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Curry powder
Curry powder in the spice-bazaar in Istanbul.jpg
Type Curry
Region or state Indian subcontinent
Main ingredients Spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, chili peppers)

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


Spice mixes 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. Masalas are the spice mixes originating from the Indian subcontinent that are traditionally used for preparing Indian curries.

"Curry powder", as available in certain western markets, is a commercial spice blend, comparable to the traditionally used concoction of spices known as "garam masala" in the Indian subcontinent. It is conceived as a ready-made ingredient intended to replicate the flavor of kari or an Indian gravy in a dish. It was first sold by Indian merchants to British colonial traders, resulting in the export of a derived version of Indian concoction of spices, in a ready made form for the British as an aide to making a general curry. "Curry powder" as sold to British traders, was used as an ingredient in 18th century British recipe books, and commercially available from the late 18th century, with brands such as Crosse & Blackwell and Sharwood's persisting to the present. British traders introduced the powder to Meiji Japan, in the mid-19th century, where it became known as Japanese curry.


The word "curry" is a western coinage or a broad reference to various Indian curries prepared with different combinations of spices in the Indian subcontinent. The sauce like component characterized with "curry" has been derived from the Tamil word kaṟi meaning 'sauce' or 'relish for rice', and finds synonyms with other regional references to local dishes evolving over thousands of years in the Indian subcontinent, such as "jhol", "kadhi", "shorba" and "kalia".

Nutritional information

One tablespoon (6.3 g) of curry powder contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:

  • Food energy: 84 kJ (20 kcal)
  • Fat: 0.883 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.52 g
  • Fibers: 3.35 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g
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