Never buy curry powder again. Homemade curry powder is easy, cheap and guaranteed fresh every time. And you can customize it if you want to. More chili? Sure. A bit of cardamom? Why not. Hint of cinnamon? It’s up to you.
My favourite is Bolst’s mild curry powder. I like it. Balanced flavours. Just tasty all around curry powder. They’ve been around since the 1930s so they must have a following.
With one problem. I can’t buy it anymore. Nobody has it in town. Looked it up on-line. With shipping – $25. Twenty-five bucks. For about two bucks of spice. Can’t see doing that. Not even for Bolst’s.
Anyone can make homemade curry powder
So I reverse engineered it. Had the list of ingredients and a clue. Chilies are 6% of the mix. Ingredients are presented in order – highest to lowest. Wasn’t that hard. Tinkered with it a bit and came up with this.
Indians will tell you they don’t use curry powder. I’ve never understood that. They say they use masalas. Go to any Indian grocery and you will see boxes and boxes of masalas.
Masalas are mixes of spices all ready to go. Curry powder is a mix of spices all ready to go. Confusing.
I think the real difference is more philosophic. Curry powder is one size fits all. Masalas are custom to the dish. Tandoori masala. Chaat masala. Chana masala. It does make sense.
So many uses
When I’m cooking Indian I don’t tend to use this curry powder much either. Certainly it’s never front and centre. That would make everything taste the same. But it is useful to have around. Lot’s of non-traditional Indian uses for it.
Homemade curry powder is great in soups like curried carrot. Or in Moroccan chicken with chickpeas. Or when you want to whip up a quick chicken curry.
Just a great all around spice mix to add to your arsenal. Don’t waste money on pre-fab curry powder. Homemade curry powder. It’s easy. It’s cheap. And it’s delicious.
The recipe on the jar isn’t photoshop BTW. My wife got a Cricut crafting gizmo for Christmas. That’s my actual curry powder jar. I won’t be forgetting the recipe any time soon…
homemade curry powder
- 85 grams coriander powder
- 75 grams turmeric powder
- 30 grams brown mustard seeds - whole
- 12 grams kashmiri chili powder
- 6 grams ginger powder
- 6 grams cumin seed - whole
- 6 grams fenugreek seed - whole
- Grind the mustard seed, cumin seed and fenugreek seed to a fine powder. A coffee grinder works well.
- Combine the ground seed mixture with the remaining spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Store in a mason jar for up to a month.
26 thoughts on “homemade curry powder”
Hi Romaines, just wanted to drop a quick note of appreciation for this site. I am in Australia and went to an Indian restaurant in Darwin called Exotic. I ordered a couple of dishes and was blown away. As I do I needed to try and learn how they did it, not using sauces in jars, but the real deal. That’s how I came across your site, and learned so much from your commentaries and took the plunge. I now have at least 6 hotel, 6 restaurant and 2 or three frozen, portioned servings in the freezer. I have since nailed the lamb Saag/sagwala, and although I have never been a huge fan of Butter chicken, I am now a convert thanks to your recipie. I am working my way through them all. Love making the masalas. I also subscribe to Misty Riccardos page, where he goes into Balti houses in England, and cooks with their in house chefs. Between these two pages, I have begun the journey towards creating genuine, flavour packed dishes. All the best and thankyou for all your work.
Delighted to hear that. Once you get the basics down the rest just falls into place.
I will let Richard Sayce (aka Misty Ricardo) know as well.
Just about to make your curry powder and wondered about the ginger – obviously powdered but is it just the regular one that Europeans use please
Just the same regular everyday ginger powder.
Great to hear you are enjoying the blog. The recipe makes about 200g of curry powder which is around 2 times any of the commercially available masala packages. It fits in the jar in the picture which is 2 cups total volume. And it’s less weight and volume than the actual packages of Bolsts powder. I’m not sure what you did exactly to make a huge bowl but if you want to make less by all means please do so. Fresh is definitely better and fresh ground toasted spices are definitely at a whole different level.
Would it hurt to put the ingredients in teaspoons and tablespoons???
Weighing ingredients is actually the predominant method for the whole world outside of North America. I use North American measurements for many recipes here (and take heat from the rest of the world). In this case a scale really does make sense though.
