Make Your Own Curry Powder | 6 Recipes in One Easy Guide

So, recently one of my readers contacted me to ask if I had any alternatives for their favourite brand of korma powder. And this got me thinking… Sure, you could go out and buy a pot (if you can find the right one). But, with a little know-how, it is easily possible to make your own curry powder, and there are plenty of good reasons to do so.

Today I’m going to show you how to make 6 different curry powders at home. I’m also going to talk you through why it is far superior to anything shop-bought. I’m even going to include my very own recipes for specific types of curry! Let’s dive straight in

Why Make Your Own Curry Powder?

There are so many good reasons why you should want to make your own curry powder. And, trust me, once you have got the hang of it, you will never go back to buying those expensive pots where you get a thimbleful of spice.

Off the top of my head, here are reasons why I nearly always make my own curry powder: -

Making Your Own Curry Powder is Really Easy

Let me tell you something.

There is nothing fancy, complex or ‘magic’ in making your own curry powder at home. People think there must be some special process they do down at the spice factory to make it taste a certain way…

Nope. It’s super easy.

Want me to prove it?

Here’s a quick rundown of my usual process

  • Step 1) Take a measuring spoon and measure the proportioned spices into a Ziploc bag or jar.
  • Step 2) Shake the bag or jar.
  • Step 3) There is no step 3. That’s it.

Homemade Curry Spice Tastes Better

Here’s a question for you. Do you love curry?

Actually, that’s a stupid question. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. Allow me to rephrase…

Do you have a favourite curry? I bet you do! And I bet it is from a specific place too.

Am I right?

The point I’m getting at (in a roundabout way) is that everyone has a ‘favourite’ version of a curry. What does the guy in the spice factory know about your curry? What if his idea of a decent korma is different from yours? Or he likes his madras mild (even though it should certainly be hot).

By making your own curry powder, you are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to making your curry exactly the way you like it. And, because you know what’s in it, you can easily tweak elements until it tastes perfect.

It Works Out Much Cheaper

Ok, I’ll be honest.

Curry powder won’t be the most expensive thing on your shopping list. It might only set you back a couple of quid…

But.

How much are you really getting for the money? Five, maybe six portions?

When you consider that you can get all of the spices you need to make several types of curry powder, for the price of a single Indian takeaway curry, you will be making a substantial saving.

In fact, I reckon with a single purchase of all the spices you’ll need to make curry powder at home, you could easily make a supply lasting for around a year!

Yes, really.

Heat Control

I made a curry for a friend recently who could be described as ‘spice averse’. It was a tikka masala.

“Crikey”, they said, “This is a bit spicy”.

To which my response was… “Funny, it hasn’t got chilli in it”.

It turns out I lied.

Why?

I’d used a shop-bought curry powder… And the sneaky buggers had actually included cayenne pepper.

The spicy mop flops both ways however, you might want something hotter or cooler in your spice blend.

If you are making your own curry powder, this can be achieved very easily.

You Can Make Bigger Quantities

Ginger and garlic paste… Check.

Base gravy bubbling away… Check.

Curry powder… Run out.

Wait, what?

Yeah, we’ve all been there. Those little pots don’t tend to last all that long.

The answer? Well, let’s put it this way. I know I have something more akin to a bucket than a jar on my kitchen counter, full to the brim with curry spice.

No chance of that running out. And neither will you if you assemble your own curry spices.

Curry Powder to Scale

Perhaps you are trying a new curry, or you make more of one type of curry in your weekly rotation than another?

The thing about store-bought pots is that they are all the same size. That means you’ll either burn through one first or have one that’s not often used cluttering up your spice cupboard.

You can easily create different quantities for the most (or least) made curries by making your own curry powder.

The other beautiful thing is that you have all of the basic raw ingredients there as well as premade curry powder. It’s basically killing two birds with one stone.

Specific Powders for Specific Curries

Some guys like to have the basic spices and assemble a single portion of curry powder for every curry they make.

I used to do this, and then I realized that I basically made the same three curries, week in, week out.

