Madras Curry Powder - Enjoy the Unique
Flavours and Aromas of Southern India

This Madras curry powder is a great all-purpose blend appropriate for many kinds of Indian food. It uses curry leaves which are optional, but if you can get hold of some I can recommend them. They're inexpensive, and I think they add a touch of authenticity to your food. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 7-8 tablespoons)

3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
4 tsp hot chili powder
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp salt (see note 2 below)
1 tsp asafetida powder
2 inch piece cinnamon
20-30 dried curry leaves (optional)

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cinnamon stick
  • Grind the cinnamon pieces along with the salt, peppercorns, coriander, fenugreek and cumin seeds
  • Once ground, sieve into a bowl
  • Add the turmeric, mustard, paprika, asafetida, chili and ginger powders to the bowl and combine thoroughly
  • Finally, crumble in the curry leaves (if using) and combine again

Store your Madras curry powder in an airtight jar in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making another lot.

Note: You could dry toast the peppercorns, cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds before grinding and combining to release more flavours and aromas. See the grinding page for step-by-step info on this. (Link opens in new window)

Note 2: Whilst regular table salt is perfectly fine to use, I do recommend using a quality salt: sea/rock/flakes etc, as these are usually less processed and I think add better flavour to your homemade blends.

Ingredient Note:
When making your Madras powder, I usually recommend using as many whole ingredients as you can. If you don't have them all, substitute with pre-ground powders, but halve the amount the recipe says. For example, instead of 3 tablespoons of coriander seeds you would use 1½ tablespoons of pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with the other pre-ground ingredients when making.

A Step-by-Step Instructional Video

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above Indian curry powder. The ingredients may be slightly different but the process is exactly the same. If you enjoyed it, you can click the subscribe button in the bottom right corner in the video, or click the link below the video...

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Madras curry powderMadras Curry Seasoning

Why You Should Make Your Own Indian Food Seasonings

Of course you buy a jar from the store, but if you value delicious home cooking then why not have a go at making your own?

The way I see it there are a few downsides to store-bought blends...

  • You don't have control over what the manufacturer adds, this can include fillers like processed salt, husks or cheap chili powder!
  • Artificial flavours, preservatives and colourings may be in there
  • Whilst there will be a use by/sell by date, there probably won't be a "when it was made" date. It may have been sitting on the store shelf losing flavour for months and maybe, even years!

So make a Madras curry powder yourself and you're in control of what goes in. Don't like a certain ingredient? Leave it out or swap for another. On a low salt diet for whatever reason? Reduce the salt or leave it out completely. Want more heat? Add an extra teaspoon or two of chili powder etc.

After Making Your Homemade Madras Curry Powder You May Like to Try...

A Jamaican Blend -
A Curry Mix With a
Caribbean Twist

Basic Curry Blend -
But Will Still Add Fab
Flavours & Aromas

Chili Seasoning
Recipes - A Range
of Hot, Mild and 
Spicy Blends

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