Singapore Curry Spice Mix

While all-purpose Curry Powders are not a thing in India, they do exist in countries with strong Indian populations – for example, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore. This spice mix is representative of the Singapore Indians – Singaporean influences on traditional Indian flavours.

Use Singapore Curry Spice Mix in stir fry dishes, with noodles and in curry sauces. Add to coconut milk for Malay style curries, and to tamarind water for South Indian style curries.

Similar recipes include What is Curry Powder?, Sri Lankan 5 Spice Curry Powder,  and Malay Curry Powder.

Browse all of our Curry Powder Spice Mixes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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Indian Essentials: Madras Curry Powder for Quick Anglo-Indian Flavours

I grew up with Keens Madras Curry Powder, the Australian introduction to the flavours of India. It was used for all sorts of Western dishes that home cooks believed were enhanced by a bit of spice and heat. It is still used by many to provide a generic curry base to English style curries and in general to add colour and spice to any non-Indian dish. Thankfully those who do cook more traditional Indian food (at least in Australia) generally grind their own spice blends that are specific to the dish. For anyone interested, this recipe is similar to the Madras Curry Powder of old.

Actually, Madras curry powder is not a traditional Indian spice blend while it does use Indian ingredients. It was originally a selection of ingredients that were designed to suit English colonial tastes, and differs quite a bit from the spice blends used in Tamil Nadu and South India.

Madras Curry Powder gets its heat from Indian chillies and black pepper, and has a lot of turmeric which provides an intense yellow colour. Spices like fenugreek and cumin provide much of the flavour. Use in lentil and vegetable dishes, as well as soups, dips, and slow cooked bean dishes. Add it to coconut milk, pureed tomatoes or tamarind water, to form a base for any dish.

There are many different blends for Madras Curry Powder. Here is one that I particularly like.

Similar recipes include What is Curry Powder?, Sri Lankan 5 Spice Curry Powder,  and Malay Curry Powder.

Browse all of our Curry Powder Spice Mixes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.
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Kerala Spice Mix

I am not a great fan of pre-mixed curry powder, preferring to mix and grind them as needed. However, sometimes you want to elicit the flavours of a region without  following a traditional recipe. In such cases, it is a perfect time to roast and grind spices into a powder and mix with ingredients. For example, this can be mixed with finely chopped or pureed onions, garlic, green chillies and ginger as they are sauteed in coconut oil, then this paste is mixed with coconut milk, yoghurt or stock for a great sauce for vegetables, even tofu.

It does not have to be restricted to Kerala style use. Use the coconut or stock mixture as a base for noodles and chopped vegetables, S. E. Asian style. Cook pineapple cubes or plantain in it, add it to sauteed okra. Your uses are limited only by your imagination.

Similar recipes include a Deeply Flavoured Coconut-Curry Stock, What is Curry Powder and Curry Paste, Madras Curry Powder, and Malay Curry Powder.

Browse all of our curry spice mixes, and all of our Kerala dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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How to Make Singalese Thuna Paha, Badapu Thuna Paha and Kalu Kudu | Sri Lankan 5-Spice Curry Powder

You will have heard that India doesn’t have Curry Powder, and that is sort of true. There is no such general-purpose mix of spices such as the Keens Madras Curry Powder that we all grew up with – bright yellow-orange powder that added the same taste to a variety of dishes that my mother cooked. But there are mixed spice powders used throughout India and Sri Lanka, called podi in Tamil Nadu. These differ to our notion of curry powders in that they are made for specific uses including specific dishes.

One such spice mix from Sri Lanka, from the Singalese community, is this unroasted curry powder or spice mix called Thuna Paha, which means three to five. It is the generic term used in Sri Lanka for the spice mixtures used in every day cooking, made from between 3 to 5 spices. Recipes vary, as households cooks include different spices in their mix, and use different ratios of spices.

Once the spices are roasted, it becomes a different spice mix, so don’t confuse them. Badapu thuna paha is the roasted curry powder, and Kalu Kudu is roasted for longer and is much darker in colour. You can always tell what kind of thuna paha you have by the colour – normal thuna paha is light brown, badapu thuna paha is a darker, richer brown and kalu kudu (as the name says) is almost black.

Are you after other Curry Powders? Try our Madras Curry Powder, Malaysian Curry Powder, and Kerala Spice Mix, and read What is Curry Powder and Curry Paste?

Or perhaps you are looking for Sri Lankan dishes. Why not try Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, Thattai Vadai, and Carrot Sambol. Browse all of our curry spice mixes, and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.

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How to Make Malay Curry Powder

While India does not have a “curry powder”, it does have a range of masalas and podis that are used in specific ways or with specific dishes. For example, chole masala, chaat masala and garam masala.

Not so in the Indian community of Malaysia. Influenced by Malaysian cuisine, curry powder is a common staple in Indian and non-Indian homes in that country.

You can usually purchase Malay Curry Powder in Indian groceries, at least that is the case in Australia. But if you prefer home made, here is one version. Enjoy!

Similar recipes include Madras Curry Powder, and Kerala Spice Mix.

You might like to explore our Malaysian recipes here, and our Spice collection is here. Browse all of our curry spice mixes, our Indian recipes, and our Indian Essentials.

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Indian Essentials: What is Curry, Curry Powder and Curry Paste

Curry as a word does not exist in any Indian culinary dictionary, nor is it used in any Indian language. It is rather, a corruption of the Tamil word kari, used by Tamilians (from the region of Tamil Nadu in India) to represent any spiced relish used to accompany rice. During the days of the Raj, the British started to describe any Indian dish, including a liquid broth, a thicker stew, or even a dry dish, all of which appear as successive courses in a traditional South Indian meal as curry, a practice now followed world-wide, albeit incorrectly.

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Indian Essentials: How to Make Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a wonderfully warm and versatile mix of spices used in a range of Indian dishes.

If you are even the smallest bit familiar with Indian food, you will have heard of Garam Masala. It is a wonderfully warm and versatile mix of spices used in a range of Indian dishes. Not necessarily spicy hot, it consists of spices that warm and nourish the body, such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Garam Masala is a mixture of spices, and the combinations vary with each household. They say it is basically Persian in origin, but is now indispensable in North Indian cuisine.

Garam Masala is particularly loved in the North where the winters are cold. It is not a prescriptive mix – it is open to interpretation with each region of India creating distinct blends with flavours characteristic of the region. A teaspoon of Garam Masala gives a North Indian character to any dish – try it with Basmati rice, or sprinkle it over cooked dishes.

The variety in recipes is easily explained. The cuisine varies so much across India that the spices in Garam Masala are chosen to best compliment the local foods. Each region and each family adjusts their mix to suit the flavours of the cuisine, personal preference and the dish being made. When you have such a large canvas of spices to choose from, why would you not do that?

Generally, but not always, Garam Masala is sprinkled over food towards the end of the cooking to retain its aroma.

The garam masala spices can also be used whole, but more traditionally, they are ground together in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, a blender or spice grinder will do. If you want to use whole Garam Masala, try a rice dish in which you grind only the nutmeg and add the other spices into the rice water as it boils.

Are you looking for spice blends? Try Sundakkai Podi, Rasam Powder, Sambar Powder, Malaysian Curry Powder and Sri Lankan Thuna Paha.

Browse our other Spice Mix recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

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