Madras, Korma and Pathia, if you are interested…

So, thought I, wouldn’t it be great if I just made three assembled pots of the spices I use every single time in each curry?

It’s actually really easy to do.

Making Your Own Curry Powder Saves Time

In light of the above, by having a premade curry powder for your favourites, you’ll save yourself a lot of time.

Want to know a curry secret?

The key to making a great curry is normally preparing ahead. I do it with everything; the base gravy, the meat, even potatoes when I can be bothered.

Making your own curry powder is one of the ways that you can reduce your workload and save yourself oodles of time (not to mention washing up).

If you want more tips about make-ahead curry, be sure to swing by my article right here, it’s packed with time-saving ideas.

What is Curry Powder?

Curry powder, especially the kind used in Indian cooking, isn’t a single ingredient. It is a mixture of various spices that combine to accentuate a certain taste or flavour. It could be a fiery ‘madras’ style curry powder, something sweet and sultry like korma curry powder, or even something in between.

Over the years, people have become accustomed to ‘curry’ as a generic catch-all term. If you’ve seen my list of techniques and recipes, you’ll already be aware that there is actually plenty of variation under the ‘curry’ umbrella.

If someone asked you what is ‘stew powder’ would you be able to answer it easily? No, of course not. It’s far too broad a term. The situation is the same with curry powder.

If you’ve found your way here, there is no doubt that you’ve already seen loads of articles talking about ‘grinding curry leaves’ and giving a definitive answer like ‘turmeric’.

Here’s what I say.

Forget that.

Curry powder is what you make using different combinations of a few spices to produce a flavour and taste you love.

What is the Main Ingredient in Curry Powder?

The true answer is that each different curry powder will have a different ingredient that dominates it based on the flavour profile you are trying to hit. There are many different types of curry powder. Generally, they (may) contain various proportions of these standard ingredients: -

  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Fenugreek (also called methi)
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Coriander Powder
  • Clove
  • Ginger and/or garlic powder
  • Cinnamon

And many more… Some of which are surprisingly good for you.

You’ll tend to find that most (especially premade store brands) are nearly always led by cumin and coriander. Still, there is no hard and fast rule about what ‘curry powder’ should contain.

Right, so.

Now you are all clued up on curry powder, it is time to get down to the business of making your own.

Trust me, it is so simple.

Here’s how to do it…

Equipment Needed to Make Your Own Curry Powder

Before we begin, you will need a few bits (all of which are entirely optional, but I find they make for a more consistent result).

Here’s what I use when making my own curry powder: -

A Measuring Spoon Set

As I always say, if you aren’t measuring, you’re guessing.

The key to making your own curry powder is consistency, particularly when portioning out spices.

I use a set of measuring spoons like these. The reason is that I make large quantities of curry powder in one go, and a tiny teaspoon just isn’t going to cut it. Oh, and they make me look super professional in the kitchen too!

An Easy to Clean Plastic Bowl

Nothing fancy or expensive, something like this bowl is absolutely perfect. You need a bit of room to stir.

Oh, and if you didn’t already know. Curry spices can stain. Better not ruin the best ‘Sunday dinner bowls’ eh?

Curry Powder Shopping List

Alright, guys, here we are.

Ready to quickly knock up some amazing curry powders?

I’m going to show you how to make 6 different variations of curry powders. They are quite different, but they are all authentic from the kitchen I used to work in.

And want to know something even cooler?

Apart from being easy, they all contain pretty much the same ingredients, just in different proportions.

Consider the following list your ‘building blocks’ for the curry powders below. Go out and get them, and from there, you can easily assemble any of the Indian spice powders below, any time you like.

Here’s the essential list you’ll need to make a range of curry powders:

Making Your Own Curry Powder | 6 Different Types (in order of heat)

Armed with the above spices, here’s how to make 6 different curry powders. (Along with a little ‘bonus’ thrown in for good measure)

To make, simply portion out into a container of your choice in the below quantities. Give it a shake, and you are ready to go.

Simple, right?

All of the below will give you enough curry powder to easily  make 15-20 curries....

