Homemade Madras Curry Paste

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Madras curry is known for being spicier than your average Thai curry, and that’s certainly true here. This recipe leans into the cayenne pepper – undoubtedly medium heat on the pepper scale (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units). But if that’s too much heat, it’s perfectly fine to choose less spicy chilies, like ancho powder (1,000 – 1,500 SHU) or red jalapeño powder (2,500 to 8,000 SHU).

homemade madras curry paste

Don’t only think curry here. There are many uses for Madras curry pastes, like all curry pastes. They work well in soups, stews, dressings, and sauces to bring an exotic flair to a meal. Or you can simply add some vegetable or chicken stock to the paste to create a delicious curry dipping sauce for veggies and bread.

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homemade madras curry paste

Homemade Madras Curry Paste

4.30 from 10 votes
Servings 4 servings



  • In a pan over medium heat, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds. Dry roast the spices for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until they are aromatic.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds, garlic, and ginger into a paste.
  • Add the powdered spices and stir to fully combine.


Concerned on the overall spiciness? Cut the cayenne pepper by 1/2 (1 teaspoon only) or use a less spicy 100% chili powder – NOT chili powder seasoning). Ancho powder or red jalapeño powder both can work here.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on December 22, 2022 to include new content.
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