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Burmese Curry Powder Recipe

This heady Burmese curry powder recipe has been adapted from Mi Mi Khaing's delightful Burmese cookbook called Cook and Entertain the Burmese Way for use in her Burmese curries. The composition of ingredients of Mi Mi Khaing’s Burmese curry powder is distinct from other Southeast Asian curry powders that typically include spices such as turmeric, fenugreek, chilli, and galangal, and which, if used in Burmese curries, would result in quite a different taste. For a more authentic Burmese curry, try this peppery curry powder.Note that Mi Mi Khaing’s Burmese curry powder recipe is in ounces, but I’ve converted it to grams and rounded up measures, eg. 1 oz = 28.35 g, which I’ve rounded to 30 g. This makes 250 g of curry powder, so perhaps halve or quarter the measures the first time you make this spice blend.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Spice Mix
Cuisine: Burmese, Myanmar
Servings: 250 Grams
Calories: 3kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 40 g peppercorns*
  • 30 g poppy seeds
  • 45 g cumin seeds
  • 90 g coriander seeds
  • 15 g bay leaf crushed
  • 15 g cardamom ground**
  • 15 g cinnamon ground


  • In a dry non-stick or cast-iron pan, lightly pan-roast the peppercorns and seeds over a low flame for a few minutes or so to release their aromatic oils, taking care not to toast them too much (i.e don’t burn them).
  • Use a spice grinder, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the seeds to a powder.
  • If you have a large mortar, add the pre-ground spices and combine, but if not, put the freshly ground spices through a fine mesh sieve or spice strainer and transfer to a large clean bowl with the pre-ground spices then combine.
  • Put your spices through a stainless steel spice funnel to transfer your curry powder into an air-tight jar or container for storage in a dark place in your pantry.


* These are a lot of peppercorns, resulting in a very peppery curry powder. Mi Mi Khaing’s recipe called for 1.5 oz which I rounded to 45 g, but then I reduced it to 40 g. You may wish to start with less and gradually add more.
** If you have cardamom pods, dry roast the whole pods then smash the pods open in the mortar with the pestle, discard the pods, and grind the seeds.


Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg