Homemade Indian Curry Powder Spice Mix
Make the most exotic blend of spice mix for your next Indian feast. This homemade Indian curry powder spice mix is a special blend with just the right mix and match in flavor and balance. Not too smoky and not too spicy. Personalize it with suggestions I give in each recipe and create the best Indian curry you ever tasted for your next meal.
Nothing beats the fragrance of fresh homemade spice blends. This special blend for homemade Indian curry powder spice mix is one of a kind. A recipe you will love and should in your pantry always if you enjoy Indian food. A few teaspoons of this spice mix is all it takes to take a simple curry from good to finger licking delicious.
If you have ordered curry powder before then you know that there are no two curry powders are like. It’s true! In India, these change by the state and sometimes by the cultural background.
So, if you buy one brand today and then buy another brand a few weeks later your curry will be so different. A word of advice – if you find a brand you like – take a note of it and make sure you are loyal to it so you won’t be disappointed. But you can also be adventurous and take a chance. You might just prefer the next one better than the first.
Have you been using my wonderful Indian recipes? I’m so happy some of you have had great success with it. One of the questions I most get asked is – how do you get such a beautiful deep red color for your curries. Well, the secret is my homemade curry powder spice mix and homemade garam masala spice mix.
Yup, I make my own and I always have made them from scratch using whole spices. In fact, when I make my curry powder I make a big batch and then send a few out to my friends as well. A few of my friends would rather have me give them my spice mixes as gifts.
Now, I’m born Indian so Indian food is not just close to my heart but in my blood. And if there is anything I learned and learned well from my mom is the importance of good spices. I am ashamed to say that there are times when I have slacked and used store bought powders to create my curry powder blend but when I learned from mom it was the use of whole spices, toasted lightly and then ground in the spice blender.
The traditional spice mix methods.
Having grown up as an Indian girl, one of my childhood memories is that mom would make spice mixes for the whole year and of course to sell these to her customers. Did you know that making spice mixes if done properly can be a huge job! I know, because I’ve seen my mom go thru this process every year.
It was a ritual and the process took about two weeks for her.
She would buy large quantities (like 20 kgs)of different types of chilies and large quantities of lots of other spices. I clearly remember one of her spice mixes had a mix of 32 different spices and it was so popular that she has customers from the overseas place an order for a few months in advance.
These whole spices were dried out on the patio under the natural sunlight on a huge sheet.
Every day for a week she’d bring them out in the morning – toast them in the sun the whole day and then take them back inside the house in the evening. After one week – the next step was to dry roast them and she’d do that outside the house on an open fire in a huge wok-like pot. The smell of those whole spices and chilies use to be so strong, she’d have to send us away to my aunt’s house for the day. Once these were dry roasted then they go to a special shop with a spice mill (because they were large quantities these could not be done in a home spice blender)
When the spice mix was ready she’d fill them in sterilized dry spice jars and sealed with a cloth and string to make sure they stayed fresh for the whole year. After which she’d send the orders out for delivery.
Yup, that was a lot of work and I never understood why she went thru all that trouble until I started making my own spice mixes. Y’all the flavor and smell you get from the freshly ground spices is second to none. Don’t think I’ll ever work as hard as my mom to make spice mixes but I do make my own at least. My sister did make my mom proud because she still makes and even sells a few of my mom’s spice mixes (because they are so popular locally).
About this curry powder spice mix (Save/Pin)
There are a few things according to me that are worth taking note of. Unlike Moroccan food, Indians like to use fresh ginger in their food. So the use of ground ginger is kept to the minimum. Cinnamon does not belong in curry powder it belongs in garam masala. A strong flavor of cumin is very characteristic in Moroccan spices, not Indian curry powder. Coriander, however, is more Indian both in powder and fresh form. My moms rule of thumb was one part cumin, one part turmeric, two parts coriander, two parts cayenne is a good basis for curry powder. Everything else is up for customization. Now in my previous post, we spoke about the differences between curry powder and garam masala so I think you have that information here as well.
