep curry powder in a cool and dark place at room temperature. In case you have purchased it in bulk, transfer it to an airtight container. It can last in the same for 3-4 years. You can always smell and taste the powder to test if the same is fresh.

Where can you buy it?

If you are looking for the best quality curry powder, Spice Basket is the perfect platform for you. Get your share of this blend of spice right here.

Also Read: Dry fruits and nuts – Same or Different?

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