Madras Curry Recipe

Madras Curry Recipe
I actually get a lot of email requests for “Madras Curry” and to be quite honest, I rarely make this curry mainly because it’s not truly very Indian! But my culinary interest was now piqued and thus, I decided to do my own research. So basically, Madras Curry was originally created by the British and is a very beloved Anglo-Indian dish. When the Brits left India, one of the things they missed most was the food - which explains why Indian food is so popular throughout the UK these days and how chicken tikka masala has now become their national dish!

So after a few trials (& errors), I have come up with my very own version of Madras Curry Powder (MCP), which technically should be renamed Chennai Curry Powder. But anyway, my MCP works very well with most anything such as vegetables, paneer, tofu, chicken, meat, seafood or any combination of various ingredients.

I have also provided a quick and simple Madras Shrimp Curry recipe below using my freshly made MCP. This is usually a mild, kid-friendly curry so feel free to add some red chili powder if you prefer a spicier kick.

MADRAS CURRY POWDER (aka Chennai Curry Powder)


2-3 dried red chilies
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
4-5 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)


Dry roast, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.


MADRAS SHRIMP CURRY (aka Chennai Shrimp Curry)


1 lb medium shrimp (peeled, de-veined, tail-on)
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise
2 tbsp Masala Curry Powder
½ tsp ground cumin powder
2 tsp ground coriander powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup cream (or you can use coconut milk or yogurt)
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


In a large deep skillet on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the onions and sauté until just browned. Next, add the garlic along with the ginger & green chilies. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until aromatic & fragrant. Then add the spices (MCP, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, salt & pepper). Stir well to combine and let the spices fry for a few minutes before adding the tomato paste & tomatoes. Next add about 1 cup or so of water, cover and let simmer for 5-6 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened and broken down. Next, add the shrimp and let the shrimp cook in the curry (about 4-5 minutes). Finish the dish with the cream and stir well to combine. Let cook for a few more minutes and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve hot with warm chapatis & fragrant Basmati rice.

Madras Curry Powder

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