Madras Curry Powder

The main difference between plain curry powder and Madras Curry Powder is the heat factor. There is no substitute for curry leaves, so just leave them out if you can’t find them.

Kashmiri chiles are hard to find, and you really need the heat because that’s what makes this Madras Curry powder. If you have no dried chiles, a good substitute would be a 3:1 ration of paprika and cayenne if you would like. This will give you the red color of Madras. Don’t toast these spices, just add them at the end with the turmeric.

madras curry powder

Madras Curry Powder

Course Spice Mix, World Recipes
Cuisine Indian
Servings 1 cup


  • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seed
  • 1 tbsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp Mustard seed Any color will do, brown, black or yellow
  • 3 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 10-15 Green cardamom pods, split open
  • 6 Dried Kashmiri chiles Dried Chinese chiles will work, but the results won't be authentic.
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 20 Curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp Ground turmeric


  • Toast the coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard, cinnamon stick, cardamom, chiles, and peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium heat until the spices become fragrant. Make to stir them around the pan or they will burn. Don't inhale the fumes, as they will make you sneeze! When they start to pop, they are done.
  • Pour into a plate to cool, and add the curry leaves to the skillet. Turn down the heat to low, and lightly toast just until they start to dry out. Transfer to plate to cool.
  • Transfer the toasted spices and curry leaves to a spice/coffee grinder. Grind until you have a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl and add the turmeric. Mix well. Store for up to 3 months in an airtight container, out of direct sunlight.
Keyword chiles, coriander, Curry, fenugreek, Madras Curry, Spice Blend, Turmeric, vegan, vegetarian

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