Can I store curry powder in the fridge?
In this brief article, we will answer the question “Can I store curry powder in the fridge?” with an in-depth analysis of what curry powder is. We will also share homemade curry powder recipes.
Can I store curry powder in the fridge?
Yes, you can store curry powder in the fridge. However, it is advisable to keep your dry spices in a dry cabinet in a cool and dark place. This is because the spices can catch humidity inside the fridge which alters the taste of spices over time.
Spices should be stored in airtight containers to protect against moisture and preserve oils that give spices rich flavor and aroma. Spices are also stored in a cool, dry place, away from exposure to bright light, heat or moisture. Spices are susceptible to microbial and fungal contamination, thus they are exposed to contaminants from the soil and air, before being sufficiently dry to prevent microbial growth, as well as during harvesting, handling and packing (2).
If you have bought curry powder in bulk and you wish to store it for longer periods of time, you can store the curry powder in the freezer. Curry powder and other whole or ground spices should be stored in airtight containers. This ensures that they retain their flavor and freshness for a long time. Moisture level should be kept to a minimum as high moisture will affect the storage life (2).
Shelf life of properly stored curry powder can be around 3-4 years. However, studies showed that the amount of capsaicin in chili powder decreased 14.5% to 15.0% at refrigeration temperature and 20.9% to 21.9% at room temperature after nine months of storage. The rapid decrease of the capsaicinoid content in chili pepper powder during the first three months of storage may have been due to residual enzymatic induced oxidation. Some heat‐resistant enzymes may be released from damaged cells due to grinding and remain active after oven‐drying, resulting in greater losses during the early storage period (3), which indicates that curry powder also has similar losts, since chili is one of the components of curry powder. Lower temperatures of storage reduces the rate of enzymatic reactions and consequently, of aroma loss (3). Another study showed that the best storing conditions to avoid moisture absorption of turmeric powder was storing in a plastic container at refrigerated temperature (4). Turmeric is also an important component of curry (40-50%) (2). The key to keep it in its best quality is to store it properly in airtight containers.
Curry is an important condiment of Indian cuisine. India contributes 25–30% of the total world trade in spices. Nine spices—pepper, ginger, clove, cinnamon, cassia, mace, nutmeg, pimento (allspice), and cardamom—constitute 90% of the total world trade, and about 50 of the 86 spices produced in the world are grown in India (1).
What is curry powder?
Curry powder is a complex mixture of 20 or more different spices and herbs. The main component of most curry powders is usually turmeric. Other ingredients that are sometimes used are ginger, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, saffron, nutmeg, tamarind, and cumin. It can range from mild to spicy (2).
There is no fixed list of ingredients. Any blend can be made in different ratios of spices. This is why they differ in taste. Curry powders are also available in boxes in stores. They are ready made and differ in taste from brand to brand. Curry powder is used for seasoning dishes containing vegetables, meat, fish, eggs or vegetable plus meat or fish (i.e. curry) in the orient. In the West also curry powder is used for seasoning dishes. India has been the principal exporter of curry powder to many countries like the UK, Australia, Fiji (2).
Similarly, in homemade powders, one can add more chillies to increase spiciness or alternatively, use less chillies if they like mild food.
It is believed by many to be a staple of Indian cuisine when in fact, it is not. The concept of curry powder comes from the British. It is their take on Indian cuisine.
Indian inspired curry powders are most famous. On the other hand, there are other curry powders from around the world which have distinct flavors and each of them are unique in their own way depending on the type of ingredients used to make them.
In Thai cuisine, curries are very famous. Red, yellow and green are the most famous curries. They get their names from the main ingredient used to make them which give them their distinct flavor and color.
For example, the main ingredients in Thai red curry are red chillies and paprika. Red chillies give the curry a vibrant red color and also make it one of the most spiciest curries. The main ingredient in yellow curry is turmeric and the main ingredient in green curry is green chillies (5).
These curries are usually made with coconut milk to give them a nice and smooth texture. They can be eaten with meat and vegetables. They can be eaten with chicken or fish, and sometimes beef. The vegetables used are green, red and yellow bell peppers, onions, carrots, shallots, ginger, and garlic.
Homemade curry powder recipes
Small batch of homemade curry powder
- Turmeric powder 1 tsp
- Ground coriander seeds 1 tbsp
- Ground black pepper ½ tsp
- Cumin 1 ½ tsp
- Chili powder ½ tsp
- Ground ginger ½ tsp
- Mix all the spices together thoroughly in a small bowl.
- Use immediately to keep the flavor intact and fresh.
- Store it in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Thai curry powder
- Turmeric 1 tbsp
- Coriander seeds 3 tbsp
- Chili flakes 2 tsp
- White pepper 1 tsp (powdered)
- Ginger powder 2 tsp
- Bay leaves 3
- Cumin seeds 2 tbsp
- Whole garlic cloves (crushed) 2
- Dry roast bay leaves, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds.
- Add all the other ingredients to the roasted seeds and leaves.
- Add the mixture in a blender and blend them thoroughly.
- Use immediately.
- Store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.
Other FAQs about Curry Powder that you may be interested in.
What is the difference between curry powder and garam masala?
Can you eat curry powder without cooking it?
What can you substitute for curry powder?
In this brief article, we answered the question “Can I store curry powder in the fridge?” with an in-depth analysis of what curry powder is. We also shared homemade curry powder recipes.
- García‐Casal, Maria Nieves, Juan Pablo Peña‐Rosas, and Heber Gómez Malavé. Sauces, spices, and condiments: definitions, potential benefits, consumption patterns, and global markets. Annal New York Acad Sci, 2016, 1379, 3-16.
- Peter, Kuruppacharil V., ed. Handbook of herbs and spices: volume 3. Woodhead publishing, 2006.
- Wang, Y., et al. Capsaicinoids in chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) powder as affected by heating and storage methods. Trans Asabe, 2009, 52, 2007-2010.
- Lahari, Rajkumari, et al. Effect of different types of packaging materials on quality aspects of turmeric powder over a storage period. J Pharmacog Phytochem, 2020, 9, 1537-1541.
- Kanchanakunjara, Taddara, et al. Traditional curry pastes during Sukhothai to Ratthanakosin: The subjective experience of the past and present. Asian Cult Hist, 2015, 7, 175.