whole food ~ well made

prepared homemade curry powder

A Master Curry Powder to Make at Home

A 10-minute homemade curry powder is a superhero seasoning for vegetables. Make up a batch and just see how it lifts your spirits.

While I was fantasizing about escaping to an exotic location recently, I decided to refresh my winter eating–root vegetables, mostly–with the alluring flavors of good curry.

Curry is not just one thing. I’m talking about curry powder, a spice blend of infinite variety. Generally with warming spices like coriander and cumin, Sometimes with real heat from chili and black pepper.

Just looking at the orange-gold turmeric root (which is very mild flavored but gives curry its orange hue) elevates my core body temperature.

Store-bought versus homemade

Once upon a time, I purchased curry powder without a second thought. It was fine.

curry roasted squash with yogurt

Maybe it was stale, like many ground spices get while waiting at the store to be sold. Maybe the blend didn’t ring my bell because it was too mild or did not have enough coriander.

Whatever the reason, I’ll never go back to pre-made curry powder now that I’ve customized my own from the master recipe in Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking published in 1985.

Ways to Use Curry

Curry powder is something I probably don’t use often enough because it has myriad uses, like:

That’s just a start. (I also like it a lot in mayonnaise-based salads, like chicken salad, tuna salad and broccoli salad).

Curry powder is never the same thing. Curry is about possibility.

My latest super-easy supper is to toss cubed veggies (such as squash, parsnips, cauliflower, potatoes–or a combination) with vegetable oil and season generously with the curry powder and salt. Then, I roast the vegetables in a 400ºF oven until tender, turning once or twice, about 40 minutes.

Top with yogurt and cilantro, serve with chutney and eat.

Revelation for winter’s tired vegetables. May it restore and revive you, too!

Want more homemade spices? Try my recipes for garam masala and za’atar


and become a forager

What will you liven up in your life with good curry? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Homemade Curry Powder

This is a curry powder with just a little heat and a mainstay of coriander supported with other spices from Indian cooking authority Julie Sahni. Feel free to play around with the amounts once you’re made it a few times and adjust the formula suit your own preferences. This recipe makes 3/4 cup, which can be stored in an air-tight jar for up to 3 months.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 tablespoons
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 dried red chiles optional
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons ground turmeric


  • Measure the coriander, chiles (if using), cumin, mustard, fenugreek and peppercorns into the bowl of a mortar or an electric spice grinder.
  • Grind to a fine powder and stir in the turmeric. 
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


  1. Giovanna

    I like your attitude…and the definite sense that springtime is on its way in! We bridged the two seasons last night with pureed root vegetables and fennel salad.

    Where do you store your stockpile through the winter? Do you have a root cellar?

  2. Lynne

    The rock and brick basement of our 110-year-old house stays right about 50 degrees year round. I store all our stuff there, plus usually lend out space to friends without.

  3. Jane

    Do you add curry to your veg roast at some point?

  4. Lynne

    Indeed. I toss the prepared veggies in a big bowl with oil, salt and the curry powder blend. The spices get toasted in the heat of the oven–usually 400 degrees for me.

  5. Orian

    Hi Lynne, I’ve seen several curry spice recipes that call for roasting all the seeds before grinding them into a powder. Maybe the roasted variety is a regional version?

    1. Good question, Orian. You can definitely toast whole spices before grinding them–either single spices (I adore toasted coriander) or for a blend like curry powder. Whenever I’m making a curry dish, I toast the ground spice mixture in the oil until they’re fragrant, just the way I learned from Indian cookbook author Julie Sahni. (In the recipe I mention in this post, the spices get “toasted” during the roasting stage in the oven.)

  6. Orian

    Hi again Lynne. I understand, Instead of roasting, grinding and jarring you just road the spices in oil as part of the cooking procedure. That makes sense I suppose – the releasing of the fragrant essential oils of the spices is “fresh”. I will try this next the next time I make a curry. Thanks.

  7. Orian

    Hi Lynne, I used your curry mix to make a mouth watering curried shrimp. First I fried about a tablespoon of your curry mix in some oil making sure not to burn it. I’m sure you know how amazing the kitchen smells during this stage. I then added the shrimp, a chopped chili pepper and tossed it around for a minute or two. After that I seasoned, added coconut milk, and let everything simmer for a few minutes. At the very end I added some freshly chopped coriander (cilantro). So delicious on top of basmati rice! Maybe next time I’ll include something acidic like diced tomato.

    1. Truly sounds wonderful, Orian! Thanks for the recipe 😉

  8. Orian

    You’re quite welcome Lynne. Maybe in the future you can enlighten us with any experiences you’ve had with garam masala. I’ve read that it can be used to enhance a curry dish.

share your thoughts

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *