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This Indian restaurant spice mix is a blend of key Indian spices that can be used as the base of many Indian restaurant style curries. It’s one of the ways restaurants are able to crank out curries as fast as they do.

Indian homestyle cooking takes a lot of effort. Just look at the wonderful curry recipes all over the internet. They are complicated. There are many steps. They take a long time. They’re worth it but they’re work.

Indian restaurants can’t do it the same way. You would be waiting for hours to eat. Restaurant curries take 10 minutes to cook. There’s a few tricks to make that happen. Indian restaurant spice mix is one of those tricks.

They all do it. First they figure out what base flavour profile is right for the restaurant. Then they figure out what’s common. That’s the Indian restaurant spice mix.

They then use that spice mix as a starting point and layer flavours on top to create their masterpieces. Pretty clever.

That’s not the whole secret of course. Curry base is the real secret. That’s how they get around cooking onions forever for each curry. It’s all pre-cooked and ready to go.

So is the meat. That just gets warmed through in the sauce. Prep is key in all restaurants. Indian restaurants are no different.

If you are interested in learning about Indian restaurant style cooking this primer on Indian restaurant techniques is a great place to start. It goes through pretty much everything you need to know.

This simple Indian restaurant spice mix can be used to make almost any Indian restaurant curry.

This particular Indian restaurant spice mix takes seven of the usual suspects and knocks it down to one. That’s seven ingredients you no longer have to measure out. Probably saves two or three minutes per curry. That adds up.

This is the spice mix used in all the Indian restaurant curries on this blog.

 

Indian restaurant spice mix on wax paper with recipe

 

5 from 2 votes
This simple Indian restaurant spice mix can be used to make almost any Indian restaurant curry.
indian restaurant spice mix
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
This Indian restaurant spice mix is one of the key tricks restaurants use to make their curries.
Course: spice mix
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 1 cup
Author: glebe kitchen
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 4 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1-2 tsp kashmiri chili powder - I like a little extra zing
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp butcher's grind black pepper - optional but nice if you cook mostly South Indian
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix.
  2. Store in a cool place along with all your other spices.
Recipe Notes

Mild curry powder can be any commercially available curry powder. I personally like Boltz for this recipe but there are many out there.

Chili powder is Indian chili powder. It comes in different heat levels, from mellow to blistering hot. You want mild for this recipe. Look for kashmiri mild chili powder at any Indian grocery store. The flavour is quite distinctive. In a pinch, you can use something like New Mexican Red chili powder.

18 thoughts on “indian restaurant spice mix

  1. Yessss! Indian food is a joy I did not experience until I was an adult and now I’m obsessed! I would eat it every night if I could. I am definitely emptying out the spice cabinet to make room for this gem!

  2. I LOVE this! I am not the best at Indian cooking but I really love curry, this will definitely help me create an awesome starting point. Thank you so much for sharing, pinning for later!

  3. yay yay yay!! So excited to try this out with your curry base! Finally I can make my own awesome indian food at home!! and I LOVE how you wrote the ingredients down in the photograph! Such a personal and nice touch!

    • Haha. I don’t know that the raw spice flavour would work that well on popcorn but that would be a fun experiment for sure.

  4. I love cooking Indian food, and it makes my whole house smell wonderful. But it is always so many ingredients, so I like the idea of having this around ahead of time! I’m thinking it would be good in a yogurt marinade for grilled chicken, too. I’m sure it will be a new staple in my house!

    • My pleasure. I’m working on a restaurant curry technique post that should be out soon. Once I have that up I’ll start posting restaurant style curry recipes.

  5. Hi
    I am so excited n happy to have found your web page.

    Your recipes are so easy n flavoursome
    Will try the spice mix
    Thanks for sharing your ideas

  6. This is funny! I have never seen curry powder being added to n authentic curry spice mix! As a matter of fact native experienced Indian restaurant cooks view it as sacrilegious.

    • It’s a simple way to get the trace spices into the mix without having to purchase/store/measure them out. Home cooks don’t cook in the same volume as restaurant cooks so it’s hard to get the minute quantities measured out. Indian stores are full of masala mixtures or pre-mixed spices. Some of them are simply labeled curry powder. Madras curry powder is an example of that. And Indian restaurant kitchens rely on all kinds of shortcuts so I find it hard to believe a bit of curry powder is sacrilege…

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