Madras Curry Powder Vs Garam Masala

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Difference Between Garam Masala And Madras Curry Powder



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Madras curry powder and garam masala are spice blends used to add color and flavor to a dish. But what is the difference between madras curry powder vs garam masala?

Madras curry powder is basically curry powder with extra heat, while garam masala, on the other hand, is authentic and widely used on the sub-continent; the exact blend of spices it is made from varies from region to region.

What other differences separate these two popular Indian seasonings?  Let’s dive into a proper breakdown of these spices.

Madras Curry Powder Vs Garam Masala

Madras curry powder and garam masala are blended spice mixes that can be added to dishes to give them a spicy and aromatic kick.

The difference between these two seasonings boils down to the different blends of spices they consist of; masala is more of a warming aromatic blend, while madras curry powder is more of an earthy blend and packs more heat.

Difference Between Garam Masala And Madras Curry Powder

Madras Curry Powder Vs Garam Masala

One main difference between garam masala and madras curry powder is that curry powder is savorier and has a typical golden, yellowish color due to the use of turmeric.

Garam masala uses cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and dried chilies, giving it a deeper color, sweeter taste, and more heat than typical yellow curry powder.

Another difference between garam masala and curry powder has to do with availability. While you can easily sort for curry powder in most grocery stores, garam masala is more of a specialty item.

If you are fortunate, you can find it in the British food aisle of your grocery shop or at a local Asian or Indian grocery store. You can also make your garam masala as most of the individual spices are more easily sourced.

Read Also: Best Korma Curry Paste Substitutes

Can I Use Garam Masala Instead Of Curry Powder?

Yes, you can use garam masala instead of curry powder, but keep in mind that your recipe may not have the expected taste.

Curry powder has a relatively mild taste as much of its flavor comes from fenugreek, cumin, and other spices used in the mixture.

Garam masala, on the other hand, is made entirely of hot spices and therefore has a stronger taste. This will cause your dish to taste different if you use garam masala as a substitute for curry powder. 

If you hold more cooking experience, you should definitely try making your own curry powder instead of using garam masala, which can alter the dish taste

Is Garam Masala The Same As Curry Powder?

No garam masala isn’t the same as curry powder. They are two separate spice blends.

Can You Use Garam Masala And Curry Powder Together?

Yes, garam masala can be used alongside madras curry powder. It may have a taste different from curry powder, but adding in curry gives your dish a delicious taste.

But keep in mind that you won’t achieve the same flavor or color as you would using only one of the seasonings.

When using both seasonings, curry powder needs to be added towards the beginning of a recipe and cooked alongside the food.

Garam masala, on the other hand, is a finishing spice blend with similar ingredients of curry powder; it also includes aromatic spices, so it needs to be added towards the end of the cooking to give the dish an aromatic punch.


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