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Feb 10, 2005 06:34 AM

Curry Powders

  • t

Can you or have you ever combined two different brands of stroe-bought curry powder to put in a dish? What would be some of the concerns if I do?

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  1. I have never combined curry powders, but do not see the harm in doing so. Curry is a generic Indian term for a combination of spices and many families there have their own particular mixes. If you were to mix cumin, coriander and turmeric, you would have curry powder. Add some ground red chile powder and you still have curry powder. Add some fenugreek and ground ginger and it's still curry powder. Et cetera, et cetera, etc.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      I'm with ChiliDude (but have to add that I do not know of a reputable/authenic curry powder which doesn't include black pepper).


      1. re: ChiliDude
        Amin (London Foodie)

        Tina, I like Chili Dude's reasoning, though it is
        possible that the seasoning could become harsher,
        pungent, or more potent. Like you, I have no clue
        as to the actual effects on the mixing, however would
        advise if you mix (don't see any harm in it either)that
        you ensure an even mix between the two (old/new)lots.

        Just be careful that none of the powder disperses on
        you and that you wash your hands thouroughly afterwards
        even though you may not have physically touched the

        1. re: ChiliDude

          Its true that in India many different spice mixes are used but they would probably not mostly be called "curry powder" . I think the OP is talking about the curry powders sold in the West which are mostly proprietary mixes, like the Madras Curry Powder I have in my cabinet now - which give a characteristic hot/spicy flavor and yellow color.

          I cant see why these couldnt be mixed and used in a western style curry. There are specialty curry powders with more sweet spices, more chilis etc or varying mixes for fish, meat, etc coming out of malaysia and such places or sold by specialty stores which I would be less likely to mix. but if its just the normal yellow pungent stuff, go ahead.

        2. What did you have mind by "concerns"? I can't imagine any reason not to mix them, though I am curious why you would do it. Are you trying to come up with a flavor you prefer, or did you just run out of one of them? :)

          5 Replies
          1. re: MikeG

            Thanks to all for responses.

            Well, I have two curry powders, one from Kalustyans medium-hot madras
            cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, chili(POWDERS)

            and Rajah mild Madras
            coriander, turmeric, mustard, bengal gram, cumin, chilies, black pepper, fenugreek, garlec, salt, fennel, poppy seeds, curry leaves.

            I plan on using 2 TBS. Rajah and TBS Kalustyans in the chicken curry and a pinch of garam masal at then end of cooking...

            1. re: tina

              How that you have said what you are mixing, I guess I would echo Mike's comment, why? they are quite differently compounded from one another - and the people who put them together had rather different ideas of what they should be. So why not just use one and see what it tastes like? Id favor the Kalyustan blend if you are cooking with chicken because of its sweet spice component.

              A much better option, try Simon's recipe above. And splash out into real Indian cooking which has so many flavors to explore.

              1. re: jen kalb

                After I saw the reply, I wondered if it was to tone down the heat of the hotter mixture...

                Much as I like dishes made with specific masalas, I wouldn't argue that curry powder has no place. What I think of British or West Indian-style curries can be very, very good, even if they're not "real Indian." And a little pinch of curry powder in scrambled eggs is a Very Good Thing. :)

                1. re: MikeG

                  agreed. But if you fry up a little chopped up ginger, green chile and scallions a bit, sprinkle in some ground cumin and a pinch of turmeric for that color before putting in your eggs, you will never look back to the curry powder.

                  add a few chopped coriander leaves for an additional improvement.

                  and yes I do love curry powder in West Indian dishes, in my Mom's curried tuna rice and in the curried rice I learned to make as a kid.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Mmm, no I don't think so.;) I would not be happy to be faced with that egg dish with bacon and toast for breakfast. As a different dish altogether, it doesn't sound bad at all.:)

                    But a tiny bit of mild curry powder - just what will fit on the tip of a sharp knife - in a few eggs along with salt and pepper gives it a slight hint of flavor I really like without changing them to something other than good old, basic scrambled eggs.

          2. I agree with the other posters, but I would also say do not mixx a cheap curry powder with something good like Sun Brand Madras, because you will just ruin the good one. Taste them both first (maybe mixed with mayo or cream, to get an even flavor), and then decide if you think it would detract from either markedly.