Skip to Content

13 Best Curry Powder Substitutes That Will Rock Your Curry Dishes 

There comes a point in your cooking experiences in your home where you run out of an ingredient or want to experiment with another ingredient. When it comes to curry powder, you might have run out of it or want to try a different ingredient. 

First, curry powder is a lovely and significant ingredient in stews, sauces, marinades, soups, and most savory curries. There are various forms of curry powder, and the differences lie in the composition. 

Whatever form the curry powder takes, it remains one of the most sought-after ingredients for all cooking enthusiasts because it offers a dish with a unique aroma, taste, smell, color, and consistency. 

It might be challenging to replace this fantastic ingredient. The good thing is that various curry powder substitutes will allow you to still create that amazing dish. 

Nutritional Table

Curry Paste20
Sambar powder325
Garam Masala1
All Spice+Cumin375
Chaat Masala11
Cumin Powder+Chili Powder442
Chinese 5 Spice 15
AllSpice 263
Tandoori Masala 20
Japanese Curry Roux250
Coriander Seeds268
HomeMade Curry Powder 6.5

Curry Powder Substitutes 

Some curry powder alternatives are as follows: 

1. Curry Paste 

Curry Paste 

This substitute has flavors that come close, but some ingredients maximize the flavor. It is an excellent substitute for curry powder because its unique flavor will be a winner for your dish. 

You can use this curry paste when cooking meats, stews, soups and marinades, and anything that will require a rich flavor. 

How To Substitute

To create curry paste, you will need vegetable oil, lime, ginger, garlic paste, and red chilis. When adding the curry paste to your curry, you must be careful because the curry paste contains an intense flavor.

You will need to dilute the curry paste first using equal amount of water. Then use the 1:1 ratio when adding diluted paste to the dish you are cooking. If you don’t dilute it, the flavor will be too intense and spoil your dish.

2. Sambar Powder

Sambar Powder

This is a fantastic curry powder replacement. It is created using herbs and spices which result in a curry powder effect on dishes. Most of the ingredients in this substitute are similar to those in curry powder. 

This powder was created with essential ingredients such as coriander seeds(ground), clove powder, garlic powder, black mustard, and fenugreek. 

All these ingredients are promising and you can imagine the unique flavor combined to create the fantastic sambar powder. 

How To Substitute

Add this powder to your meats or any other vegetable you are cooking for an incredible flavor. Use the 1:1 ratio replacement for curry powder, and you will achieve a similar flavor profile.

3. Garam Masala 

 Garam Masala 

This is one of the best substitutes for curry powder. It is renowned for its warm, savory flavors emanating from spices like black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves.

Aromatic, bitter, and nothing like the traditional curry powder, choosing to add garam masala to your dish will be anything but disappointment. 

How To Substitute

When using garam masala in your dishes, remember that a little of it is felt strongly in a dish, and you should be careful not to use too much lest you spoil the taste of your dish.

Also, when swapping the curry powder for that garam masala, remember to use the 1:1 ratio to get the amount right. If you need to add more to obtain that curry flavor, you will need to add, taste, and tinker with this spice until you obtain that perfect curry flavor.

4. All Spice + Cumin

All Spice + Cumin

Cumin is a significant ingredient always present in most forms of curry powder. With cumin, all you need will be allspice to create these extraordinary flavors minus too much spiciness in your dishes.

How To Substitute

When mixing these two ingredients, take two equal amounts of each and then mix them until they have blended perfectly.Remember, the flavors come close to similarity and have the same intense flavor as the curry powder.

Therefore add  more to your curry dish and keep in mind that the ratio to use when substituting is 1.25:1. That is, if your recipe dish requires you to use 1 teaspoon of curry powder, ensure that you use  1¼ teaspoon of the cumin and allspice combo.

5. Turmeric + AllSpice + Coriander

Turmeric+AllSpice+ Coriander

These three ingredients are a great option for replicating those warm savory notes of the amazing curry powder for your dish.

Check out your spice rack; if you see turmeric, allspice, and coriander, you don’t need to worry about being low on curry powder. 

The primary ingredient in this trio of ingredients is turmeric and the other two just come in as a hint of spice. 

How To Substitute

While this combination offers the same warming notes as curry powder, it is not as spicy. If you need more heat in your dish, add red pepper in flakes form for the best effect.

Remember to use the 1:1 ratio when using the turmeric, coriander, and allspice mixture for the best taste of your dish.

6. Chaat Masala 

Curry Powder Substitutes

An excellent curry powder substitute, the chaat masala comes close to garam masala but tastes a bit sweeter. It is made up of spices like cumin, pepper, and coriander.

The sweet flavor comes from citric acid, mango powder, and mint leaves. If you intend to have that touch of sweetness in your curry dish, then chaat masala is your favorite replacement.  

How To Substitute

Chaat masala has delicate flavors, so use the 1:1 ratio in your dish and add a few pepper flakes to include that hint of heat as required to make your dish perfect.

7. Cumin Powder + Chili Powder 

Curry Powder Substitutes

Cumin and chili are wonderful as a substitute for curry powder because they create these amazing warming notes that result in a fantastic curry dish.

These two never disappoint when used in the right quantities and in the right dishes. 

How To Substitute

The chili powder comprises spices like ground cayenne, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. With such ingredients, there is quite some heat packed there, and now when you add cumin, a perfect spicy curry powder alternative is born.

Going with the less is more principle with this substitute is advisable because it is pretty powerful. Use this cumin and chili powder at the ratio of 5:1 for the best results. A little of it can be felt a lot in the dish.

8. Chinese 5 Spice 

Curry Powder Substitutes

 If you want something that doesn’t taste like curry powder but is an excellent substitute, then Chinese 5 spice fits the bill. It has a similar warming effect to curry powder.

