Curry powder

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Curry powder
Curry powder in the spice-bazaar in Istanbul.jpg
Type Curry
Place of origin Indian subcontinent
Main ingredients Spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers)
  • Cookbook: Curry powder
  •   Media: Curry powder

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


The word "curry" is derived from the Tamil word kari meaning "sauce, relish for rice".[1][2]

Similar spice blends 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.[3] The chili pepper, a ubiquitous ingredient in curry today, was brought to the Indian subcontinent from the Americas through the Columbian Exchange in the 16th century.

Curry powder and the contemporary English use of the word "curry" are Western inventions and do not reflect any specific food from the Indian subcontinent, though a similar mixture of spices used in the Northern regions of the Indian subcontinent is called garam masala.

After Britain colonized India they introduced curry to Japan where it became popular and is now known as Japanese curry.


Most curry powder recipes include coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers in their blends. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, asafoetida, fennel seed, caraway, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, nutmeg, white turmeric, curry leaf, long pepper, and black pepper may also be included.[4][5] The Portuguese importation of the chili pepper from Brazil and their mixing of other Asian spices enabled the development of 'curi'.[clarification needed][6]

Nutritional information

1 tablespoon of curry powder contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:[7]

  • Calories : 20 kcal
  • Fat: 0.87 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.66 g
  • Fibers: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 0.8 g


  1. ^ "curry, n.2". OED Online. June 2013. Oxford University Press. Retrieved: 29 August 2013.
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas (November 2001). "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  3. ^ "The Mystery of Curry". Slate magazine.
  4. ^ "McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Curry Powder - McCormick Gourmet".
  5. ^ "McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Curry Powder, Red - McCormick Gourmet".
  6. ^ Page, Martin (2007). The First Global Village: How Portugal Changed the World. Casa das Letras. p. 148. ISBN 978-972-46-1313-0.
  7. ^ "NDL/FNIC Food Composition Database Home Page". Archived from the original on 3 March 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
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