Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (2024)

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by Mike Hultquist · · 8 Comments · Jump to Recipe

This Jamaican curry powder recipe is a taste of the Caribbean with a versatile mix of warming spices and fiery heat that's easy to adjust, perfect for quick and easy meals!

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (1)

It's curry time in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen, my friends! Only we're making something different from what you might be used to. Tonight we're making Jamaican Curry Powder, and I think you're going to love it.

Authentic Jamaican curry powder is different from Indian curry powder, using different local ingredients to create a spice blend unlike any other. This recipe is a flavorful blend of lightly toasted seeds, warming seasonings and chili powder that you can use to flavor many different dishes.

It is hugely versatile. Of course you can make yourself an excellent curry, but consider it as a general seasoning for vegetables and grilled meats and anything else you'd care to spice up.

There are different ways to make a Caribbean curry powder, with different ratios and other optional ingredients you can include to make it your own. Below is my preferred recipe. I love to include a fiery Scotch Bonnet powder, made from dehydrated Scotch Bonnet peppers.

I love to grow them then dry and grind them into fresh powder for making all sorts of wonderful recipes. If you can't find Scotch bonnet powder, you can use other chili powders.

I hope you enjoy it!

Let's talk about how we make Jamaican Curry Powder, shall we?

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (2)

Jamaican Curry Powder Ingredients

  • Turmeric.
  • Coriander Seeds.
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds.
  • Fenugreek Seeds.
  • Allspice Berries. Or use 1 tablespoon ground allspice.
  • Cumin Seeds. Or use 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin.
  • Ground Ginger.
  • Black Peppercorns. Or use 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper.
  • Scotch Bonnet Powder. Optional, for heat, or use cayenne or other spicy chili powder.

Optional Extras

  • Star Anise Seeds.
  • Clove. Or use ¼ teaspoon ground.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Salt. Listed as optional, as you can always add in salt when making your recipes.

How to Make Jamaican Curry Powder - the Recipe Method

Toast the Seeds/Grains. If you are using seeds/grains, lightly toast the spices in a skillet or dry pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring a bit, until they become nicely fragrant. Do not let them burn or you will get a bitter flavor.

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (3)

Grind the Ingredients. Grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle along with the other ingredients. Mix well.

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (4)

For Ground Ingredients Only. Simply mix all of the spices together until well incorporated.

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (5)

Store the Curry Powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 3 months. Will last longer, but will begin to lose potency.

Boom! Done! Your Jamaican curry powder mix is ready to use. Time to make some quick curries! This is such a great seasoning on hand for whipping together quick and easy meals with big flavor.

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (6)

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Heat Factor. You'll get some very nice heat from your Jamaican curry powder if you include Scotch Bonnet powder, which rivals habanero peppers in their overall heat. Use cayenne for more manageable heat, or stick with paprika or other mild chili powder for a low to no heat version.
  • Other Ingredients. You can easily include other seasonings to customize your own Jamaican curry powder. Popular additions include cinnamon, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper and others. Feel free to mix it up as desired!
Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (7)

That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this Jamaican curry powder recipe. Let me know if you make it and what you create. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Cookbook Recommendation

If you'd like to learn more about Jamaican cooking, check out the following books, which I have found to be educational and informative:

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

  • Jamaican Curry Chicken
  • Red Curry
  • Coconut Curry Chicken
  • Phaal Curry (the Hottest Curry in the World)
  • Indian Curry Powder
  • Vindaloo Curry Powder
  • Red Curry Paste
  • Yellow Curry Paste
  • See all of my Curry Recipes
Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (8)

Storage & Leftovers

Storing yourJamaican Curry Powderin a cool, dark place may allow you to store it for up to 6 months to a year.

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy

  • Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
  • Jerk Marinade
  • Jamaican Jerk Chicken
  • Sazon Seasoning
  • Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
  • Jamaican Rice and Peas
Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (9)

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (10)


Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe

This Jamaican curry powder recipe is a taste of the Caribbean with a versatile mix of warming spices and fiery heat that's easy to adjust, perfect for quick and easy meals!