So in this recipe, you will get my take on Indian curry powder spice mix. The blend is just right and not overpowering but the color is just what you want. A deep beautiful red color that begs to be eaten. Some of the most popular recipes on my blog that show off this curry powder beautifully are slow cooker Indian chicken curry, Beef mince curry, Slow-cooked lamb masala, slow-cooked Indian beef curry, Indian chicken curry in 15 minutes, Kidney beans curry. Ah well, I better stop but you can find my Indian recipes here
Recipe -Homemade Indian Curry Powder Spice Mix (Save/Pin)
- Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
- Cumin powder – 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp
- Cayenne powder (mild or hot) – 1 tbsp
- Smoked sweet paprika (for color) – 1 tbsp
- Ground ginger – 1/2 tsp
- Mustard powder – 1/2 tsp
- Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
From whole spices (for those like me)
- Dry coriander seeds – 3 tbsp
- Dry cumin seeds – 1 1/2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tbsp
- Dry whole paprika – 2 large (hot or mild)
- Dry smoked paprika – 3 large
- Ginger powder – 1/2 tsp (optional – I usually add fresh in my recipe)
- Yellow mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Whole green cardamom – 4
- Black peppercorns – 10
For the ground spices
- Measure all ground spices
- Combine them all in a small jar
- Close the lid and give it a good shake.
- Voila – your homemade curry powder spice mix is ready to use.
For the whole spices
- Have all your ingredients measured out
- Place a frying pan on low heat for a minute
- Once hot – add all the whole spices in hot pan.
- Keep the heat on low and light shake the pan to toast them.
- You will start to get the spices to give out a beautiful aroma.
- Take it off the heat and let cool until barely warm.
- Place all the whole and powder spices in a spice blender (yes you need a spice blender or coffee grinder)
- Pulse it a few times until finely ground
- Pour them into a spice jar.
- Your curry powder is not ready for use.
- Always store the jar airtight to ensure the flavor of the spices is sealed in well.
- Ideally, these spices have a long shelf life as stated by the supermarkets – but it’s best to make a note on the jar so you know when its time to make a new batch.
- Read the expiry date on the powders you used – choose the one with the earliest date as a guide.
Don’t forget to save this recipe on Pinterest for later.
You can find a collection of my tutorials and recipes here on Pinterest.
Indian Homemade Curry Powder Spice Mix
Ingredients - Choose (Metric or US Customary) below
From ground spices
- 2 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin powder
- 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Cayenne mild or hot
- 1 tbsp Smoked sweet paprika for color
- 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp Mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
From whole spices
- 3 tbsp Dry coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dry cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
- 2 large Dry whole paprika hot or mild
- 3 large Dry smoked paprika Sweet for color
- 1/2 tsp Ginger powder optional - I usually add fresh in my recipe
- 1 tsp Yellow or black mustard seeds
- 4 pieces Whole green cardamom
- 10 corns Black peppercorns
For ground spices
Measure all ground spices
Combine them all in a small jar
Close the lid and give it a good shake.
Voila - your pumpkin spice is ready to use.
For whole spices
Have all your ingredients measured out
Place a frying pan on low heat for a minute
Once hot - add all the whole spices in hot pan.
Keep the heat on low and light shake the pan to toast them.
You will start to get the spices to give out a beautiful aroma.
Take it off the heat and let cool until barely warm.
Place all the whole and powder spices in a spice blender (yes you need a spice blender)
Pulse it a few times until finely ground
Pour them into a spice jar.
Your curry powder is not ready for use.
- Always, store the jar airtight to ensure the flavor of the spices is sealed in well.
- Ideally, these spices have a long shelf life - but it's best to make a note on the jar so you know when its time to make a new batch.
- Read the expiry date on the powders you used - choose the one with the earliest date as a guide.
Master the Basic and Dominate the Kitchen
One way to improve your cooking or baking skills is to get a grip on your basic recipes. Often it’s more easy and quicker than you think it is.
Simple things like making homemade caramel or butterscotch take five minutes but are so much better homemade.
Baking the perfect pie or pastry crust from scratch can make a huge difference to your homemade pies and desserts.
Did you know homemade buttermilk or condensed milk take less than 5 minutes as well? Yes!! And making homemade spice mixes like this and the garam masala takes only 2 minutes
See some of my Basic Recipes with details or check out my Recipe Index for a list of all my recipes.