How to Use Curry Powder or Curry Paste

Written by esperance barretto
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How to Use Curry Powder or Curry Paste
Curry powders and pastes add a flavourful twist to many foods. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Curry powder and curry paste are prepared by blending several spices and herbs that are native to Indian and South East Asian cuisine. The spices for both curry powder and curry paste are created by measuring and combining spices and herbs such as coriander, cumin, fenugreek and turmeric into a dry powder or a moist paste. Several other ingredients are added to this basic combination, to create unique curry blends that add flavour, colour and aroma to different foods. (See Resources 1, 2, 3 and 4; References 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)

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Things you need

  • Potatoes
  • Cumin, coriander, turmeric
  • Prawns
  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Cooking oil
  • Tomato/chopped tomato can
  • Mint
  • Chicken
  • Coconut milk
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Noodles
  • Salt

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  1. 1

    Cook potatoes the traditional Indian way, by adding curry powder and a hint of herbs and spices. Peel and slice 4 potatoes into 2-inch cubes, and set to boil in water on medium heat. Take off heat once cooked and drain. (See Resources 4 and References 3)

  2. 2

    Chop 1 tomato, 2 garlic cloves and grate a 1-inch piece of ginger and set aside. In a separate vessel, roast 1 tspof cumin or mustard seeds in 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Add 1 tsp of curry powder, ½ tsp each of cumin and turmeric powder, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. (See Resources 4 and References 3)

  3. 3

    Mix in the tomato, garlic, ginger, boiled potatoes and ½ tsp of salt. Stir gently, to thoroughly coat the potatoes with the herbs and spices. Sprinkle 3 tbsp of chopped mint or coriander over the potatoes. Serve with bread or Indian flatbread, also known as chapatti. (See Resources 4 and References 3)

  1. 1

    Create the light and creamy coconut-based curry laksa with the subtly-flavoured Malaysian curry paste. In a large bowl, chop and set aside cooked foods including 0.454kg. diced chicken, ½ lbs. of prawns, ½ cup of bean sprouts, ½ cup of cauliflower and 1 packet of noodles. (See References 4 and 5)

  2. 2

    Combine 1 pint of coconut milk with 3 tbsp of Malaysian curry paste, in a separate vessel. Set on medium heat, stir and bring to boil. Pour this gravy over the cooked foods, mix well and serve. (See References 4 and 5)

  3. 3

    Substitute the chicken and prawns in the curry laksa recipe with meats, shellfish or vegetables of your choice. (See References 4 and 5)

  1. 1

    Use Thai red curry paste to prepare a fiery hot, prawn and zucchini stir-fry gravy. Take note of the fact that red curry pastes are generally spicy. Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a wok; add one finely chopped onion and sauté on medium heat. (See References 2)

  2. 2

    Add a can of chopped tomatoes and 2 tbsp of Thai red curry paste, once the onions are lightly browned, and cook until the mixture begins to boil. Chop three zucchinis into 2-inch cubes, add to the gravy and simmer for 5 minutes. (See References 2)

  3. 3

    Add 0.998kg. of raw and peeled prawns, ½ tsp of salt, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with coriander or lemon grass and serve over rice or with bread. (See References 2)

Tips and warnings

  • Season soups, stews, omelettes and stir-fry food preparations with curry powder, according to your taste preferences. Curry powder lends an exotic, intense and fragrant flavour to the cooked meal. (See References 1 and 6)
  • If you have never used curry powder or curry paste before, start by using a pinch of the spice blend in your food, to gauge your tolerance for this spice. (See Resources 3)

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