Whenever I use ginger powder in a curry, it tastes bitter.

For instance, today I added two tea-spoons of ginger powder to cook a curry of 400 grams of chickpeas and approximately 700 grams of potatos. The curry is bitter and smells foul.

Is it because I bought low quality ginger powder or am I measuring it incorrectly?

How should I measure ginger powder?

  • 3
    Is there a reason you specifically suspect the ginger of causing the problem? What was the recipe you used?
    – Sneftel
    Sep 1, 2023 at 6:57
  • 4
    I've never seen a curry recipe that calls for powdered ginger, does it call for powdered, and if so does it call for that much? Powdered ginger is a very strong spice.
    – GdD
    Sep 1, 2023 at 7:52
  • @GdD I have, at around 1tsp for 4 servings in a curry (e.g. BBC Food). Note that ginger powder is usually sold as "ground ginger" in the UK. I use considerably more in some stir-fries, for a dominant ginger flavour, so using quite a bit isn't inherently bad.
    – Chris H
    Sep 1, 2023 at 10:34
  • 1
    I'm thinking it may have gone off (which @ChrisH answer also leans towards.) I have some "bad ginger powder" but that particular batch is "suitable for making tea, but not food" as it apparently has sand in it (avoiding THAT brand forever after.) And I have some "crushed/cracked" yellow mustard seed that has ruined every batch of mustard I made with it, so it's going in the compost and I'll avoid that brand as well.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 1, 2023 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


It is possible for (dried ground) ginger powder to give a bitter flavour, but I don't think that's what's happening here, or at least not alone.

If it's old and been badly stored (exposed to sunlight and /or not sealed properly), ground ginger loses its main flavour, but adding extra to make up for that does lead to a bitter and possibly unpleasant taste. I'm not sure whether whatever is responsible for that is always present, but normally masked, or if it's produced by the degradation of the compounds we want. I wouldn't expect the quantities you've used here to have that effect, though maybe if you used really heaped teaspoons it would, as well as being very gingery if the spice was fresh.

Other spices do this too, some more so. If your ginger is old, perhaps the other spices are too.

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