Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder.
A wonderful, aromatic, all-in-one Sri Lankan curry powder.
If you are into deep, spicy flavours in your meat dishes then look no further than this spice blend.
It’s a must-have on every spice lover’s shelf.
There was a time when curry powders were made at home.
These spice blends made each and every Sri Lankan recipe into very special dishes.
This is why you and I turn nostalgic when we think about a home-cooked meal.
What is curry powder?
Curry powder is a spice blend that can be light or intense depending on the spices that go into making the mix.
Sri Lankan curry powder varies from roasted to raw or as some call it unroasted.
These special spice blends can be used separately for vegetarian curries(usually a light raw/unroasted curry powder)as well as meat curries(a mix of raw and roasted curry powder).
What spices go into Jaffna curry powder?
There are about 11 spices that go into making this meat curry powder.
What gives the spice mix its amazing colour and intense flavour is the quantity of each of these spices.
The result is the rich flavour of the curry that every Sri Lankan craves.
Once you’ve made the curry powder, try making a Jaffna curry powder chicken curry, I promise you won’t regret it.
I grew up with sights of whole dry red chillies, and coriander seeds spread out to dry on rooftops or for that matter anywhere there was enough sunlight to dry these ingredients.
I find it interesting how my memories are a series of snapshots that are connected to people and memories.
The constant movement of the trays of spices as the sun moves, the fear of rain soaking the spices, someone screaming from the top of their lungs to take the spices in as the dark clouds gathered and the first drops of rain were felt.
Recollecting my childhood, I have to confess, that I was always the reluctant child who preferred books to help out in the kitchen.
When I did lift my head from a book or was scolded to help in the kitchen, I was able to witness kitchen scenes I still recollect.
And one of those scenes is my grandmother with her minions(usually my mom, aunts and the kitchen help)cooking and making her chilli paste on the “mirisgala”(grinding stone also known as chilli stone).
I found the whole process of making the chilli paste that goes into meat dishes absolutely fascinating.
The movement of the stone, grinding out the onions, ginger, and chillies.
How the fiery paste spreads on the stone and how she collected the paste to the middle of the stone.
I loved the long back-and-forth movement, it was rhythmic and watching all these hard ingredients turning into a wet pulp was quite riveting.
Having tasted this labour of love, I know how much our kids are missing out on the authentic fragrance of freshly ground spices.
And if you ask me,
Is there really a difference between homemade curry powder and a store-bought generic version?
I’ll say there definitely is and you can find out by making this beautiful, vibrant and aromatic Jaffna curry powder.
What to cook with Jaffna curry powder
If you ask me what my favourite curry powder is…
- I will point out this lovely spice blend and admit to loving this spice mix above all the spice blends out there.
- The Jaffna curry powder gives you everything you’ll come to expect in a Sri Lankan dish, the spice, a deep dark red-brown gravy, and the taste that reminds you of home.
- When funnyman is in town, I make all my meat, chicken, and seafood dishes using the spice mix, he loves the overwhelming taste of chilli.
- It’s an all-in-one curry powder.
Tips for making Jaffna curry powder.
- You will have to keep a close eye on them while you’re roasting the spices, this means not leaving the gently dry roasting spices even for a second.
- Maintain low heat so you can stir the spices while they warm up and gradually release their aroma.
- Do not dry roast the spices over high heat, always maintain low heat.
- It only takes a few seconds for the spices to burn which in turn will make the Jaffna curry powder bitter.
- Limit the dry roasting over low heat for 1-2 minutes, just until they release their aroma.
- As you may have noticed, it’s all about the heat.
- Grind the spices in small batches until you have a fine powder. As most of us have a small grinder attachment to the blender, getting a finer blend would be difficult. a coarse powder should be fine as well.
- Avoid touching your eyes or any sensitive area while making the powder.
- Keep in mind that curry powder loses its strength or flavour as they sit on your shelf despite the expiry date mentioned on the bottle. For this purpose make this curry powder to last you just for 2 months and make a new batch again.
Utensils and appliances needed
- Bowls to hold the spices before and after dry roasting them.
- skillet or frying pan.
- coffee grinder(use it only to grind spices).
Frequently asked questions: Jaffna curry powder.
- How spicy is a curry dish made with Jaffna curry powder?
- To a Sri Lankan, when they refer to taste, one of the most important elements of a dish is making the dish as spicy as possible.
- If it’s spicy, it’s tasty(at least this is how my family measures taste, please correct me if I’m wrong).
- So, keeping the above detail in mind, and looking at the quantity of whole red chillies(200g) used, I would say any dish cooked using Jaffna curry powder WILL be spicy, reduced only by the addition of thick coconut milk.
How to store and extend the shelf life of curry powder.
