Jamaican Curry Powder

No. I have never been to Jamaica, nor eaten in a Jamaican restaurant. I’ve had some Jerk chicken from a food truck once. I think I make better jerk chicken. Big claims for someone who has hardly eaten Jamaican food outside of her house. But, read on. I do have one concession in my favour. I cook for a Jamaican. Let’s call her Miss Jamaica. She doesn’t hold back on her praise of my cooking. She doesn’t hold back on criticisms either. So that’s my yardstick of how authentic my Jamaican recipes are. I decided to make this curry powder because I can’t find Jamaican curry powder on the grocery shelves, and it’s also time Miss Jamaica learns to make her own goat curry rather than beg any visiting person from the Caribbean region to make her rotis and curry. This is also my way of checking if Miss Jamaica reads my blog posts, because if she did, she’ll know she has some curry powder arriving in the mail any day now.

Note the “tsp” and “tbsp” in this recipe CAREFULLY because I have gone through the agony of picking out and re-measuring most of the all spice berries from my spice mixture because I wasn’t sure if I threw in 2 tbsp or 2 tsp. The spice mixture should also not be toasted for more than 5 minutes because you’ll burn the spices and end up with bitter tasting curry powder (yes, I had to learn the hard way). The recipe for a Jamaican Goat/ Lamb curry will be written up after Miss Jamaica tests my recipe.

Jamaican Curry Powder

  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp all spice berries/ Pimento
  • 2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 5 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise


  1. Toast all spices except ginger and turmeric in a fry pan on low heat for 5 mins.
  2. Let the spices cool, then grind with a spice grinder/ mortar and pestle.
  3. Mix in remaining ginger and turmeric.
  4. Ground spices will keep for 1 year in tightly sealed jar in a cool, dark place but for best results, use within 3 months.

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