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Quick & Easy Quick & Easy Sri Lankan Curry Powder Recipe

With the weather getting colder and colder, we’ve swapped salads and barbecues with soups, stews and curries. My children’s all-time favourite is chicken korma and we tend to have it once a week. I’m now on a mission to widen my arsenal of mid-week dinners, just because we always tend to have the same thing again and again (and again): carrot soup with crusty bread, chicken korma and chorizo pasta. We do love these dishes, but I like varying what we eat from time to time. The Sri Lankan curry powder recipe I am sharing today is quickly becoming one of my favourite ways to quickly put together a dinner everyone will actually eat. 

I am no curry expert, but I love tucking in to a good, fragrant curry and I’ve always made sure my children were exposed to as many textures and flavours as early as possible. Crevette can handle the heat of chillies but the girls are not fans, especially Jumpy, who compares the tingling of chilli spice in her mouth to what happens when she has an allergic reaction. Now I can understand that this kind of  sensation would be quite unappealing. 

Rather than completely giving up on spicy food with the girls, I decided to move away from chillies for a bit and try a different kind of heat and explore other spices that give food a kick without the tingling sensation on the tongue or throat. 

This Sri Lankan curry powder recipe is hotter than what the children are used to, but the kick comes from black pepper rather than chilli powder and it’s easily made milder with a spoonful of yoghurt or cream, so it’s suitable for the whole family. 

Although I’m not a big fan of fresh coriander, I love the delicate flavour roasted coriander seeds add to spice mixes, since it’s the main spice in the Sri Lankan curry powder, it naturally appeals to me. Cinnamon also adds a discreet layer to the spice blend and I love black pepper, which brings the whole mix together. I don’t normally like the taste of Cardamom, but in this recipe, you have to crush the pods so you can extract the seeds inside, and dispose of the pods. 

The beauty of this curry powder is you can make it ahead and simply store it in a dark cupboard in a sterilised glass jar or airtight container for a couple of months. If you follow this recipe, you will have enough curry powder for at least 5 curries.

This little Sri Lankan curry mix can then be used with meat or in vegan curries as and when you need it. My favourite way to use it is in our easy one-pot Sri Lankan Chicken Biryani curry. 

This Sri Lankan curry powder recipe is quick and easy to put together. You can make it ahead and store it in an airtight container for a couple of months.
5 from 5 votes

Quick & Easy Sri Lankan Curry Powder Recipe

Cuisine Indian, Sri Lankan
Keyword curry powder
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon Black Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Cardamom Seeds spilt the pods and only use the seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nigella Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric


  1. Place a dry pan over a medium heat. Once warm, dry roast all spices apart from the cinnamon and turmeric. Keep roasting for three or four minutes, stirring constantly until the spices start to brown. Do not leave the spices unattended as they would easily burn.

  2. Once cooled, place all spices including the turmeric and cinnamon into a blender or pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.

Recipe Notes

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use as needed. 

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  1. 21/11/2018 / 2:38 pm

    5 stars
    Oooh I have all the spices so I can’t wait to try this. I love the sound of it with black pepper providing the heat rather than chilli.

    • Mel
      21/11/2018 / 2:46 pm

      Thanks Kate! Let me know what you think when you give it a go. x

  2. 21/11/2018 / 3:52 pm

    5 stars
    I, too, love tucking into a good curry! These flavors sound delightful!

    • Mel
      21/11/2018 / 3:53 pm

      Thanks Mary: it really works beautifully, with lots of different flavour layers.

  3. Jessica Formicola
    21/11/2018 / 4:03 pm

    5 stars
    Wow this is such an awesome combination of spices!

    • Mel
      21/11/2018 / 4:04 pm

      Thanks Jessica

  4. 21/11/2018 / 4:07 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve never made my own curry powder before but this looks absolutely divine! And what a great idea to get your kids introduced to interesting flavor combinations from a young age!

    • Mel
      21/11/2018 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks Vicki! Introducing them to a range of flavours and textures helped with the fussiness (most of the time) I guess.

  5. Gabi
    21/11/2018 / 5:00 pm

    5 stars
    I’m a big fan of curry, like almost to a point of obsession (ha!). I would never have thought to make my own curry spice though, but I am going to print this and stick it in my pantry so I don’t have to use store bought again;) Also, what I would give to go again to a traditional spice market in Sri Lanka!!!

    • Mel
      21/11/2018 / 8:12 pm

      Going to a traditional spice market in Sri Lanka would be amazing, wouldn’t it?

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