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Sri Lankan jaffna curry powder

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.

Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder

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.

Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder-

What to cook with Jaffna curry powder

Sri Lankan jaffna curry powder prawn curry.

Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder chicken curry.

Save the recipe to your favourite Pinterest board.

Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder- a wonderful, aromatic all in one curry powder. If you are into deep, spicy flavors to your meat dishes then look no further than this spice blend. It's a must-have on every spice lovers shelf.

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.
Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder- a wonderful, aromatic all in one curry powder.

 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).
Tips for making Jaffna curry powder.
  • You will have to keep a close eye 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 by now, it’s all about the heat.
  • Keep in mind that curry powder loses its strength or flavours 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.
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 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.

How to make cumin powder

How to make coriander powder.

Sri Lankan three spice-raw/unroasted curry powder(thunapaha).

Malaysian spice mix for meat.

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)

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

Method

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 been turned to a fine powder.

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Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder- a wonderful, aromatic all in one curry powder. If you are into deep, spicy flavors to your meat dishes then look no further than this spice blend. It's a must-have on every spice lovers shelf.

Sri Lankan jaffna curry powder

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder

A wonderful, aromatic all in one curry powder.

If you are into deep, spicy flavors to your meat dishes then look no further than this spice blend.

It's a must-have on every spice lovers shelf.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Gather all the spices and keep them ready in separate bowls.
  2. Place a dry skillet or frying pan over low heat.
  3. Now, gently dry roast each individual ingredient (read beginner’s tips on making Jaffna curry powder).
  4. 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).
  5. Just until they release their aroma and begin to change colour.
  6. Make sure you are constantly stirring them with a wooden spoon so the spices are dry and roasted evenly.
  7. Transfer them to the bowl and let them cool.
  8. Dry roast the curry leaves until they turn light green and completely dry(2 minutes). set aside to cool.
  9. Dry roast the red chillies until they turn bright red, shiny and brittle(2 minutes).
  10. set aside to cool.
  11. Once all the spices have cooled, mix them together so they can be ground.
  12. Set up your coffee grinder and grind the spices to a fine powder.
  13. You will have to break the red chillies to fit into the coffee grinder. Continue to blend until all the spices have been turned to a fine powder.

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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
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MosKito

Tuesday 14th of June 2022

How can i get Jaffna Powder? I miss Sri Lankan food, visited the island very often when i was younger, even when living since more than 50years in Phuket Thailand, the Sri Lankan food is special. Need a penpal from SriLanka for exchanging spicys, post is not too expensive anymore :) 20moskito at gmail.com

Vani

Monday 1st of June 2020

I can't tell for certain, but based on the Amazon link on your page, it looks like you're using cassia cinnamon instead of Ceylon cinnamon. Is there any particular reason why? Thanks!

jehan

Monday 8th of June 2020

Hi Vani, sorry for the late reply, I apologize, this was a mistake will amend it to show the correct cinnamon. you are most welcome and thank you again. Regards J

Sunil Jadhav

Friday 17th of April 2020

Is this Spice powder use in every Shrilankan curry? Any chicken mutton recipe related this Spice powder plz give me

jehan

Friday 17th of April 2020

Hi Sunil, No, it is not used in every Sri Lankan curry, The Jaffna curry powder has a more intense and spicier flavor to it(depending on how much chilies you add). Here are a few dishes I've made using Jaffna curry powder, you can also add half a teaspoon to any meat dishes as well. Jaffna curry powder prawn curry

Jaffna curry powder chicken curry.

Ossie Struys

Saturday 13th of October 2018

Cannot wait to making this curry powder.All information most appreciated. Keep up the good work.

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