Asian Recipes/ Condiments and Sauces/ Japanese/ Recipes

Homemade Curry Powder – Japanese S&B Style

09/02/2022 (Last Updated: 22/04/2022)

An aromatic spice mix, this homemade Curry Powder recipe is based off the popular Japanese S&B blend, so you can whip up your own Japanese curry in no time! Have a batch ready in less than 15 minutes!

Spoonful of homemade curry powder.

Why We Love This

It’s so much fun making homemade curry powder and spice blends. The aroma from grinding and toasting spices will instantly fill your kitchen and fire you up to get cooking! 

Making your own curry powder blend is like becoming an alchemist in your own kitchen, transforming everyday spices into a rich golden brown spice mix all your own. It’s a great afternoon activity on a rainy day, and will make you extra proud when you use it in your next batch of curry.

Today’s curry powder recipe is super adaptable. Tweak the ratios to deepen the flavour from your preferred ingredients, reduce the chilli powder to make it milder, or leave out the spices you don’t enjoy.

Japanese mix of spices in a bowl, ready to make curry powder.

What is Curry Powder? 

Curry powder is traditionally made from a blend of savoury and sweet spices. A British creation, intended to recreate Indian flavours similar to garam masala, curry powder is nowadays found in recipes from many cuisines around the world. 

Surprisingly curry powder doesn’t contain curry leaves. Instead it’s usually made from some key ingredients like turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, and black pepper to name just a few. 

Some store-bought blends will be hotter than others, depending on the ratio of spicy ingredients. Milder blends will often contain black pepper or ginger for heat. Hotter blends usually include  chilli, cayenne or hot paprika for extra heat. These stronger, spicier blends are often referred to as ‘madras’.

Todays’ blend is an all purpose curry powder inspired by S&B Curry Powder from Japan. However you can use it across all your favourite recipes that call for curry powder, from Japanese curry udon to Vietnamese chicken curry, Malaysian mee goreng and even Australian curried sausages.

Don’t forget – you can tweak the spicy ingredients to make it spicier or milder to suit your taste!

What You’ll Need

  • Spices – All of these spices are probably already in your pantry or at your local supermarket in both whole and ground varieties.
  • Herbs – You want to make sure your herbs are dried, as you don’t want any moisture in your curry powder. This includes sage, thyme and your bay leaves.
  • Dried Orange Peel – This was the hardest ingredient for us to locate commercially, luckily though, it couldn’t be easier to make at home. Grab an orange and zest the skin with a fine grater. Spread it out on a lined baking tray and pop it in your oven on the lowest setting (sometimes called Keep Warm) at around 50°C / 120°F. Check it every 10 minutes, and break up any lumps as you go. You’ll start to feel it dry out, and instead of feeling oily or bouncing back when squeezed, it will crumble between your fingers. This is when you know it’s ready to use in your curry powder! It can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for this process. Zest from one medium-large orange should yield the 2 tsp required for this recipe once dried.
Ingredients laid out to make curry powder.

How to make homemade Japanese S&B style Curry Powder:

  1. Grind any whole spices you’re using in a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) from largest to smallest. Putting in 1-2 at a time, grinding to a powder, then add more. For us, this was star anisecardamombay leaffenugreek seedsthyme and sage.
  2. Scoop out the ground spices from the mortar and place into a small bowl alongside the remaining ground spices. In our case, this was turmeric powderground coriandercumindried orange peel, black pepperchilli powdercinnamonfennelground gingerground cloves and nutmeg.
  1. Mix spices all together until well combined.
  2. Spread out the curry powder on a medium saucepan on the lowest heat setting possible. Dry toast for 1-2 minutes to bring out the flavours. Stir as you go, so the curry powder is evenly toasted and heated through.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container in your pantry.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Quality – Use fresh spices if possible, as they will have the strongest flavour. Even better, use whole spices and grind them yourself for the freshest homemade curry powder. That said, it’s totally fine to use whatever ground spices you have ready to go in the pantry.
  • Grinding Spices – You can use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices manually, or use an electric spice grinder or coffee grinder to make it easier. If using a coffee grinder, make sure to thoroughly clean out the machine before grinding your next batch of coffee!
  • Storage – Always store your leftover spice blend in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, such as a drawer or pantry, to maintain flavour and shelf life.

FAQs

Do I need to toast the spices?