Save Recipe

Course: Main Course, Seasonings

Cuisine: American, Caribbean

Keyword: caribbean, jamaican, scotch bonnet, seasoning, spicy

Prep Time: 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes minutes

Calories: 9kcal

Author: Mike Hultquist

Servings: 36 teaspoons

Tap or hover to scale

5 from 3 votes

Leave a Review


  • 3 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds or use 2-1/2 tablespoons ground
  • 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds or use 2-1/2 tablespoons ground
  • 1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds or use ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries or use 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds or use 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns or use 1-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Scotch Bonnet powder optional, for heat, or use cayenne or other spicy chili powder - or add more to taste!


  • 1 tablespoon whole anise seeds or use 1 tablespoon ground anise (optional)
  • 1 dried clove or use ¼ teaspoon ground
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt or to taste


  • Toast the Seeds/Grains. If you are using seeds/grains, lightly toast them in a hot dry pan on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring a bit, until they become nicely fragrant. Do not let them burn or you will get a bitter flavor.

  • Grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle along with the other ingredients. Mix well.

  • For Ground Ingredients Only. Simply mix all of the spices together until well incorporated.

  • Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 3 months. Will last longer, but will begin to lose potency.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 9kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 35mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 6IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg

Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (11)

Did You Enjoy This Recipe?I love hearing how you like it and how you made it your own. Leave a comment below and tag @ChiliPepperMadness on social media.

Reader Interactions


    Leave a Reply

  1. Nejat says

    Hi, I’ve been making this for about a year, and have used it for curry goat when I can get it.chicken and lamb.all my family and friends love the curry’s made with this blend.
    I definitely added white peppercorns and a little nutmeg. And ground scotch pepper to the blend. With a fresh one thrown in whole into the curry when cooking. I also recommend when cooking to marinate the meat overnight first in this powder .


    • Mike Hultquist says

      Thanks for sharing, Nejat.


  2. Claudette Legault says

    Mike, Claudette Legault again. I apologize. You must be very confused at this point. I was not very clear about my comments in regards to the Jamaican Curry Recipe. It was wonderful. What I meant to say was that the Jamaican Curry Powder conversions from dry to ground threw me. Despite using the quantities that I knew, your recipe was greatly enjoyed. I plan to repeat this recipe just as you intended it to be. I hope this clears any confusion from my part.
    Like one person who commented, next time I will serve it with rice.
    Thanks, Claudette


  3. Pam says

    Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (12)
    I have a question... I’ve gone to mix this up for the first time, and realised I don’t have the anise seed. Can you suggest a substitute? Is star anise similar?

    Looking forward to making the Jamaican chicken curry this week 🙂


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      Pam, star anise is more subtle and mild compared to anise seed, but you can definitely use it. Or even just omit. There are many other parts to the seasoning. Let me know it turns out for you.


  4. Jérémie says

    Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (13)
    Can't wait ^^


  5. Jérémie says

    Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (14)
    Seems awesome Mike!! do you have a particular recipe in mind for this special curry powder?


    • Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says

      It is, and I do, Jérémie. Recipes forthcoming!


Jamaican Curry Powder Recipe (2024)


What is Jamaican curry powder made of? ›

Directions. Combine the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, anise seeds, fenugreek seeds, and allspice berries in a skillet. Toast over medium heat until the color of the spices slightly darkens, and the spices are very fragrant, about 10 minutes.

What's the difference between curry powder and Jamaican curry powder? ›

While both curry powders are a blend of spices, Jamaican curry powder usually has a higher proportion of turmeric and is packed full of Jamaican flavors such as pimento, scotch bonnet chili and personal preferences like nutmeg. It is also lower in heat than the Indian version.

