Authentic Indian-style curry powders may be easy to find these days, but Jamaican curry powder can be difficult to come across outside of West Indian communities. There are countless recipes for Jamaican curry, but almost all feature all spice berries for that uniquely West Indian flavor. It’s up to you how spicy; make this curry powder fiery with lots of chile powder or leave it out altogether for a mild, aromatic blend. Try using this spice blend in the Indian curries in this book; instantly transform the Indian Okra Masala into a Jamaican treat with a helpingof this curry powder!

Curry Powder

  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 4 teaspoons whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 star anise pods
  • 2 teaspoons black or mixed peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 5 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper(optional)

Look for whole allspice berries—round, darkbrown seeds about the size of a tapioca pearls—in Latin American  groceries or anyplace that stocks Caribbean spices. As with any spice mixture, store this in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark cabinet and use within 3 months for the best flavor.

  1.  In a small skillet over medium heat toast the following whole spices, one spice at a time: coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, allspice berries, cumin seeds, cloves, star anise, and peppercorns. Most of the whole spices will toast within 1 1⁄2 to 2 minutes at the most, with the star anise taking slightly longer. Watch the spices carefully to make sure they don’t burn; when the spices become fragrant and lightly browned, it’s time to transfer them to a small bowl.
  2. Grind all of the toasted whole spices together in a spice grinder or clean coffee mill as fine as possible. Add the remaining ground spices and pulse a few times until everything is combined. Store the spices in a clean glass jar, tightly sealed (this recipe will comfortably fill a 3.81-ounce/108-gram glass bottle three-quarters of the way). Add one or both of the following to your curry powder along with the ground spices and proceed as directed: 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

East Indian–Style Curry Powder: For an East Indian–style blend, follow the recipe above for Jamaican Curry Powder, omitting the allspice and garlic powder. Increase the coriander seeds to 4 tablespoons total and the cumin seeds to 4 teaspoons total and add 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, toasted in the manner of the other spice seeds. Grind as directed.