In the following accepted answer you can find the ingredients of the Indian curry powder. I usually cook with Indian curry powder, however, I recently received some Sri Lankan curry powder. The aroma is different when I use Sri Lankan curry powder, (in my opinion, better,) and it tastes different too. Does anyone know the spices used in making Sri Lankan curry powder?

  • The term "Sri Lankan" curry is somewhat ambiguous; I have found that northern and eastern Tamil curries have a different character from those in the predominantly Sinhalese areas. Jan 1, 2012 at 14:07
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    Sri Lanka is a small place (of the size of West Virginia) and I am sure that the differences are minute. Perhaps, the question is what makes it different from Indian curry powder. (Notice that India is a much larger place but I would still call it Indian curry powder.)
    – Sony
    Jan 2, 2012 at 1:10
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    The differences results from ethnic diversity, not geographic proximity. Jan 3, 2012 at 4:50

2 Answers 2


Most of the recipes I've made for Sri Lankan curries typically have pandan, dry curry leaves, fennel, green cardamom, mustard seeds, cloves, cumin, coriander & black peppercorns.

  • Nearly ten years on, you still can't get pandan anywhere in the UK, & boy, I've tried:\ I have to get my SriLankan kick on import & buy the entire spice blend, including the pandan.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 19, 2022 at 13:12

There are two main types of Sri Lankan curry powders, yellow and black. Yellow curry is much like stereotypical Indian curry powder, whereas black curry powder is roasted.

Also, in my experience, Sri Lankan curries tend to be hotter than Indian (and more than one friend of Indian heritage has expressed surprise that I enjoy Sri Lankan food, since they find it too hot.)

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