What is a substitute for Jamaican curry powder? ›

To substitute Jamaican curry powder, I started with regular curry powder (which contains most of the same spices), then added extra turmeric and allspice. This allowed me to use ingredients that were easy for me to find, AND I didn't have to toast and grind the spices myself.

What does curry powder consist of? ›

Curry powders usually consist of turmeric, cumin, ginger, and black pepper. Some blends also incorporate garlic and cinnamon. What all curry powders share is a sweet warmth and pleasant pungency that adds a toasty depth to everything it touches.

What makes Jamaican curry different? ›

But perhaps the biggest thing that makes Jamaican curry powder stand out from other curry powders is the use of allspice, which is known for its multidimensional flavor and adds its own, herbaceous and warm twist to the mix. Like many other spice blends, the recipe can vary.

What makes Caribbean curry different? ›

Caribbean curry powder also tends to have a higher proportion of sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, with a strong cumin flavor as well. Caribbean Cooking Methods. The other distinguishing factor in Caribbean curry chicken is the cooking methods used to prepare it.

Is Jamaican curry different than Indian curry? ›

A major difference between Jamaican and Indian curries is that Indian dishes use more chilli powder than fresh peppers. This gives Indian dishes a distinctive red colour and kick. Like Jamaican cuisine, Indian dishes are also usually marinated with a mix of Indian spices before cooking.

What is the closest spice to curry powder? ›

Garam Masala

The hot spice mix works as a curry powder alternative for heat and flavor in curry dishes. The ingredients are dry-roasted and ground. It can add flavor to dishes that call for a spicy Indian blend and boosts the taste of vegetables and meat dishes.

Why do Jamaicans use curry? ›

Curry is intrinsic part of Jamaican history. Indian servants who were brought to the then English Colony to work on sugar plantations after the abolition of slavery, brought the spice to Jamaica in the C17th. Curry is now one of the most popular dishes in Jamaica, usually made with goat, prawns, chicken, crab or pork.

What does curry do for the body? ›

One study found that people who eat more curry powder are less likely to have high blood pressure. Another study found that having curry powder in a meal improves circulation immediately after the meal. The turmeric commonly found in curry powder also helps lower cholesterol, which makes heart disease less likely.

Is garam masala the same as curry powder? ›

There is some overlap, but curry powder is generally a blend of aromatic, earthy, and sometimes hot spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek, while garam masala is a blend of warm, sometimes slightly sweet spices such as cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon.

What is the king of all curries? ›

To many, Beef Rendang is considered the king of all curries. Made with a mix of delicious aromatic herbs and spices, it offers incredibly...

What is the main spice in curry? ›

What is curry powder made of? If you want to delve into the blend of spices that make up curry blends, you'll need turmeric, ginger, mustard, cumin, and black pepper. Depending on the use or flavor you're looking for, the seasoning might include garlic, cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, and more.

How is curry made from scratch? ›

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until lightly browned. ...
  2. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar, and salt. ...
  3. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. ...
  4. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. ...
  5. Serve hot and enjoy!
Feb 22, 2023

Is Jamaican curry powder good for you? ›

On a more day-to-day level, eating Jamaican curry powder can improve your digestion and lower blood sugar. Some experts say eating it can help maintain brain health and prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Is Chief curry powder Jamaican? ›

Product Description

This Chief curry is a Jamaican blend of curry powder and promises to please.

Why is my Jamaican curry bitter? ›

With a meaty sauce that covers the veggies you cannot go wrong when serving this hearty meal to your family and friends. Your curry can taste bitter if the spices and garlic are burnt or if you've added too much fenugreek to the dish.

Where does Jamaican curry come from? ›

According to Sen's book, 1.5 million Indians migrated to other parts of the British Empire between 1834 and 1917, including 114,000 to Trinidad and Tobago and 36,000 to Jamaica. The mass migration resulted in an influx of new cooking techniques, ingredients and dishes, including curry.

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