Substitute For Curry Powder? Hoard These Spices Now!

A curry powder can be either a primary or special ingredient in your kitchen. Our needs for this spice are different, as we all have different cooking and recipe preferences.

Despite this fact, curry powder is still considered to be a vital food additive, mainly due to its savory, sweet flavor. The spectrum of tastes that curry powder provides is due to the presence of multiple ingredients. For example, turmeric, bay leaf, and cumin provide the spice and savory texture. Meanwhile, cloves and cinnamon ensure that the curry powder has a “sparkling” taste.

Although it is viewed as an Indian spice, curry powder is actually an invention of the Western culinary world. But ironically, the purpose of making this powder is to replicate the taste and texture of common Indian cuisines.

From my end, curry powder has a lot of uses, so it’s a sad sight whenever this yellow mix is absent from my kitchen and out of stock at the local market. Luckily, you can get good curry powder substitutes for times like these. Do you want to know them? If so, check the list I have made below.

By the way, if you want to learn more about spices, herbs, and everything in between, just check out this article. It is a simple guide to the different types of condiments that you can utilize in your kitchen.


Substitutes For Curry Powder

Substitutes For Curry Powder: Alternatives You Should Try

1. Garam Masala

If the Western world has curry powder, the Indian world has garam masala. It is no secret that this is the best substitute for curry powder. After all, curry powder has been very much inspired by this Indian spice. Therefore, you should not be surprised if you can spot a lot of similarities between them.

In Hindi terminology, “garam” means hot and “masala” indicates a mixture of spices. Combining the two terms, we can get the gist and purpose of garam masala: to spice your food up! The spiciness and piquancy of garam masala are the biggest differences it has to curry powder, as curry powder is generally sweet.

In Indian culture, garam masala is applied after the cuisine has been cooked. The reason for this is simple. The spice helps to keep and preserve the strong, aromatic scent of the food. In contrast, curry powder is typically used during the cooking process.

However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot use garam masala in the same way that you use a curry powder. They have similar ingredients and flavor. Just remember that curry powder is much milder than garam masala. If a particular recipe calls you to use one teaspoon of curry powder, replace it with a quarter teaspoon of garam masala. In this way, you can be sure that the natural flavor of your cuisine won’t be overwhelmed and supplanted.

Hey, did you know that there are substitutes to garam masala as well? If you want to check them out, just proceed to this article

2. Allspice And Cumin

Another great alternative to curry powder is the combination of cumin and allspice. If you have these spices in your kitchen, then you are lucky, as you don’t have to fret when curry powder goes missing from your spice rack.

A typical curry powder consists of around 10 to 15 different spices. Recreating such a mixture is difficult, especially if you are planning to gather them one by one, but if you have allspice and cumin, getting past this problem is a breeze.

Here is how you are going to make a curry powder substitute out of cumin and allspice. Just combine a quarter part of allspice with a whole part of cumin. This particular distribution will allow you to replicate the luscious effects of curry powder in any recipe that you are going to make. Moreover, you will find it is practical to follow this ratio as you can create any amount of curry powder both accurately and easily. 

3. Chaat Masala

Via Serious Eats

A curry powder can be replaced by another Indian spice they call chaat masala. If you are making a curry recipe and neither garam masala nor curry powder are present in your kitchen, chaat masala can come to your rescue.

Both garam masala and chaat masala are derived from India. But the two belong in separate worlds. Garam masala is colloquially known as a spicing ingredient, while chaat masala is considered to be a cooling spice. This makes chaat masala a great substitute for curry powder. The flavors they have are pretty similar since they are both mild and sweet.

To use chaat masala as a substitute for curry powder, just use equal proportions. For instance, if you need to use two teaspoons of curry powder, just replace it with two teaspoons of chaat masala. You can also add more chaat masala to the recipe to further enhance its flavor, but make sure you do this gradually.

4. Curry Paste

The last but not least option is curry paste. Its name alone tells you that it is a great substitute for curry powder.

Curry paste is a combination of a myriad of spices, like curry powder, but this time some wet ingredients are included in the blend, like oil that contains extracts of ginger and garlic.

This kind of composition gives the curry paste a strong taste. In fact, it is much stronger than curry powder. Therefore, you will find there are some recipes that actually benefit from the use of curry paste rather than curry powder. If you are craving a curry with a strong punch, it is better to use curry paste.

Curry paste is best applied when you want to enliven a bland recipe, such as soups and stews, which will become extraordinarily potent if put some curry paste in them. I am sure your body will be dripping with sweat as you enjoy these delicacies.

But if you are satisfied with the flavor of curry powder, then by all means, stick to it. If curry powder is not available, however, then you will have no option but to get a curry paste instead.


As you can see, there are a lot of alternative spices and ingredients that you can use whenever curry powder is not available. It is better that you keep some stocks of the items I have listed in your kitchen to ensure that you will always have a smooth time while cooking your recipes.

Just be aware of their respective flavors and texture, so that you can use them in the appropriate amounts. After all, you don’t want to eat food that is either too hot or too boring for your tatebuds, right? Therefore, study these ingredients and experiment with the effects of these alternatives to your cuisines.

Do you know another substitute for curry powder? If so, then please share it with us in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to hit like, share, and subscribe. That way you will get constant updates on the great content that you will find on my site. Happy cooking!