In our opinion – yes! Toasting the spices really brings out the full flavour and deep golden brown colour, so we don’t recommend skipping this step. Just be sure to use the lowest heat possible and allow the spices to cool down completely before storing in an airtight container.

What’s the difference between curry powder and curry paste?

Despite sharing a similar name, curry powder and curry paste are (and taste) very different! Curry powder is a dry ingredient made from dried and ground spices, while curry paste is usually made from a blend of spices, finely chopped and ground herbs, and sometimes other ingredients like fish sauce or shrimp paste, depending on the country of origin.

We also wouldn’t recommend substituting one for the other, as the flavour will be totally different than you would normally be going for in the main recipe you’re making.

Can I use this for Indian recipes?

Curry powder is actually not a traditional Indian ingredient (Indian curry recipes usually call for garam masala instead). While you can use curry powder as a substitute for garam masala, it won’t have quite the same flavour due to the different mix of spices used. 

If you’re looking to replicate a specific curry flavour (such as x or y), you should use the relevant spice blend to suit that recipe if possible.

How else can I use it?

Use it as an all purpose seasoning or as a table condiment in place of salt. Add it to marinades, sauces, batters or coatings (such as air fried chicken karaage). Mix a sprinkling into Japanese beef burgers, in crispy fried spring rolls or even over homemade takoyaki. It goes amazing in Nyonya chicken curry or Sri lankan pumpkin curry.

Variations

  • Make it Spicier – Add more chilli powder, cayenne pepper or even gochujang chilli flakes to your blend to make it spicier, more like a madras curry powder.
  • Transform it into a Roux – Use your curry powder blend to make up a batch of Japanese curry roux, which you can then freeze to use later.
Golden curry powder in a blue and white bowl.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Japanese style curry powder with spoon in a blue bowl.

Homemade Curry Powder – Japanese S&B Style

An aromatic spice mix, this homemade Curry Powder is based off the popular Japanese S&B blend, so you can whip up your own Japanese curry in no time! Have a batch ready in less than 15 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Course: Basics, Condiment
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 1 Jar
Calories: 177kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Grind any whole spices you're using in a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) from largest to smallest. Putting in 1-2 at a time, grinding to a powder, then add more. For us, this was star anise, cardamom, bay leaf, fenugreek seeds, thyme and sage.
    3 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 star anise, 1 tsp thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp sage, 1 cardamom
  • Scoop out the ground spices from the mortar and place into a small bowl alongside the remaining ground spices. In our case, this was turmeric powder, ground coriander, cumin, dried orange peel, black pepper, chilli powder, cinnamon, fennel, ground ginger, ground cloves and nutmeg. Mix it all together until well combined.
    6 tsp turmeric powder, 4 tsp ground coriander, 3 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp orange peel, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp fennel, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Spread out the curry powder on a medium saucepan on the lowest heat setting possible. Dry toast for 1-2 minutes to bring out the flavours. Stir as you go, so the curry powder is evenly toasted and heated through.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container in your pantry.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Quality – Use fresh spices if possible, as they will have the strongest flavour. Even better, use whole spices and grind them yourself for the freshest homemade curry powder. That said, it’s totally fine to use whatever ground spices you have ready to go in the pantry.
  • Grinding Spices – You can use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices manually, or use an electric spice grinder or coffee grinder to make it easier. If using a coffee grinder, make sure to thoroughly clean out the machine before grinding your next batch of coffee!
  • Storage – Always store your leftover spice blend in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, such as a drawer or pantry, to maintain flavour and shelf life.
  • Make it Spicier – Add more chilli powder, cayenne pepper or even gochujang chilli flakes to your blend to make it spicier, more like a madras curry powder.
  • Transform it into a Roux – Use your curry powder blend to make up a batch of Japanese curry roux, which you can then freeze to use later.

    Nutrition

    Nutrition Facts
    Homemade Curry Powder – Japanese S&B Style
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    177
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    6
    g
    9
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    6
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    2
    g
    Sodium
     
    66
    mg
    3
    %
    Potassium
     
    801
    mg
    23
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    32
    g
    11
    %
    Fiber
     
    14
    g
    58
    %
    Sugar
     
    1
    g
    1
    %
    Protein
     
    7
    g
    14
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    824
    IU
    16
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    16
    mg
    19
    %
    Calcium
     
    240
    mg
    24
    %
    Iron
     
    17
    mg
    94
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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    Homemade Curry Powder - Japanese S&B Style

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