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Tamil Curry Powder

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Curry powder

You can use this in any curry that calls for curry powder or garam masala

I get emailed recipes all the time by people in India wanting me to try their favourite family recipes. Sure beats using those waste of space celebrity cookbooks!

I was sent a recipe recently for a chicken curry from Tamil called Kuzhambu chicken curry. The recipe calls for a spice blend which I doubled to try in another south Indian curry. It is really good. You could also use it as a dry rub for barbecuing.

This recipe makes enough for two curries that serve three to four . I think after you’ve used it, you’ll be making more like I did.

As with all spice blends, it is a good idea to roast each of the different spices on their own like I do in my garam masala recipe here. The reason for this is that some spices roast faster than others.

That said, I don’t always have the time or the will to do this so I roasted them all together. To be honest, I don’t think you’ll taste a big difference either way. 🙂 At least you will be roasting your spices which is a lot more than you can say about most commercial brands.

Making curry powder

Toasting the spices, rice and lentils.

Curry powder

Toasted and ready to grind.

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How To Make Tamil Curry Powder

How To Make Tamil Curry Powder
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes


  • 8 dried Kashmiri chillies
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon broken rice (raw)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 x 3cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon split gram lentils
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds


  1. Place all of the spices in a dry frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Be sure to move the spices around so that they roast evenly.
  3. Remove from the heat when the spices become fragrant and warm to the touch.
  4. Cool the spices and then grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.

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B Meridew

Friday 28th of April 2023

You include coconut as an ingredient, but in what format please? Is it: Desicated, Powder, Creamed Milk Fresh Other?

Please elaborate

Great recipe. Thank you

Dan Toombs

Thursday 4th of May 2023

You can use dedicated coconut for this one. Thanks Dan


Sunday 19th of July 2015

Tamil curry powders are mindblowing. I love eating curries at my Tamilian friends' places, especially when they use home made curry powders. Their chutneys are equally good. Thanks for sharing this.

Dan Toombs

Monday 20th of July 2015

Thank you Minnie. Dan

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