Here is a quick and easy homemade curry powder recipe that you can mix together within 10 minutes and keep stored in your pantry for up to 3 months.
If you find that you regularly use curry powder for many of your recipes, it may be a good idea to make your own blend at home, which can help you save money and enhance the flavors.
If you’re wondering how to make curry powder at home, this post will cover it all, and we also have a quick and easy recipe that you can prepare in case you want to just use ground spices.
What Is Curry Powder?
Curry powder is a spice mix that can vary depending on cuisine and location because there are many variations around the world.
The most popular type of curry powder is a spice mix that features these key ingredients: coriander, cumin, chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, and ginger.
The term curry powder is actually a Westernized invention as it was first sold to British colonial traders in the 18th century by Indian merchants and consequently, the British traders introduced it to various places around the world when they traveled.
Therefore, it’s not a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, which has often caused confusion in the UK and various parts of the world.
The main spice mix in Indian cooking is known as “garam masala” which can be confused with curry powder, but they are totally different spice blends.
What Is Curry Powder Made Of?
Curry powder mainly consists of coriander, cumin, chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, and ginger.
However, there are many recipes with additions and variations which can be based on cuisine and location.
For example, Jamaican curry powder contains the core ingredients as mentioned above but may call for allspice and scotch bonnet pepper.
Japanese curry powder, which is used in katsu curry, also features the core ingredients as mentioned above but with additions like ground fennel and cloves.
There’s also Sri Lankan curry powder which is used as the flavor base for many Sri Lankan curries.
Ultimately, the point is that these spice blends are used in different cuisines to enhance the dish, which is why there’s not really a right or wrong way to make a homemade curry powder.
How To Use Curry Powder
Curry powder is mainly used with liquid-like coconut milk, stock, canned tomatoes, or water to make curries, stews, or marinades.
They are ideal for slow cooker recipes, and you can combine them with other spices to enhance the flavor of the dish.
However, there’s plenty of creative and unconventional ways to use curry powder today such as adding it to roasted vegetables, salads, dressings, dried chickpeas, and so on.
Seeing as curry powder is a spice mix consisting of various spices, the health benefits will vary. However, there’s plenty of health benefit to spices.
For example, turmeric has plenty of proven evidence-based health benefits, while other spices like cumin and coriander also have their own health benefits.
Ground Spice Vs Whole Spice Recipe
If you want to make curry powder from scratch, you can use ground spices or whole spices.
This recipe post calls for ground spices which is a simpler version because they are easily accessible, quicker to prepare, and ideal if you want to store a small portion for the upcoming weeks.
However, using whole spices would be the better choice in terms of flavor and fragrance, but you will need to source the ingredients, toast them, and grind them.
If I had the time, I would use whole spices, but I prefer ground spices because it takes just minutes and I already have the ingredients in my pantry – therefore I have only posted this recipe for ground spices for now.
How Long Does Curry Powder Last?
If the curry powder is made from ground spices, it will last for a few months but typically it’s best to use it within 3-5 months because it will eventually go stale.
However, it does depend on the quality of ground spices you use too which is why you should use fresh ground spices.
By storing the homemade curry powder blend in an air-tight storage container, it will keep well for longer, and it’s a safe way to keep it stored.
Is Curry Powder Vegan?
Yes, curry powder is completely vegan because it’s made from only spices!
Curry powder can be a great addition to vegan curry recipes or stews like this epic vegan sweet potato and chickpea curry.
In fact, because many new vegan recipes are creative and unconventional, curry powder can be a great asset for many new recipes because it tastes great with tofu, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, lentils, and roasted vegetables.
What Is The Best Substitute For Curry Powder?
As curry powder is a mix of spices, you can substitute it for one or two spices.
The best substitution for curry powder is ground cumin and/or ground coriander.
Garam Masala vs Curry Powder – What Is The Difference?
Garam masala is traditionally used in Indian cooking and is to be a more intense spice mix, whereas curry powder is a Westernized invention that’s not used in Indian cooking and is typically made with a mix of ground spices.
There are many variations of garam masala which are typically toasted and grinned together to make a fresh and fragrant spice blend.
Can you substitute them for each other? In Indian cooking, it’s a no, but you could use garam masala and add turmeric instead of curry powder, for Westernized recipes.
Curry Powder vs Paste – What Is The Difference?
Curry powder is typically a dry ground mix of spices that you will typically need to add to a liquid such as a coconut milk, canned tomatoes, puree, stock, or water.
Curry paste is typically a ready-made paste that you can instantly add to curries and stews to save time cooking.
Can curry powder be substituted for paste? Well, depending on the recipe, yes if you add it to a liquid or purée, then technically you have a paste.
Is Curry Powder Bad For You?
Curry powder isn’t bad for you, and it’s quite the contrary because many of the spices contain plenty of proven health benefits.
What can be bad for you is by using too much curry powder which can potentially kill a dish.
Homemade Curry Powder Recipe
From Ground Spices
- 2 tbsp Ground Coriander
- 2 tbsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tbsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Add all spices to a jar and stir to combine.
- Keep it stored in an airtight container for 3 months.
Spicy Meal Prep is a food blog and resource for busy people and home cooks around the world. What started as a solo blog has now turned into a website of healthy recipes and home cooking tips written by home cooks, chefs and nutritionists around the world. Our mission is to make healthy cooking easy, with realistic recipes that you will actually cook and balanced meals that you can fit into your meal plan.