The Chinese 5 spice is made from curry-like herbs, cloves, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and star anise. 

This substitute’s flavor is slightly different from the curry powder, but it still packs the same flavor punch. 

How To Substitute

When replacing the curry powder with the Chinese 5 spices, consider the 1:1 ratio. Anything more than that, and you will be dealing with the intense flavors of Chinese  5 spice.

Remember, it is not spicy, which is why you will need to add some red pepper flakes for additional heat. Add these red pepper flakes slowly and keep tasting until you achieve the desired spiciness.  

9. AllSpice   

Curry Powder Substitutes

If you have looked at your spice rack and all you can see is allspice, then allspice it will be. This one makes an excellent substitute for curry powder because it packs this powerful and tasty punch that will make your meal delicious-tasting and quite aromatic. 

Allspice might not give you the same flavor depth as curry powder. It will however provide you with that amazing warming effect in your dish. 

How To Substitute

As you add allspice to your dish, remember that less works best. Use the 1.25: 1 ratio in place of curry powder. Use ¼  teaspoon of allspice for every curry powder teaspoon. 

10. Tandoori Masala 

Curry Powder Substitutes

If you have ever prepared Tandoori chicken one time in your home, then you have Tandoori Masala in your collection of home ingredients.

Tandoori masala contains spices similar to curry powder, making it an excellent substitute for the powder when making your curry dish. 

This masala contains coriander, cumin, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, fenugreek, garlic powder, and nutmeg. It packs more spicy notes than curry powder, making it the ideal substitute. 

How To Substitute

You will not need a lot of Tandoori masala when making your curry dish because a little of it has a noticeable taste. Use the 5:1 ratio when using  Tandoori masala. For example, use ½ tandoori masala teaspoon, where the recipe calls for 1 curry powder teaspoon.

11. Japanese Curry Roux 

Curry Powder Substitutes

This is another excellent curry powder replacement which is simply a solidified mixture of sauce, fat, flour, and curry spices as a base flavor.

You could buy a Japanese Curry roux or have your homemade roux with customized flavors, spice levels, and thickness to your preferred taste. It is tasty and carries a lot of punch, making your curry dish so delicious. 

How To Substitute

When using Japanese curry roux, use one cube to replace it with one curry powder teaspoon. But then it will depend on the curry dish you are preparing.

If your dish requires a lot of flavor base, you will have to use a couple of those cubes to achieve the desired tastiness.

12. Coriander Seeds 

Curry Powder Substitutes

Coriander seeds are a major curry powder ingredient, thanks to their minty, floral scent and subtle sweetness that is also fresh.

Coriander seeds will never disappoint you, and you can still achieve deliciousness in your curry dish the way you would if you used curry powder.

But, if this is the major spice on your shelf, you can make do with it and still enjoy your dish. 

How To Substitute

When adding toasted and ground coriander seeds to your curry dish, include chili peppers and cumin seeds into the mix to enhance the taste and bring out more of that curry powder effect.

Again, you can maintain the 1:1 ratio in your measurements but as for the additional chili peppers and cumin seeds, add just a touch of them for the best result. 

13. HomeMade Curry Powder 

Curry Powder Substitutes

By now, you understand that curry powder is simply a blend of spices that create this warm and strong base flavor for any dish where it is used. 

If you have run out of store-bought curry powder and have a series of curry dishes lined up that you intend to make over the next couple of days, then creating your homemade curry powder as a substitute for the store-bought curry powder will be a great idea.

Making this homemade curry powder will require using the ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. 

Most curry powders are made from coriander, cumin, turmeric, chili peppers, ginger, caraway, nutmeg, fenugreek, clove, black pepper, fennel, cinnamon, and many more.

Of course, your choice of ingredients will depend on how you want your curry powder to taste. 

Assemble all the required ingredients, toast them to make them more fragrant, cool them, and grind them into powder.

How To Substitute

You can use your homemade curry powder in various curry dishes such as mango chicken curry, cashew nut curry, curried chickpeas, cauliflower and winter squash curry, all chicken curries, and many more.

Remember to use the 1:1 ratio when replacing your store-bought curry powder with your homemade one for the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Difference Between Curry Powder And Masala? 

Both curry powder and masala are simply spice mixes that are added to dishes to create that spicy and aromatic taste.

The difference between these two comes down to the different combinations of spices. Masala leans towards being a warming aromatic blend, while curry powder is more earthy. 

Which Are The Common Curry Powder Dishes? 

Curry powder is commonly used to flavor soups, sauces, meat, stews, marinades, and vegetables. 

However, more uses are discovered because now it is widely used as a seasoning for scrambled eggs, hamburgers, and potato salads, and the result is amazing. 

What Is A Curry Dish? 

Curry is a dish featuring sauce that has been seasoned with spices. There is mild curry and super spicy curry, which always depends on what the recipe requires. 

Indian gravy is the simplest form of curry, but there are other curries like Japanese curry, Mexican curry, french curry, and so on. 

13 Best Curry Powder Substitutes That Will Rock Your Curry Dishes 

Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Curry Paste

  • Sambar powder

  • Garam Masala

  • All Spice+Cumin

  • Turmeric+AllSpice+Coriander

  • Chaat Masala

  • Cumin Powder+Chili Powder

  • Chinese 5 Spice 

  • AllSpice 

  • Tandoori Masala 

  • Japanese Curry Roux

  • Coriander Seeds

  • HomeMade Curry Powder 


  • Pick any substitute you prefer from the lists above.
  • Follow the recipe instructions for your preferred substitute and use the proper ratio required while cooking.

Recipe Video

Jess Smith

binance app for pc

Friday 7th of April 2023

Thank you for your sharing. I am worried that I lack creative ideas. It is your article that makes me full of hope. Thank you. But, I have a question, can you help me?