Mix Powder for Curry | Indian Restaurant Spice Powder

One secret to cooking authentic BIR style curries is to use mix powder. You’ll find a huge bucket of the stuff in most Indian restaurant kitchens. Knowing how to make mix powder for curry will take your curry game to the next level. I’m going to explain what it is and how to make it. It’s an absolutely essential ingredient in lots of curry recipes.

What is Mix Powder in Indian Cooking?

Mix powder is a mild curry powder used in a large percentage of BIR curry recipes. It is added to the curry and then supplemented with other spices specific to each curry. It also features in a BIR curry base.

Mix powder (or mixed powder) is a base spice mix that uses common ingredients found in most BIR Indian curries. By pre-mixing a large amount, you are going to be able to save yourself lots of time!

If you use a spoonful of turmeric powder, half a spoonful of cumin and some garam masala in most of your curries, then it makes sense not to have to measure this out each and every time, when you can create a huge portion that is already pre-mixed!

As to what’s in mix powder, well, that’s a topic laden with variables.

Here’s why…

Most Indian restaurant chefs have their own version. It’s specific to the cook in question. You’ll find that most mix powders for curries are a closely guarded secret.

Why so secret?

Figure out the Indian spice mix, and you are well on your way to figuring out how to get your curry tasting exactly like your favourite takeaway!

But you are in luck…

Fortunately, I paid close attention to which spices were used and have managed to figure out at least one version of mix powder used in the Indian restaurant that I worked in. I’m going to share it with you today.

What are the Basic Spices for Curry?

Like I said, curry powders and mix powder are specific to each individual. Still, you’ll find a whole host of different spices feature in curry powders. Here are some common spices that you will always find in an Indian restaurant kitchen: -

  • Fenugreek
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Cloves
  • Chilli powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Fennel
  • Ginger powder
  • Garlic
  • Cardamom
  • Paprika
  • Mustard
  • Black pepper
mix spice

What is the Best Curry Powder?

Again, it depends on the curry you are trying to create. Generally speaking, homemade curry powder or spice mix is far better than anything you will buy in a store.

What are The Benefits of Making Your Own Spice Mix for Curry?

Making mix powder for curry: -

Is much cheaper!

Sure, you could buy a tiny pot of premade curry mix for a few pounds. Alternatively, you could make a massive jar of mix powder for not much more! If you check the world foods section of your local supermarket, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll find big bags of spices, perfect for creating your own blend!

Allows you to experiment!

Let’s say you find a spice mix just a little too on the ‘warm’ side. Or maybe your curry mix powder is just a little too dark? Either way, by making your own mixed powder, you’ll be able to tweak and add and remove elements, putting you firmly in control of your curry!

Gives you consistency!

One secret to making great curry is consistency. If you buy mix powder for curry, you’ll never truly know the proportions of spices used. If the manufacturer changes the ratios of spices, it will change the flavour of your dish. By making your own using the same spices and ratio every time, you’ll be able to recreate curries consistently

Saves time!

Having to measure out spices while you’ve got hot pans sizzling away puts you under time pressure. By having a big old jar of mix powder ready and waiting, you can add it to your curry in a flash!

Makes a great gift!

Secretly we are all curry lovers! What could be nicer than giving your friends and family a little jar of your secret mix powder recipe? You don’t have to tell them what’s in it, of course.

Alright, now you know about it, its time to learn how to make mixed powder…

Mix Powder for Curry | recipe

Ok, you’ll be shocked at how simple this is.

Thank me later…

You’ll need…

  • A large airtight jar or container
  • A measuring spoon

Mix Powder Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons Coriander powder
  • 8 tablespoons Paprika powder
  • 6 tablespoons Cumin powder
  • 10 tablespoons Turmeric powder  

How to Make Mix Powder for Curry

This is the easy bit. 

  1. Open your jar
  2. Put the above quantities into the jar
  3. Close the lid
  4. Give the jar a good shake


  • This mixed powder keeps pretty much indefinitely! So, you’ll be able to make curry any time you like!
  • I normally use a tablespoon of mix powder in my curry recipes. For the mathematicians among you, you’ll have noticed the above recipe gives a total of 32 tablespoons of spice mix… That’s 32 curries right there!
  • If the above quantities are too much, feel free to half all of the above amounts (or use a teaspoon instead). It will taste exactly the same!
  • If you want to take your mix powder to the next level, feel free to use freshly ground coriander and cumin seeds in place of powders. Mmm! Fragrant!



That’s it! Simple eh?

Once you have made a batch, you are probably going to want to cook a curry? If so, why not start with a nice authentic chicken madras recipe?


Closing Thoughts…

Making mix powder for curry isn’t difficult. I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing it? Once you’ve made this recipe and got the basics dialled in, you can add in other elements and spices as you see fit. I add a couple of tablespoons of chilli powder to mine. I like a hint of heat… even when my guests don’t! What do you use in your curry powder mix? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll give it a try!


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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