10 Best Curry Powder Substitutes You Can Find

Curry powder is a spice mix that typically contains turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek. It’s used to add flavor to Indian dishes like curry and masala. However, what do you do if you’re out of curry powder or don’t have the time to run to the store?

Don’t worry!

After much trial and error, I’ve compiled a list of the best substitutes for curry powder.

So whether you’re out of curry powder or simply want to try something new, these substitutes will do the trick!

Best Curry Powder Substitutes

  1. Sambar Powder
  2. Tandoori Masala
  3. Garam Masala
  4. Chaat Masala
  5. Curry Paste
  6. Cumin Powder and Chili
  7. All Spice
  8. Turmeric, Coriander, and All Spice
  9. Chinese 5 Spice
  10. Make Your Own Curry Powder

Sambar Powder

Sambar powder is one of the most popular substitutes for curry powder due to its similar flavor and spicy kick. Sambar powder is typically made from ground dried chilies, fenugreek seeds, coriander, cumin, black peppercorns, and turmeric.

This mix of spices gives sambar powder a rich, aromatic flavor that pairs well with dishes like lentil soups, stews, and curries.

Like curry powder, sambar powder contains an array of health-promoting compounds that can boost physical and mental health. These include antioxidants that can help combat free radicals in the body and support healthy cell function.

Sambar powder also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help relieve joint pain and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Overall, sambar powder is an excellent alternative to conventional curry powders due to its rich flavor and health benefits.

If you’re looking for an easy way to increase your intake of these beneficial nutrients, consider adding sambar powder to your cooking repertoire!

Tandoori Masala

Tandoori Masala is a great spice to use in place of curry powder. It is a blend of spices that is common in Indian cuisine. You can use it to flavor chicken, fish, vegetables, or in any dish where you would normally use curry powder.

Tandoori Masala has a clear advantage over curry powder because it is fresher and more flavorful. Tandoori Masala is also less likely to cause indigestion because it does not contain any preservatives.

If you are looking for a healthier option, Tandoori Masala is the way to go!

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a popular substitute for curry powder. It has many of the same benefits, such as being made from warming spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and cumin.

It offers all the familiar flavors and aromas of Indian cuisine, with just a hint of spiciness. Garam masala also works well in many types of dishes, from soups and stews to marinades and curries.

And perhaps best of all, it can be used to enhance virtually any type of protein, from chicken and fish to lentils and tofu.

Whether you like your food spicy or mild, garam masala is the perfect way to add some authentic flavor to your favorite dishes.

So why not give this fragrant seasoning blend a try next time you’re cooking Indian cuisine? The only thing you’ll regret is waiting so long to make that switch!

Chaat Masala

If you are looking for an alternative to curry powder, you might consider using chaat masala instead. Chaat masala is a blend of spices that is often used as a condiment in Indian cuisine, and it has many of the same savory and spicy flavors as curry powder.

One of the main benefits of using chaat masala as a substitute for curry powder is its versatility.

Chaat masala can be used in all kinds of dishes, from savory stews and curries to tangy fruit salads or fragrant rice pilafs. This allows you to experiment with different flavor combinations and add some spice to your meal without relying on commercially-prepared seasoning blends.

Additionally, chaat masala can also be used as a dry rub for meats like chicken or lamb, adding an extra layer of flavor and tenderness to your favorite protein.

Whether you are a beginner cook looking to branch out into new flavor profiles or an experienced chef looking for a versatile seasoning blend, chaat masala is sure to be a great addition to your kitchen pantry.

Curry Paste

Curry paste is a great substitute for curry powder. Curry paste is made with fresh ingredients that are ground into a paste. You can use curry paste to make curries, soups, stews, and other dishes.

Curry paste is usually made with fresh ginger, garlic, onion, and chili peppers. The ingredients are blended together to create a thick paste.

You can find curry paste in the international aisle of most grocery stores. When using curry paste as a substitute for curry powder, use half as much curry paste as you would curry powder. However, keep in mind that some recipes vary and you may need to increase to a 1 to 1 ratio or even use more.

