Keralan Curry Powder

In India, curry blends vary depending on the region, the cook and the foods they are intended to season. The unique spicy lemony flavour of curry leaves is typical of this blend from Kerala in southwest India. It’s perfect for seafood and chicken.


  • fresh curry leaves 20–30
  • dried red chillies 4–8, deseeded
  • cumin seeds 2 tbsp
  • coriander seeds 2 tbsp
  • mustard seeds 1 tbsp
  • fenugreek seeds ½ tbsp
  • urad dal or toor dal (split lentils) ½ tbsp
  • black peppercorns, preferably Malabar, 2 tsp
  • turmeric powder 2 tbsp


Combine the curry leaves, chillies, cumin, coriander, mustard fenugreek and dal in a heavy-based frying pan. Dry-fry over low heat, stirring all the time, until the spices darken slightly and start to smell fragrant – about 30–60 seconds – then immediately remove from the pan. Take great care not to let the fenugreek burn or it will become bitter.

Add the peppercorns to the roasted spices. Grind in batches in a clean electric coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle, until you have a uniformly fine powder. Add the turmeric, mixing well.

Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 6 weeks.