I was going to make some curry puffs following this recipe, in which some "meat curry powder" is used to flavor the fillings. I was just gonna use the regular store-bought curry powder I can find in my local supermarket, but then I started wondering if there is a significant difference between what I have and what is used in the recipe. The mention of "meat curry powder" in the ingredient list may suggest that it is a particular brand of curry which is especially suited for meat? As you can see from the images below, there is a slight color difference between the two at the very least.

Can someone with experience of Malaysian or similar cooking let me know if there is something in particular I should pay attention to when choosing the spices for the fillings?

The curry powder depicted in the recipe:

enter image description here

The curry powder I wanted to use

enter image description here

  • 1
    Strange that they claim it's a paste ... looks like a powder to me
    – Joe
    Jan 30, 2019 at 18:02
  • @joe you mix it with water to make the paste
    – eirikdaude
    Jan 30, 2019 at 22:14
  • @Joe in the list of ingredients says "3 tbsp meat curry powder add water to form into paste"
    – roetnig
    Jan 30, 2019 at 22:14

2 Answers 2


Store brands of curry powder sold here in the UK (and I assume most western countries) don't usually contain chilli powder at all. Chilli is generally added separately to taste, because many westerners can't handle the heat of a hot curry mix. The typical yellow colour of these mixes is because they contain turmeric.

However it looks like the Malaysian curry mix in the photo does contain chilli. After looking at the bright red colour, perhaps it contains Kasmiri chilli powder which is very red, but quite mild, or perhaps it even has red food colouring in it.

Chilli powder alone doesn't make a curry, it needs the other spices commonly found in curry mixes such as, corriander, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, fenugreek, etc, etc.

When I want to make my curry extra red, I use Kashmiri chilli powder together with either regular curry powder or garam masala. It not only has a wonderful vivid red colour, but it's fairly mild and yet still flavourful, so I can afford to put more in the curry without making it totally inedible.

I have had a couple of Malaysian curry mixes given to me by a friend, and when I checked the ingredients I did notice food colouring was an ingredient, also their curries also have a distinctive star anise/fennel seed taste, so it might be worthwhile adding these spices too, if they aren't in your store bought curry mix.


Curry is quite a vague term. It's used with dishes from all east asia and covers a lot of different blends of spices. I found that in my country (Spain) most curry blends you find in supermarkets are quite bland and not spicy at all. Similar to the one you intend to use.

Curry blend to use with meat should be a mix of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, dried chillies, dried turmeric root, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamoms...

cloves - 10

peppercorns - 3, black

cinnamon - 1 stick

chilli flakes - 2 tsp (or 4 whole dried chillies)

dried fennel - 1 tsp, seeds

cumin - 10g, seeds

cardamom - 4 pods

dried coriander - 15g, ground

turmeric - 1 tsp, ground


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