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Caribbean Curry Powder


East Indian workers arrived in the Caribbean as indentured servants in the 1800s. They made curry an essential part of West Indian cuisine. Curry is especially popular in the English speaking islands, but also has a counterpart, known as Colombo, on the French speaking islands. There are several commercial blends available, so why make your own? Because it just tastes better. Start with whole fresh spices and grind them yourself. Be careful. Fresh ground curry powder is much more flavorful than pre-ground commercial blends. Less is more.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups


  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks (break into pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 3 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger


  1. Place the coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, and fenugreek seeds into a skillet and cook over medium heat until fragrant and toasty. Shake the pan often to prevent burning. This will take about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate or platter to cool.
  2. Place the cooled spices into a spice mill, blender, or food processor. Grind into a fine powder. Place the powder into a bowl and thoroughly stir in the turmeric and ginger.
  3. Now you have Curry powder. Store the seasoning in an airtight jar, container, or sealed baggie. Be sure to label it and record the date you made it. The powder will keep for several months.
Cook’s Notes:
Because we want this to be a dry powdered seasoning, we use dry ground ginger.

If you like a hot and spicy curry powder, add chili powder to your liking.

Look for whole spices in local ethnic markets, gourmet shops, natural food shops, and online.

Curry powder can be used in place of Colombo powder or garam masala.

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