In the colder weather there’s nothing better than a spicy hot curry for dinner. Curries, rich in antioxidant spices, are the ideal food when the sniffles strike. Need to sweat out those aches and pains? What better than a stomach-searing Vindaloo?

And if you fancy a spot of entertaining, curries are an ever-popular dinner party food. Guests will enjoy the rich variety of flavours and aromatic spices, and as curries can be prepared well ahead of time and stored without problem, the host will be able to spend the evening socialising and sharing the odd glass of wine rather than rushing frantically around the kitchen.

Make Your Own

The heart of a good curry is, of course, the curry powder that gives the dish its distinctive fire and aroma. These powders are easily obtainable at most supermarkets, but if you want a far fresher product and the creative satisfaction of making your curry absolutely from scratch, then concocting your own curry powder is an enjoyable extension to any curry recipe.

Curry History

In the West, curry as a meal had its origins in the British Colonial era. The colonial troops, administrators and merchants became fond of the cuisine of Southern India and this fondness resulted in the dish making its way back to Britain and on to other parts of the world.

Curry powder was developed in an attempt to replicate the combination of spices characteristic of the Southern Indian dishes experienced by colonists in a ready-made and easy to use form.

“Curry powder” is not a native Indian term, evolving instead (most likely) from a British adaptation of the Tamil words kari (sauce) and podi (powder).

Curry Powder

Curry powder is not a single ingredient, but is, rather, a combination of a number of different spices. The actual selection of spices used varies from region to region and even from cook to cook.

The Spices

Curry powder can be made by combining ready-ground spices, but if you really want to go the traditional route (and get an even fresher and more aromatic result) try grinding your own. Spices can be ground in a coffee grinder, a hand-mill or a food processor. For maximum authenticity, though, you can’t beat a mortar and pestle.

If you intend to grind your own spices you’ll get a more fragrant result if you lightly toast the seeds first by heating in a pan over a low heat.

Below you’ll find two recipes for curry powder.

Simple Curry Powder


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder


  1. Lightly toast the seeds and grind to a fine powder.
  2. Add the chilli and turmeric powder and combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Traditional Curry Powder


  • 50 grams coriander seeds
  • 10 grams fenugreek seeds
  • 50 grams black pepper corns
  • 30 grams dried chillies
  • 50 grams turmeric powder
  • 20 grams cinnamon powder
  • 20 grams dried cardamom pods
  • 50 grams powdered ginger


  1. Toast and grind the coriander and fenugreek seeds.
  2. Grind the chillies, pepper corns and cardamom pods.
  3. Combine the above with the remaining ingredients.

Make Winter Warmer

This winter warm up your family or dinner guests with a curry that you’ve made the traditional way. By going the extra mile and mixing your own curry powder you’ll be sitting down to a dish that tastes fresher and more aromatic and is just that little bit more special.

How to Make Curry Powder, 3.0 out of 5 based on 8 ratings



  1. Have just used the second recipe to make curry powder. It can out quite good with one problem. It does not have the smell of curry powder I usually buy from supermarkets. I was told that the particular smell comes from curry leaves. So off I went to buy a small jar of dried curry leaves. However on opening the jar the typical curry smell was lacking. When I complained with the Indian guy who had sold it to me I was told that the smell comes out when it is cooked with food. But the commercial curry I buy contains dry spice mix ture only and the smell is there. So how am o supposed to get that typical curry smell in the spice mixture prepared as above?

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    Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes cast)