If there’s this one spice blend that you need to add a spicy, deep, rich flavor to your meat, fish, or seafood dishes, we bet that this Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder recipe is going to be the perfect game changer! This is a unique spice mixture from the northern region of Sri Lanka and it is specially formulated to complement rich seafood and meat dishes.

One thing you should remember before making Jaffna curry powder is that it will be quite hot and spicy than ordinary curry powders, which is the specialty of this blend. But on the bright side, everything is under your control, and you can adjust any ingredient used. So, let’s get started!

 Why consider Sri lankan curry powder one of the world’s most piquant spice blends? Is it the ingredients used or something else? Click on this link and refer to our detailed article for answers!

Simple Homemade Sri Lankan Jaffna Curry Powder Recipe!

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by SpiceRally


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Our very own version of this simple homemade Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder recipe is all you need to spice up your special crab, shrimp, cuttlefish, chicken, or beef curry! It is zesty, aromatic, vibrant, and warm enough to make the perfect Asian meal to adorn your family dinner!

Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on


  • Spices & Herbs
  • 6 tbsp 6 Coriander seeds

  • 3 tbsp 3 Cumin seeds

  • 1 1/2 tbsp 1 1/2 Fennel seeds

  • 3 tsp 3 Black peppercorns

  • 1 tbsp 1 Fenugreek seeds

  • 25 25 Dried red chiles

  • 7 pods 7 Green cardamom

  • 4 4 Cloves

  • 1 piece 1 Cinnamon (about a 3-inch piece)

  • 2 2 Florets Mace

  • 1 tsp 1 Ground nutmeg

  • 2 sprigs 2 Curry leaves

  • Equipment
  • 1 1 Saucepan/ skillet

  • 1 1 Wooden Spatula

  • 1 1 Grinder

  • 1 1 Plate (large)

  • 1 1 Kitchen towel

  • 1 1 Air-tight glass container

  • 1 1 Mesh sieve


  • Keep the saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat and allow it to heat through. Once the pan is hot, add the dried red chilies and toast them until crispy. They don’t need to emit a strong smoky perfume or change color completely. Remove the chiles from the pan and put them on a large plate to cool down.
  • Next, gently toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek, and black peppercorns separately until fragrant and slightly changes color. Remove the spices from the pan and transfer them to the plate.
  • You can proceed to toast with green cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon together. Break the cinnamon into smaller pieces to facilitate the toasting process. Bring them to the plate, removing them from the pan once the green cardamoms turn plump and other spices turn aromatic.
  • Next, put the two florets of mace and toast until fragrant and slightly changes color. Put them away on the plate.
  • Switch off the flame and while the pan is still on top of the stove, add ground nutmeg, and stir it with the help of the wooden spatula to toast lightly for about 10 seconds. Remove from the pan and transfer it to the plate.
  • At last, switch on the flame to very low heat, extract the curry leaves from their sprigs, and put them into the pan to toast. Once the leaves turn crispy, remove them from the pan and transfer them to the plate to cool down.
  • Allow the spices to cool down on the plate for 05 more minutes.
  • Now, wipe the jar of your grinder using a clean kitchen towel or paper tissues.
  • Put the spices into the grinder jar and pulverize until you get a fine powder. You can work in batches if you have a small grinder jar.
  • Run the curry powder through a fine mesh sieve to eliminate large clumps.
  • Re-grind the clumps and add them to the spice mixture.
  • Spoon your homemade Sri Lankan Jaffna curry powder into a well-fitting spice container as soon as you are done with grinding. Close the lid tightly once you empty the content of the container.

Notes and Suggestions

  • It is important to remember that the spices used in this curry powder should be toasted less than the ingredients toasted to make Sri lankan roasted curry powder or chicken curry powder. “Gently toasted” ingredients are what is called for this curry powder recipe.
  • The main ingredient of Jaffna curry powder is dried red chiles; we have used many of them. But feel free to adjust that amount if this spice blend is too hot for you.
  • Likewise, adjust the amount of black pepper and cloves to revise the spiciness accordingly.
  • You might have trouble finding curry leaves if you live in a western country. But sometimes, you might find dried curry leaves in the international spice aisle of the supermarket. However, if you’re living in the USA, you’ll find curry leaves at Patel Brothers (an Indian store) in the name of “neem leaves”. These are not the actual curry leaves used in Sri Lanka. But still, they could work in your Jaffna curry powder. However, leave it and proceed with the rest of the ingredients if you can’t find them.
  • Double the ingredients if you need to make a larger batch.
  • Always store your homemade Jaffna curry powder in an air-tight glass container and keep it in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigeration is not required. You can save this spice mixture flavorful and aromatic for up to 3 months.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @spice_rally on Instagram and hashtag it with #SpiceRally

Like this recipe?

Follow @SpiceRally on Pinterest

Join our Facebook Page!

Follow SpiceRally on Facebook

Related Topics

Write A Comment