I’ve been looking for an all-purpose curry powder recipe and this one looks great. I am curious why you wouldn’t toast the cumin, fenugreek, whole coriander, and even the mustard seeds (lightly), before grinding?
The cumin and fenugreek are present in small quantities compared to the other spices so I don’t find it makes a material difference here. There is no harm in it certainly and it might provide a small improvement. Never occurred to me to toast the mustard seeds. I’m looking for their unaltered flavour here but I might try that next time just to see what happens.
There is no whole coriander seed in the recipe.
Certainly if you wanted to go for gold you could use whole coriander seed and toast that. That would make a large difference for a short while anyway. If you’re planning to use it all up quickly that’s a great option. This is my generic curry powder and I don’t use tons of it so it does tend to sit around maybe even longer than it should sometimes…
I am a big fan of grinding whole spice mixes like Garam Masala to order though. That is totally worth it.
Do you have Lior Lev Sercarz’s “The Spice Companion?” If not, it is a great guide to spices, what to pair with, how to treat, etc. I know not all spices are best toasted. I was thinking that I would at least toast whole coriander seeds. I understand I am being pedantic.
The spice mix and garam masala recipe is a Hit
Where do you buy your spices from
Glad to hear it. I get my spices at my local Indian grocer. I try to buy in fairly small quantities to avoid them going stale.
I have tried many recipes and latif’s you tube etc, but still do not get that specific restaurant taste, you know what I mean, That taste!
Will your recipes give that taste. What spive is it that gives it that specific moorish taste. I had those curries in England in Pakistan / Indian restaurants.
I really want that taste and I hope I can achieve that with your recipes.
Thank you for doing this.
My pleasure. I have not tried any of the Youtube recipes so I can’t comment on that but I think the key to success is in the technique. It’s how you use the spices that counts. There is a short video in this guide to Indian restaurant curries that will take you through the process step by step. Turn your audio on – I describe it in pretty good detail. I’ve also started a companion YouTube channel with growing content.
For me, the one spice (herb really) that does stand out as adding the “moreish” taste is kasoor methi. That one is critical.
Hi Joyce, I’m new to cooking Indian but have enjoyed Indian food for several decades now, with my first ever Indian meal homecooked by an Indian/Pakistani heritage friend. I fell in love with the flavours instantly. England has some of the best restaurants for this cuisine that I’ve ever tasted. The USA and Canada have some great ones too, but since I moved back to Ireland I have not found any good Indian food restaurants so I decided to learn how to cook it myself. After a few disappointments, I found glebekitchen on YouTube. I tried the “almost restaurant style” first, where you nuke the onions and to my surprise I made a delicious Dhansak. So I made the curry base and made another recipe, lamb curry. It came out fabulous. My husband and neighbour are astonished, as am I. Long story to say if you follow his method you’ll be over the moon with the results.
Good luck with it.
I’m so happy to be a part of your Indian cooking journey Maria!
Can you use this in your Indian restaurant spice mix as it asks for mild curry powder.. if I need hot curry powder do I just add more chilli powder..
This is exactly the curry powder I use in my Indian restaurant spice mix. You can make the whole batch spicier by adding more chili powder or you can just add a bit more chili powder when you need it hotter (hotter to order). I tend to spice my curries as I make them but it’s entirely up to you of course.
Thanks for the info…
Are you saying store in a mason jar for a month before use, or that the mixed curry powder should only be kept for a month?
I’m saying it should be usable for at least a month – maybe more…
Hi romain could you use black instead of brown mustard seeds also could you recommend a rice cooker please?
You could use black mustard seeds. It would be different but I don’t think dramatically so. I haven’t tried it with black mustard seeds myself so no guarantees I am afraid.
With the caveat that I do not ever endorse products for money (never will) I use and love my Zojirushi Neuro. It is an expensive one trick pony and while I generally don’t like one use kitchen gadgets I can’t believe I ever did without it…
Hi Romain, just thought I’d mention that Boltz’s mild powder is on Amazon UK website for £1.97/100gm tin (min order 3 tins) appears to be direct from Boltz.
Thanks for the amazing recipes – Chris
Thank you for the tip and you are very welcome indeed!
Thanks for this Romain, I don’t suppose you have similar for my favourite, Bolsts Hot?
You’re welcome! Sadly I don’t and I can’t get it here anymore so I can’t even try. For starters I would add a little chili powder to this recipe and see where that takes you.