Bamini’s Roasted Curry Powder

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

If you make only one recipe from Bamini’s selection, make sure it is this one. It will change the flavour of any curry you make and it’s what gives her recipes such a distinctive taste. Bamini’s curry powder is now a staple in my kitchen, and I can’t imagine cooking a curry without it. You need to start this recipe a day before you need it, to allow time for drying the spices in the sun.


  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, leaves picked
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon red rice*
  • 8 dried long red chillies*
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half


Wash the curry leaves, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and red rice separately, then place them on separate plates and leave to dry in the sun for a day.

Dry-roast the sun-dried and the remaining ingredients separately in a small wok or heavy-based frying pan over low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant, shaking the pan continuously. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl to cool.

Put all the cooled ingredients into a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) and pound into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.