Curry powder

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Curry powder
Curry powder in the spice-bazaar in Istanbul.jpg
Region or stateIndian subcontinent
Main ingredientsSpices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers)

Curry powder is a spice mix originating from the Indian subcontinent.


Spice blends were found to be in use almost 4000 years ago, with key ingredients like ginger, garlic, and turmeric, during the days of Indus Valley Civilization.[1] The chili pepper, a ubiquitous ingredient in curry, was brought to the Indian subcontinent from the Americas through the Columbian Exchange in the 16th century.

The Portuguese importation of the chili peppers and their mixing of other Asian spices enabled the development of 'curi'.[clarification needed][2]

Curry powder and the contemporary English use of the word "curry" are Western inventions and do not reflect any specific food from the Indian subcontinent, though a similar mixture of spices used in the Northern regions of the Indian subcontinent is called garam masala. Curry powder was used as an ingredient in 18th century British recipe books,[3] and commercially available from the late 18th century,[4][5] with brands such as Crosse & Blackwell and Sharwood's persisting to the present.[6] British traders introduced the powder to Meiji Japan, in the mid-19th century, where it became known as Japanese curry.[7]


Most curry powder recipes include coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers in their blends. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, asafoetida, fennel seed, caraway, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, nutmeg, white turmeric, curry leaf, long pepper, and black pepper may also be included.[8][9]

Nutritional information[edit]

1 tablespoon of curry powder contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:[10]

  • Calories : 20 kcal
  • Fat: 0.87 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.66 g
  • Fibers: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g


  1. ^ "The Mystery of Curry". Slate magazine.
  2. ^ Page, Martin (2007). The First Global Village: How Portugal Changed the World. Casa das Letras. p. 148. ISBN 978-972-46-1313-0.
  3. ^ Monks discover chicken curry recipe in 200-year-old cookbook - Telegraph, Sophie Jamieson, 13 Jan 2016
  4. ^ British Library- First British advert for curry powder - 1784
  5. ^ Nupur Chaudhuri; Margaret Strobel (1992). Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance. Indiana University Press. pp. 240–. ISBN 0-253-20705-3.
  6. ^ Inside the Factory (BBC2), TV review: Greg Wallace lifts the lid on how our curries are made The various ingredients of this inspired show are starting to come together in effective and flavoursome ways - Independent - Sean O'Grady @_seanogrady - Tuesday 14 August 2018 23:00
  7. ^ Itoh, Makiko (26 August 2011). "Curry — it's more 'Japanese' than you think". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  8. ^ "McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Curry Powder - McCormick Gourmet".
  9. ^ "McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Curry Powder, Red - McCormick Gourmet".
  10. ^ "NDL/FNIC Food Composition Database Home Page". Archived from the original on 3 March 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2013.