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Introduction to Indian Spices: Beyond Curry Powder

Posted on February 21, 2020 at 4:30 PM by Madhu Gadia

February 21, 2020
Introduction to Indian Spices: Beyond Curry Powder 

Spice BoxSpices are quintessential ingredients in Indian cooking. Thus, I am dedicating a video just to spices. I hope this video will help you navigate through the Indian spices and create authentic Indian dishes with ease.

What is Curry?

Non-Indians often equate any dish in a yellow sauce as curry and use curry powder as the primary spice. Over the years, I have been asked numerous times, “Did you forget to add curry powder in Chicken Curry?” REALLY!

Curry has become synonymous with Indian food throughout the world. It’s etched in our psyche. I get it; it’s similar to other cuisines such as pasta for Italian.

But I do have a problem when people equate Indian food with curry powder. You have no idea how many people have said to me, “I don’t like curry.” I don’t take it personally, after all I don’t like all the foods either. But as I taught Indian cooking classes and wrote my cookbooks, I realized that the only Indian food most people ate was a “curry” cooked using curry powder.

What is Curry powder?

Most Indians do not own curry powder. For each dish, we use individual spices to create a different taste and flavor.

Curry powder is a spice blend that includes turmeric, which is the ingredient that makes dishes yellow, and four to six other spices. When used in dishes it will naturally make every dish have a similar color, taste, and flavor.

Curry Powder

Love Your Curry Powder

Now, if you love your curry powder, great; enjoy it in the recipes you like, but don’t use it in all Indian recipes. Think it of it like chili powder; it’s great for making chili, but not for all Mexican dishes.




Get Started:  

I know, the number of spices in Indian cooking can seem overwhelming to a newcomer. To begin, you don’t need to purchase every spice in the cookbook. As I show you in my video, I only keep six spices (plus salt) in my spice box. Start with the basic spices and as you expand your repertoire of Indian dishes you can add to your spice pantry. 

Once you have the spices organized, it’s a quick sprinkle of spices as you layer the flavors. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.


If you like the spice box,
you can order it online.

Make Curried Potatoes 

To help you get started, let’s start with the most basic recipe, anytime favorite, the versatile potato curry:

see recipe here. 

The recipe is in the video description. 


Enjoy Happy Healthy Cooking!


P.S.: Spices are used for flavor and their health benefits, but that’s another blog or video.

Categories: Blog Articles, Recipes

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