Books by Richard Sayce

Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1
Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 2 Front Cover
Curry Compendium Cookbook
Tomato Paste


BIR Mix Powder Recipe

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.

The Mix Powder is easy to make but if you wish to purchase it ready assembled, you can buy it in 100g and 250g pouches from ‘Ome Made. All fresh and from scratch!

Please also have a look at a more spicy version, my original Bassar Mix Powder recipe. 


  • 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.


  1. Raaz

    Can I get already grounded cumin powder and coriander powder? I don’t have a grinder, what’s my options? Or I need to invest in a grinder?

    • Richard Sayce

      Hi Raaz. You can use already ground cumin and coriander if you wish to. The benefit of grinding them whole is immense though – superior flavours. Consider a pestle & mortar, or an electric coffee/spice grinder – I’ve put some suggested products on the Supplies page here on my website.

  2. CurryOnSgtMajor

    Hi. I made some of this mix powder, and it’s incredible – I had one minor problem with the ingredients, and that was looking for *mild* madras powder. I have mild curry powder, and the madras powder is hotter than hell. Is there an acceptable substitute? If not, is there a recipe which would give me a mild version of madras, that I could use? Thanks!

    • Richard Sayce

      Hi. Any mild (or medium) curry powder will do as a component ingredient in the mix powder. If the one you have is too hot then consider trying another brand. Rajah and East end are good brands.
      As it happens I’ve just started my new spice blend range, which includes my very own formula mild madras, all milled from fresh spices. You can buy it here:

  3. maria

    Hi Richard,

    Am I wrong or the recipe has changed ? I have been doing it for a few years already and I don’t recall the curry mix in the recipe 🤔. Thanks!

    • Richard Sayce

      It’s always had mild madras curry powder in it if that’s what you are referring to.

      • maria

        Yes, then I was wrong! Thanks!

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