Malaysian Curry Powder

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Think of Malaysian curry powder as an “in-between” curry. Its taste is no doubt full-on yellow curry, there’s no mistake. But it’s somewhere in-between Indian and Thai curry in flavor. This spice mix leans into coriander, both citrusy and nutty when the seeds are dry roasted, but then layers in more aromatic, typically Indian spices like cloves and cinnamon that aren’t as common in Thai curries.

Use this for traditional Malay cuisine, or simply try it as a substitute for your everyday Indian or Thai curry powder. The heat here is from simple cayenne pepper, though you can substitute in a mild paprika if you want less sizzle to your spice.

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Malaysian Curry Powder

4.50 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a dry pan over medium heat, dry roast the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds until aromatic (1 to 2 minutes).
  • Place the seeds and the remaining ingredients into a food processor and process until the curry seasoning is smooth.
  • Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.


Add additional cayenne pepper to taste. This can be done after the grinding process in the food processor to get the best sense of overall spiciness. 
If cayenne pepper is too hot, you can opt for a mild paprika instead. 
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 17, 2023 to include new content.
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