How to Make Curry Powder

by Mande Mischler ; Updated September 28, 2017

Curry powder is a traditional Indian spice mixture that varies widely from source to source. At its most basic, curry is easy to prepare, as it is simply the combination of a few common spices. You can make the flavor more complex and nuanced by adding additional herbs and spices or varying the ratio of the original spices used.

Toast the mustard seed and pepper flakes in a hot, dry frying pan for 3-4 minutes. Let cool.

Combine mustard seed, pepper flakes and other spices in a food processor. Process to a fine powder.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container.


  • Other spices and herbs that go well with curry powder include basil for added aroma and flavor, black pepper for punch, cinnamon, fenugreek and lemon grass. Cardamom is also frequently used in Indian-style curries. To use, bruise the whole, green pods with the back of a knife to release the flavor and then remove before serving. Crush and grind the roasted black seeds and add to dry spice blends. Dried spices should be as fresh as possible when used. Thus, that old bottle of coriander that’s been sitting on your shelf for three years is unlikely to yield the best results. As freshly ground spices will contribute the most flavor to your dishes, if you have time, buy whole spices, toast them gently and then process in a food processor or grind with a mortar and pestle.

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  • Curry & Chilli Cookbook; Murdoch Books; 2003

About the Author

Mande Mischler is a writer, blogger, mom living in oh-so-flat Chicago. She rediscovered her love of writing in the last two years and her efforts have been seen in "FamilyFun" and "Chicago Parent". She has a BA in History from Stanford University and an MBA from Duke University.