Colombo Powder

French West Indies

Preparation info
  • Makes About

    1 Cup

    • Difficulty


Appears in
The Barbecue Bible

By Steven Raichlen

Published 1998

  • About

Colombo is the French West Indian version of curry powder. What sets it apart is the addition of an unexpected ingredient: toasted rice. The rice acts as both a flavoring and natural thickener. Toasting gives the rice a pleasing nutty flavor and makes it easier to grind.


  • ¼ cup white rice
  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup


  1. Place the rice in a dry skillet and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan to ensure even cooking (do not use a nonstick skillet for this). Transfer the rice to a bowl and let cool.

  2. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, fenugreek seeds (if using), and cloves to the skillet and cook over