Tomato Paste

Mix powder is a mixture of basic spices, and is used in most British Indian Restaurants to form the basis of the spicing. This is the recipe I use, which I find gives a good foundation of flavour to curries in conjunction with my base gravy.

This recipe will make enough mix powder for at least 12 single portion curries. The ingredients can be simply scaled up if required.


  • 1 TBSP Cumin Seeds, ground
  • 1 TBSP Coriander Seeds, ground
  • 1½ TBSP Turmeric Powder
  • ½ TBSP Paprika (NOT smoked)
  • 1½ TBSP Mild Madras Curry Powder
  • ¼ tsp Garam Masala


  1. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds in a coffee grinder or pestle & mortar.
  2. Mix with the other ingredients in a bowl, and store in a clean, dry, airtight container, away from heat and light.


  • If possible always use freshly ground cumin and coriander seeds. Do not toast the seeds prior to grinding. Although toasting will emphasise the flavour of the spices, they will not stay fresh as long when stored.
  • I use commercial brand spices such as East End, Rajah, and Heera. Many other brands are available, but these are some of the brands commonly used in BIR establishments. It is worth remembering that quality varies between different brands of spices, as well as the quality of seasonal spice crops.


  • When buying packets of spices always check the best before date and buy those with a date furthest in the future.
  • The mix powder should stay fresh and smell pungent for at least a month, and often longer. If the mixture smells slightly stale or sweet, throw it away and make some more.

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