- Store the curry powder in airtight containers.
- Have a small spoon within the container to avoid the curry powder spoiling due to dampness if you accidentally use a wet spoon.
- If you DO use a spoon make sure that the spoon is dry.
- Once you use the curry powder, avoid leaving the lid open or loose.
- We often keep our spices close to the stove for easy reach but if possible, try to keep the curry powder in a dry, dark, less humid space, especially if you have a large quantity of curry powder in a bottle.
More spice blend recipes.
RECIPE DIFFICULTY-LITTLE CARE NEEDED
How to make Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder
The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
Ingredients to make the Sri Lankan curry powder
150g of coriander seeds
50g of cumin seeds
25g of fennel seeds
10g /1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
10g / 1 tablespoon of peppercorn
15 cardamom pods
3 strips of cinnamon, removed from a whole cinnamon stick(3 inches long)
2 pieces of mace
4-5 sprigs of curry leaves(this should amount to maybe 30-40 individual curry leaves)
200g of whole dry red chillies
Gather all the spices and keep them ready in separate bowls.
Place a dry skillet or frying pan over low heat.
Dry roast each individual ingredient EXCEPT curry leaves and red chillies, for not more than 60 seconds(read tips on making Jaffna curry powder).
Just until they release their aroma and begin to change colour.
Make sure you are constantly stirring them with a wooden spoon so the spices are dry and roasted evenly.
Transfer them to the bowl and let them cool.
Dry roast the curry leaves until they turn light green and completely dry, and set aside to cool(2 minutes).
Dry roast the red chillies until they turn bright red and shiny. (2 minutes), set aside to cool.
Once all the spices have cooled, mix them together so they can be ground.
Set up your coffee grinder and grind the spices to a fine powder, you will have to break the red chillies to fit into the coffee grinder.
Continue to blend until all the spices have ground to a powder.
If you are using the spice grinder attachment of your blender, then this can be done in small batches.
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- Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
- 150g of coriander seeds
- 50g of cumin seeds
- 25g of fennel seeds
- 10g / 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds
- 10g / 1 tablespoon of peppercorn
- 15 cardamom pods
- 3 strips of cinnamon removed from a whole cinnamon stick(3 inches long)
- 5 cloves
- 2 pieces of mace
- 4-5 sprigs of curry leaves(this should amount to maybe 30-40 individual curry leaves)
- 200g of whole dry red chillies
- Gather all the spices and keep them ready in separate bowls.
- Place a dry skillet or frying pan over low heat.
- Now, gently dry roast each individual ingredient (read beginner’s tips on making Jaffna curry powder).
- Dry roast each individual ingredient EXCEPT curry leaves and red chillies, not more than 60 seconds((read beginner’s tips on making Jaffna curry powder).
- Just until they release their aroma and begin to change colour.
- Make sure you are constantly stirring them with a wooden spoon so the spices are dry and roasted evenly.
- Transfer them to the bowl and let them cool.
- Dry roast the curry leaves until they turn light green and completely dry(2 minutes). set aside to cool.
- Dry roast the red chillies until they turn bright red, shiny and brittle(2 minutes).
- set aside to cool.
- Once all the spices have cooled, mix them together so they can be ground.
- Set up your coffee grinder and grind the spices to a fine powder.
- You will have to break the red chillies to fit them into the coffee grinder. Continue to blend until all the spices have been turned to a fine powder.
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Spice Container - Masala Dabba - 7 Compartments, masala box,steel masala dabba,Spice container box,stainless steel spice box indian masala dabba with 7 spice containers with size 8 X 8 inches (1)
Naturally Grown Curry Leaves Whole Air Dried 0.7 oz
Rodelle Cinnamon Sticks, 8 Ounce
Spicy World Coriander Seeds 7 Ounce
Jiva USDA Organic Fenugreek Whole Methi Seeds 7 Ounce - Nearly 1/2 Pound
Spicy World Green Cardamom Pods, 3.5 Ounce
Badia Cumin Seed Whole, 16 Ounce
Jiva USDA Organic Fenugreek Whole Methi Seeds 7 Ounce - Nearly 1/2 Pound
Great Bazaar Swad Fennel Seeds, 7 Ounce
Swad Whole Red Dried Chillies 3.5oz, 100 Grams/Indian Groceries
Coffee Grinder Electric, IKICH 120V Powerful Blade Coffee Bean & Spice Grinder with 12 Cups Large Grinding Capacity, Cord Storage, Portable & Compact, also for Spices, Pepper, Herbs, Nuts, Seeds, Grains and More 【2-year Warranty】
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 10gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information on islandsmile is provided as a courtesy. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on the site. these figures should only be considered as estimates.
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