This Jamaican curry powder recipe is a taste of the Caribbean with a versatile mix of warming spices and fiery heat that's easy to adjust, perfect for quick and easy meals!
It's curry time in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends! Only we're making something different from what you might be used to. Tonight we're making Jamaican Curry Powder, and I think you're going to love it.
Authentic Jamaican curry powder is different from Indian curry powder, using different local ingredients to create a spice blend unlike any other. This recipe is a flavorful blend of lightly toasted seeds, warming seasonings and chili powder that you can use to flavor many different dishes.
It is hugely versatile. Of course you can make yourself an excellent curry, but consider it as a general seasoning for vegetables and grilled meats and anything else you'd care to spice up.
There are different ways to make a Caribbean curry powder, with different ratios and other optional ingredients you can include to make it your own. Below is my preferred recipe. I love to include a fiery Scotch Bonnet powder, made from dehydrated Scotch Bonnet peppers.
I love to grow them then dry and grind them into fresh powder for making all sorts of wonderful recipes. If you can't find Scotch bonnet powder, you can use other chili powders.
I hope you enjoy it!
Let's talk about how we make Jamaican Curry Powder, shall we?
Jamaican Curry Powder Ingredients
- Coriander Seeds
- Yellow Mustard Seeds
- Fenugreek Seeds
- Allspice Berries (or use 1 tablespoon ground allspice)
- Cumin Seeds (or use 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin)
- Ground Ginger
- Black Peppercorns (or use 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper)
- Scotch Bonnet powder (optional, for heat, or use cayenne or other spicy chili powder)
- OPTIONAL EXTRAS
- Star Anise Seeds
- Clove (or use ¼ teaspoon ground)
- Salt - Listed as optional, as you can always add in salt when making your recipes.
How to Make Jamaican Curry Powder - the Recipe Method
Toast the Seeds/Grains. If you are using seeds/grains, lightly toast the spices in a skillet or dry pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring a bit, until they become nicely fragrant. Do not let them burn or you will get a bitter flavor.
Grind the Ingredients. Grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle along with the other ingredients. Mix well.
For Ground Ingredients Only. Simply mix all of the spices together until well incorporated.
Store the Curry Powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 3 months. Will last longer, but will begin to lose potency.
Boom! Done! Your Jamaican curry powder mix is ready to use. Time to make some quick curries! This is such a great seasoning on hand for whipping together quick and easy meals with big flavor.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Heat Factor. You'll get some very nice heat from your Jamaican curry powder if you include Scotch Bonnet powder, which rivals habanero peppers in their overall heat. Use cayenne for more manageable heat, or stick with paprika or other mild chili powder for a low to no heat version.
- Other Ingredients. You can easily include other seasonings to customize your own Jamaican curry powder. Popular additions include cinnamon, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper and others. Feel free to mix it up as desired!
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this Jamaican curry powder recipe. Let me know if you make it and what you create. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
If you'd like to learn more about Jamaican cooking, check out the following books, which I have found to be educational and informative:
- Authentic Recipes from Jamaica, by John DeMers (affiliate link, my friends!)
- Jamaican Cookbook - Traditional Jamaican Recipes Made Easy (affiliate link, my friends!) - No photos, but easy to follow with some good recipes.
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Red Curry
- Coconut Curry Chicken
- Phaal Curry (the Hottest Curry in the World)
- Indian Curry Powder
- Vindaloo Curry Powder
- Red Curry Paste
- Yellow Curry Paste
- See all of my Curry Recipes
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
- Jerk Marinade
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken
- Sazon Seasoning
- Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
- Jamaican Rice and Peas
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe
- 3 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds or use 2-1/2 tablespoons ground
- 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds or use 2-1/2 tablespoons ground
- 1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds or use ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries or use 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds or use 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns or use 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Scotch Bonnet powder optional, for heat, or use cayenne or other spicy chili powder - or add more to taste!
- 1 tablespoon whole anise seeds or use 1 tablespoon ground anise (optional)
- 1 dried clove or use ¼ teaspoon ground
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt or to taste
- Toast the Seeds/Grains. If you are using seeds/grains, lightly toast them in a hot dry pan on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring a bit, until they become nicely fragrant. Do not let them burn or you will get a bitter flavor.
- Grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle along with the other ingredients. Mix well.
- For Ground Ingredients Only. Simply mix all of the spices together until well incorporated.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 3 months. Will last longer, but will begin to lose potency.
Hi, I’ve been making this for about a year, and have used it for curry goat when I can get it.chicken and lamb.all my family and friends love the curry’s made with this blend.
I definitely added white peppercorns and a little nutmeg. And ground scotch pepper to the blend. With a fresh one thrown in whole into the curry when cooking. I also recommend when cooking to marinate the meat overnight first in this powder .
Mike Hultquist says
Thanks for sharing, Nejat.
Claudette Legault says
Mike, Claudette Legault again. I apologize. You must be very confused at this point. I was not very clear about my comments in regards to the Jamaican Curry Recipe. It was wonderful. What I meant to say was that the Jamaican Curry Powder conversions from dry to ground threw me. Despite using the quantities that I knew, your recipe was greatly enjoyed. I plan to repeat this recipe just as you intended it to be. I hope this clears any confusion from my part.
Like one person who commented, next time I will serve it with rice.
I have a question... I’ve gone to mix this up for the first time, and realised I don’t have the anise seed. Can you suggest a substitute? Is star anise similar?
Looking forward to making the Jamaican chicken curry this week 🙂
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Pam, star anise is more subtle and mild compared to anise seed, but you can definitely use it. Or even just omit. There are many other parts to the seasoning. Let me know it turns out for you.
Can't wait ^^
Seems awesome Mike!! do you have a particular recipe in mind for this special curry powder?
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
It is, and I do, Jérémie. Recipes forthcoming!