Homemade Madras Curry Paste

Cayenne spicy…

Madras curry is known for being spicier than your average Thai curry, and that’s certainly true here. This recipe leans into the cayenne pepper – a no doubt upper-medium heat on the pepper scale (30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units). But if that’s too much heat (and to that we say what?? How is that possible??), it’s perfectly fine to look to less spicy chilies, like ancho powder (1,000 – 1,500 SHU) or red jalapeño powder (2,500 to 8,000 SHU).

Don’t only think curry here. All curry pastes work well in soups, stews, dressings, and sauces to bring an exotic flair to a meal. Or you can simply add some vegetable or chicken stock to the paste to create a delicious curry dipping sauce for veggies and bread.

homemade madras curry paste

Homemade Madras Curry Paste

4 from 7 votes
Servings 4 servings



  • In a pan over medium heat, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds. Dry roast the spices for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring often, until they are aromatic.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, grind the seeds, garlic, and ginger into a paste.
  • Add the powdered spices and stir to fully combine.


Concerned on the overall spiciness? Cut the cayenne pepper by 1/2 (1 teaspoon only) or use a less spicy 100% chili powder - NOT chili powder seasoning). Ancho powder or red jalapeño powder both can work here.


Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

See more of our spicy recipes…

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 20, 2021 to include new content.
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