Madras Curry Powder (HOT)


  • 4 Tablespoons Coriander
  • 4 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Turmeric
  • 2 crushed cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt

Bonus: Add double the Chilli to make Vindaloo curry powder

Medium Curry Powder (MEDIUM)


  • 4 Tablespoons Coriander
  • 4 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons Tumeric
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp Salt

Bonus: Add a teaspoon of sugar to your curry recipe along with a teaspoon of mango chutney, and you’ve got a pathia!

Tandoori Curry Powder (MEDIUM)


  • 4 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 4 Tablespoons Coriander
  • 4 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons Turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Chilli Powder

Bonus: - Mix a tablespoon with oil, lemon and fresh garlic, and you can make lamb chops to die for!

Tikka Curry Powder (MILD – MEDIUM)


  • 3 Tablespoons Coriander
  • 3 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar

Bonus: Mix with Yoghurt and Lemon Juice for a tasty Tikka marinade

Korma Powder (MILD)


  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt

Bonus: Remove the sugar, and you’ve a perfect powder for butter chicken!

CurrySpy Secret Mild Curry Powder


  • 4 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 4 Tablespoons Coriander Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt

Bonus: Listen, I literally stole this off the chef in my old place. He’s never forgiven me… So no more bonuses.

How Much Curry Powder Do I Need? Scaling the Above Recipes

I tend to work on the principle that you’ll need around 1 – 1.5 tablespoons of curry powder for each portion.

In reality, it all depends on how many curries you make and how strong you like them.

Want the good news?

The above recipes can all be easily adapted.

It’s all about ratios.

To make half the amount, just half the ingredients. Provided you are accurate with your measuring, you’ll find that the curry powder will taste exactly the same.

The same applies if you want to double or even triple the quantity!

How Do I Store Homemade Curry Powder?

Storing your self-made curry powder is easy. Any airtight container (or even a bag will do). Curry powder doesn’t go off, so as long as you store it in a cool, dry place, you can make an Indian any day of the week.

Once I’ve made my curry powder, I tend to decant it into resealable glass jars. I find Kilner style jars, like these, look pretty classy, and they keep your curry powder in tip-top condition too. They normally come in a set of six, which might just be perfect if you want to make all of the recipes above!

Labelling

You’ve got a few options here, but you must label your newly made curry powders. You don’t want to go mixing up tikka powder with madras powder (especially if you’ve got wimps… Er, spice averse guests).

I like to use a Dymo as it makes my jars look all professional, but in truth, a sharpie will work just as well (even if it doesn’t look quite as classy).

Make your Own Curry Powder | Final Thoughts...

I was going to say I hope you enjoy the above curry powders (of course I do!). But that said, now that you know how to make your own curry powder, you are free to adapt them to suit your taste. Too hot? Less chilli powder. Not sweet enough? A little more sugar. Measure your quantities, and don’t be afraid to experiment until you get the taste just right. Have you tried any? Let me know in the comments below. Give the madras powder a go in my very own chicken madras recipe. Enjoy!


Enjoy Making Curry Yourself?

Hey folks, thanks for reading this article. I hope you found it useful, and that you learned something new allowing you to make your curry extra special. Here are a few things that can really elevate your curry game to the next level. 

These are affiliate links, so if you use them I receive a small commission, but this won't cost you any extra. In all honesty, I use very similar items myself, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to my friends.

A Complete Curry Kit: - Literally, everything you'll need to make curry all in one place. Cookware, storage, utensils, even the spices! This is my dedicated guide to getting you up and running all for the price of few takeaways.

Curry pans: - You need one, and one only. A frying pan exactly like this is really easy to use, and is exactly the type that authentic Indian chefs use to make the type of curry that you'll have in your local takeaway. You can see my full reviews of several pans right here...

Spice Storage: - Being organised is half the battle in making great curry. Spices can be notoriously hard to keep tidy. That's why I tend to use a spice rack like this. You can arrange your spices by size, heat, or any way you choose. I've got a detailed review of several Indian spice racks in this guide.


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