What is Durban Curry Powder made from?


Durban masala (curry powder), a unique spice blend originating from the city of Durban in South Africa, forms the heart of the vibrant Durban curry. Known for its red color, heat, it’s a hot and spicy blend that is not to be confused with garam masala, although garam masala can be used as an ingredient in it.

One example of a Durban masala blend includes the following spices:

  1. Mild chili powder (6 teaspoons): Provides the characteristic heat and red color.
  2. Hot pepper powder, such as cayenne (1 teaspoon): Enhances the heat of the blend.
  3. Ground coriander (1 teaspoon): Offers a sweet, floral note.
  4. Ground cumin (1 teaspoon): Contributes a warm, earthy flavor.
  5. Ground cardamom (1/2 teaspoon): Adds a complex sweet-spicy taste.
  6. Ground cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon): Gives a warm, sweet note.
  7. Fenugreek (1/2 teaspoon): Imparts a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
  8. Ground ginger (1/2 teaspoon): Adds a spicy, peppery taste. (OPTIONAL)
  9. Ground cloves (1/8 teaspoon): Brings a warm, sweet, and slightly bitter flavor.

However, it is essential to remember that Durban masala has many variations. The blend can be adapted to suit one’s personal preferences. Some individuals may choose to add less cumin, more coriander, or even crushed cloves to their mix. Others might enhance their blend with whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, star aniseed, or black cardamom for added flavor. There is no fixed recipe, allowing one to experiment until they achieve their perfect blend.

Another variant of Durban masala also includes garam masala, ground fennel/soomph, and turmeric. The use of different ingredients in each recipe emphasises the diversity and adaptability of this spice blend.

If you are looking for a ready-made blend, the Durban Curry Lovers’ All-in-One Masala is a good option. This ultra-premium, hand-blended product is designed to turn any amateur cook into a curry master. There is no need to add any other whole or powdered spices when using this all-in-one masala. It promises to produce a perfectly balanced Durban Curry with a beautiful red color, irresistible aroma, and authentic Durban flavors.