Excited to cook some Indian but don’t have any curry powder? I’ve got you covered. Here are my favourite simple curry powder substitutes.
What is Curry Powder?
Curry powder is an Indian blend of spices which can include Turmeric, Coriander, Salt, Fenugreek, Black Pepper, Chilli, Allspice and Celery.
In India there are many different types of spice blends. The generic term ‘curry’ and ‘curry powder’ are more of a British thing.
Even though generic ‘curry powder’ isn’t authentic, it’s still a useful and delicious ingredient.
It works well with eggs, meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.
The Best Curry Powder Substitutes
1. Make Your Own
While I’m happy buying the ubiquitous Keens Curry Powder from the supermarket. Sometimes I mix up a batch of my own so I can cut out the chilli for my boys. I use just cumin, coriander, chilli (or not), turmeric, and black pepper. See recipe below.
2. Garam Masala
In India the spice blend Garam Masala is used as a ‘finishing spice’ to add flavour at the end of cooking. But I like to use it interchangeably with curry powder when I want a milder flavour.
3. Ground Cumin
While this is a completely different vibe, plain ground cumin will give a mellow spice flavour to your dish. For a closer match add lots of black pepper and some dried chilli powder or flakes.
4. Turmeric, Cordiander and All Spice
Or for another simple home made version use equal parts turmeric, coriander and all spice. Add dried chilli powder or flakes for heat if desired.
Clancy Curry Powder
Ever wished you had your own family curry powder? Well now you can! Feel free to adopt this for your family.
This is a great ‘all purpose’ curry powder you can use anywhere a recipe calls for curry powder.
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin (45g / 1.5oz)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander (25g / 0.75oz)
- 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes (15g / 0.5oz)
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric (10g / 0.35oz)
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper (15g / 0.5oz)
Combine cumin, coriander, chilli, turmeric and pepper in a small bowl (or large plastic bag if making a big batch). Stir or shake until well mixed.
Store in an airtight container or bag.
More Tips for Cooking with Spice
- Have You Tried this Amazing Spice?
- My 3 Favourite Spice Blends (and their substitutes)
- Interview with a spice master
- How to stock a minimalist spice collection
More Ingredient Substitutes
- Smoked Paprika
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!