Curry powder is a popular spice blend that is used in a variety of hearty dishes around the world. It is a versatile ingredient typically found in Indian, Thai, and Malaysian cuisines. We’ll show you how to make your own blend using spices you most likely already have on hand.
Dishes that use curry powder typically have a complex and distinctive flavor profile. The taste can be described as warm, earthy, and slightly pungent, with a hint of sweetness and a touch of heat.
Turmeric gives curry powder its yellow color and has a slightly bitter flavor. Cumin adds a warm, earthy flavor to the blend, and coriander adds a citrusy, slightly sweet flavor. Ginger adds a spicy, peppery flavor, and chili powder adds heat to the blend.
The specific ingredients and proportions used in curry powder can vary depending on the region and the recipe. Some curry powders also include additional spices such as mustard seeds, fenugreek, and fennel seeds.
What is Curry Powder ?
Curry powder is typically made from a blend of turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and other spices. It is used to add flavor and color to soups, sauces, stews, rice dishes, and other recipes.
However, if you cannot find curry powder, or if you have an allergy for certain ingredients, there are many substitutes that you can use in its place.
Let us discuss the top 10 curry powder substitutes.
Roasted Cumin Powder
Cumin is another key ingredient in curry powder. It can be used on its own or in combination with other spices to create a similar flavor profile. Roasted cumin seeds add deeply rich and earthy flavors to the food.
Like cumin powder, ground coriander seeds are also often found in curry powder. It can be used alone or in combination with other spices to create a similar taste.
Ground Turmeric is the primary ingredient in curry powder. Using it on its own can give your dish a similar flavor and vibrant yellow color.
Paprika is a spice made from dried and ground bell peppers. It has a sweet, smoky flavor and is a great substitute for curry powder in recipes that do not require the heat of chili powder.
- So if you stock up on above listed four main ingredients, you can create the best substitutes for basic curry powder. You can adjust the proportions based on your flavor preferences.
- Here are some additional spice mixes you can use as a Curry Powder Substitute. Many times, we buy these spices to make a recipe and then they get pushed back. Now is good time to revisit your spice cabinet and check if you have any of these readymade spices easily available.
- You can also use combination of garlic powder, onion powder, ground allspice, nutmeg powder, cayenne pepper powder, bay leaf, ground cloves, ground cumin, coriander seeds, ground cinnamon and red pepper flakes to create your own curry powder blends.
Garam Masala is a spice blend commonly used in India. It is a spice mix of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, cloves, and black pepper. Garam Masala has a warm, sweet flavor and is a great substitute for curry powder in soups and stews.
Madras Curry Powder is a spice blend commonly used in Indian dishes. It is made from a blend of spices, including coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and chili powder. Madras Curry Powder has a spicy, earthy flavor and is a great replacement for curry powder in meat and vegetable dishes.
You can also use Chaat Masala , tandoori masala, or sambar powder along with mango powder (amchur) to make Indian curry recipes. If you love Indian Cuisine, we have an array of Indian Curry Recipes for you to make and enjoy !
Five Spice Powder
Five Spice Powder is a Chinese spice blend made from a combination of star anise, clove, cinnamon, fennel, and Sichuan peppercorns. It has a sweet, warm flavor and is a great substitute for curry powder. I often use Chinese Five Spice Powder in recipes like Chili Garlic Noodles and Curry Fried Rice.
Ras El Hanout
Ras El Hanout is a North African spice blend made from a combination of spices, including cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. It has a warm, spicy flavor and can be substituted for curry powder in rice dishes and tagines. Our Moroccan Lentil Stew recipe uses this spice mix for a hearty meal.
Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend made from a combination of spices, including chili powder, ginger, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon. It has a spicy, smoky flavor and is a great substitute for curry powder in meat and vegetable dishes.
Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste made from a blend of roasted peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices. It has a spicy, smoky flavor and is a great substitute for curry powder in meat and vegetable dishes.
Roasted Cumin powder + Coriander Powder + Turmeric
Roasted cumin and coriander powder can be a great substitute for curry powder in certain dishes. Combine it with Turmeric powder, and you have a spice mix that is very close to curry powder. All these are primary ingredients in curry powder and provide great earthy taste and golden yellow color.
Thai Curry Paste Options
Store bought Thai curry pastes have long shelf life and I prefer to stock up on these for making easy delicious meals in hurry.
Just some veggies, protein or chicken and can of coconut milk along with different curry paste mixtures can create restaurant style Thai Curry dinners in under 20 minutes. Enjoy making our Vegan Thai Red Curry, Thai Massman Curry , Thai Pumpkin Curry and Curry Fried Rice for scrumptious dinner.
How to Make Best Curry Powder Substitute?
If you want to use roasted cumin and coriander powder as a substitute for curry powder, here’s how you can do it:
- Measure out the amount of curry powder that the recipe calls for.
- Use an equal amount of roasted cumin and coriander powder to replace the curry powder.
- Adjust the other spices in the recipe as needed to achieve the desired flavor.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Keep in mind that this substitution will work best in dishes that already have a lot of flavor, such as stews, soups, and meat dishes. The spices used to make curry powder differ depending on where it is produced..
In milder dishes or those that require a more complex flavor profile, you may need to add additional spices to achieve the desired taste.
Curry powder and curry leaves re two very different things. Curry powder is a blend of spices that typically includes turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and chili peppers. It is used as a seasoning to add flavor and aroma to Indian and Thai dishes. On the other hand, curry leaves are the leaves of the curry tree, which is native to India and Sri Lanka. Curry leaves have a distinct aroma and flavor, which is described as slightly bitter and nutty.
Use turmeric powder along with roasted cumin and coriander powder as a substitute for curry powder.
Garam masala and curry powder are both spice blends used in Indian cuisine, but they are not exact substitutes for each other. Garam masala is more warming and aromatic, while curry powder is more pungent and has a characteristic yellow color from the turmeric. So you can use either garam masala or curry powder as a substitute but flavor profile of the dish may change slightly.
Our Best Curry Recipes
- Shahi Paneer : Indian cottage cheese with spicy and creamy curry sauce
- Jackfruit Curry : Meaty and earthy curry with luscious texture and intense flavors.
- Rajma Masala : Red Kidney beans curry
- Indian Pumpkin Curry : Delicately flavored sweet and spicy curry.
- Palak Paneer : Restaurant style paneer curry with spinach.
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