Curry paste is a great way to add flavor to your dishes without adding too much heat. Furthermore, curry pastes come in mild, medium, and hot varieties. Choose the curry paste based on your personal preference.

Cumin Powder and Chili

Cumin powder and chili are excellent substitutes for curry powder, a common ingredient in many types of cuisine. Cumin is a potent spice that packs a flavorful punch, while chilis are well-known for their fiery heat. Both of these ingredients can be easily incorporated into dishes as a way to replace the bold, savory flavor of traditional curry powder.

Compared to curry powder, cumin and chili offer several distinct benefits. Cumin, for example, is rich in nutrients like iron and manganese, which help to fortify the body’s immune system.

Meanwhile, chilis contain capsaicin, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Additionally, both cumin and chili are versatile spices that can easily be added to a wide range of dishes without dramatically altering the taste or texture.

Therefore, when looking for an alternative to traditional curry powder, cumin and chili are great options that provide both flavor and health benefits.

Whether used in stews or sauces or simply as standalone seasonings on meats or vegetables, these two spices can enhance any dish with their rich flavors and powerful nutritional content.

All Spice

All Spice is a popular substitute for curry powder due to its similar flavor and aroma. All Spice contains many of the same ingredients as curry powder, including turmeric, saffron, ginger, and other warming spices.

You can use all of these flavors in both savory and sweet dishes to add a rich, aromatic note without relying on heavily-seasoned foods. Compared to curry powder, All Spice also tends to be less pungent and spicy, making it an ideal option for those who prefer subtler flavors in their cooking.

Overall, All Spice is a versatile ingredient that can stand in as a convenient replacement for curry powder in a wide range of cooking applications.

Whether you’re seasoning grilled chicken or whipping up some sweet treats, All Spice is sure to become one of your go-to seasonings in the kitchen!

Turmeric, Coriander, and All Spice

Turmeric, coriander, and allspice are all excellent substitutes for curry powder. Turmeric is a spice that imparts a beautiful yellow color to dishes, as well as a slightly bitter flavor.

Coriander is a fragrant spice with a lemony flavor, while allspice is a warm spice with hints of clove and cinnamon. When used in a mix, these spices can provide all the flavor of curry powder in a similar manner.

In addition, they offer numerous health benefits. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, while coriander is rich in antioxidants. Allspice, meanwhile, has been shown to boost metabolism and aid digestion.

As such, these substitutes are not only delicious but also good for you.

Make Your Own Curry Powder

For anyone who loves Indian cuisine, curry powder is an essential ingredient. However, sometimes it can be difficult to find the right blend of spices.

In these cases, a homemade curry powder is a perfect solution. By using the right ingredients, it’s easy to create a curry powder that has all the flavor of the store-bought variety.

And best of all, making your own curry powder allows you to tailor the flavor to your own taste.

To make your own curry powder, all you need is coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder, Tumeric powder, black pepper, and ginger powder. You’ll need about 5 grams of everything except cumin and coriander powder, which you’ll need about 8-15 grams of.

Simply mix all the spices together and store in an airtight container. This curry powder will last for several months when stored properly.

Chinese 5 Spice

Chinese 5 Spice is a great substitute for curry powder, as it includes many of the same ingredients and has a similar flavor profile. One of the main benefits of using Chinese 5 Spice instead of curry powder is that it provides a subtly sweet and sour taste that perfectly complements savory dishes.

Additionally, Chinese 5 Spice often contains spices like anise, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom, which can provide a number-rich flavor to your meals while also helping to balance out other spices like cumin or chili flakes.

Whether you are preparing an Asian stir fry or looking for more complex flavors in your cooking, Chinese 5 Spice is sure to be a versatile staple in your kitchen.

So why not try using this versatile spice blend in place of traditional curry powder? You won’t regret it!


Using any of these curry powder substitutes is a great way to add flavor to your cooking without having to use the traditional spice blend.

Each of these substitutes has its own unique flavor profile that can elevate your dishes in new and exciting ways. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and see what you like best.

After all, the best curry is the one that you make yourself!

Leave a Reply