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Homemade Hot Madras Curry Powder

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Homemade madras curry powder

Homemade hot madras curry powder

Take your curries to the next level with homemade hot Madras curry powder

This hot madras curry powder is curry powder in the true sense of the word. Most of the spice mixes I developed for this blog are garam masalas.

These are based on authentic blends of warming spices such as black peppercorns, cumins and cinnamon that are added to curries and other recipes to give them that delicious flavour boost.

Curry powder is essentially the same idea but usually a few other ingredients such as chilli powder, onion and garlic powder, turmeric and even flour are added to the mix to make it much easier to make a curry.

Some brands add flour as it is a lot cheaper than spices so they make a bigger margin.

Commercially prepared mixtures of curry powder date back to the 18th century when spice blends were prepared by Indian merchants to sell to returning British army and government officials at the end of the British Raj.

Madras curry powder is still one of the most popular spice blends available in shops here in the UK.

Back then, returning British citizens wanted to be able to recreate the Indian dishes they had enjoyed so much while in India. In fact, the first UK curry restaurant chefs used imported curry powders to create their dishes.

Many of the whole spices used in the curry powders just weren’t available in the shops of the day.

You can use this blend whenever hot curry powder is called for in a curry recipe. I like to use fresh onions, garlic and vegetables when I cook my curries so I leave these dried products out of my curry powders. Many companies still include them though.

If you love spicy madras curries, this is the curry powder to use!

Making madras curry powder

Roasting cardamom pods. You can also just roast the seeds.

Making curry powder

Be careful not to burn fennel. It cooks quite quickly.

Making curry powder

Fenugreek seeds pop all over the place when roasting.

Making curry powder

These have a similar flavour to fennel seeds. Break them up a bit before grinding.

Making curry powder

You can also use dried curry leaves. If using fresh, wash them thoroughly before drying them in the pan.

Making curry powder

Peppercorns don’t really need to be roasted but I do it anyway.

Making curry powder

Roast lightly until you can smell the magnificent aroma.

Making curry powder

Mustard seeds are a nice addition!

Making curry powder

These bay leaves are from the cassia tree and taste a lot like cinnamon.

Making curry powder

Freshly made curry powder with my GitaDini spice dabba in the background.

Homemade Hot Madras Curry Powder

Homemade Hot Madras Curry Powder
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 6 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 6 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 x 5" piece of cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 4 x Indian bay leaves (leaves from the cassia tree)
  • 3 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
  • 3 star anise
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 15 cardamom pods
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 8 Kashmiri dried chillies
  • 2 tablespoons hot chilli powder (optional)


  1. Roast each of the different whole spice types individually as different spices roast faster than others.
  2. In a dry frying pan, roast each spice until they become fragrant. The curry leaves need to dry out and become lightly browned.
  3. Transfer the spices to a bowl to cool.
  4. When cool, grind them together into a fine powder in a spice grinder. You can also use a pestle and mortar but spice grinders make things a lot easier.
  5. Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder to the blend and stir to combine.
  6. Store in a dark location in an airtight container and use as required.
  7. Use within three months.

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Friday 3rd of February 2023

Thanks for all the recipes. The curry base sauce was a revelation! I could not get my hands on whole Kashmiri chillies only powder. Could you add how much tablespoons 8 whole chillies would approx be? Could not find anything on the net how much a Kashmiri chilli weights on overage.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

It’s really hard to say about how much chilli powder to add. I would add it gradually to taste so you get the desired heat. I am really glad you’re enjoying the base sauce recipe. Thanks Dan

Tom Stanley

Monday 24th of January 2022

Hi, I like your hot madras Cury powder recipe for myself. Can you please tell me how I can make a similar powder but in a mild version which will suit my partner. We have tried the brand 'East End' mild madras curry powder and she finds that about right but I'm sure your recipe will be much better. Thanks, Tom.

Dan Toombs

Monday 24th of January 2022

Hi If you want a milder version just use a very mild chilli powder instead of a hot one and reduce it a bit. Kashmiri chilli powder is quite mild. Put in fewer dried chillies too although they aren't too hot but try doing that too. Thanks Dan


Friday 3rd of July 2020

Thank you so much for this simple and fragrant recipe. It was easy to follow; it was my first time making a spice mix, and I am now encouraged to try making more spice mixes at home.

I made this mix for a Jamaican Curry Goat recipe that I came across.

What other recipes may I use this curry powder for?

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Hi You can use it for a lot of the curries on my web site. You could even replace garam masala that is used in a lot of my recipes with this curry powder if you enjoy this one so much. Thanks Dan


Saturday 13th of June 2020

I've had madras a bunch of times. I'm also avery experienced cook that has made many Idian & Thai curries. Despite all my experience, I never tackled making my own madras curry. I tried 4 different recipes to see which one fit my palate the best. I thought it would be this one but I find on overpowering bitterness to this. I've even added salt & sugar, but it's still bitter. I have nothing but fresh ingredients & like I said, I have over 20 years experience. With so many 5 stars I was expecting better...

Dan Toombs

Monday 15th of June 2020

Hi Eugene I am sorry my recipe wasn't to your liking. Hopefully you will enjoy some of my others more. Dan

Sonja Menzi

Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Hi Dan If I only take green cardamom seeds, how many tablespoons do I need for that. Greetings Sonja Menzi

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Hi Sonja If you use 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds that should be fine. Thanks Dan

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