Do curry spices go out of date?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Do curry spices go out of date?”, mention a few ways to maximize their shelf lives, and mention a few alternatives for when your spices have gone out of date. 

Do curry spices go out of date?

Yes, curry spices go out of date but that does not mean that they have been spoiled. It just means that the curry spices have lost their freshness and aromatic smell. When used, they will not give the potent flavor as they would have had they been fresh. 

The important thing to keep in mind here is that the “Best before”, “Best used within”, “Sell by”, are just dates provided by the manufacturer which give us an idea about how long the product will last in its best quality with optimum flavor.

It does not mean that the product has gone bad or will be toxic if consumed after these dates.

On the other hand, “expiration date” refers to the date after which the product, be it medicine or food, may be spoiled, dangerous to consume, or simply ineffective.

It is best to keep the spices in a dry, cool place in airtight jars to retain their freshness and taste for a long time.

How to maximize the shelf life of curry spices?

To maximize the shelf life of curry spices, it is better to store them in a proper manner rather than having to throw them out and wasting money.

Keep the spices in airtight containers in a cool, dry and dark place. It can be the pantry, a cupboard, or a drawer.

Limit their exposure to air, sun, heat and moisture. It is best not to keep them close to the stove as the heat may affect them. If they are left out on the countertop, the temperature fluctuations and exposure to light will not be suitable for them

People usually use plastic containers but we would rather suggest you use glass containers because glass containers can be tightly sealed and they do not even absorb any flavor. On the other hand, plastic containers tend to absorb the flavor and give the spices a weird smell.

Metallic containers are also a good option but they are heat conductors and heat is not good for the freshness of spices.

It is better to not keep them in the refrigerator because refrigerators have moisture inside them and as we have mentioned before, moisture is not good for aromatic curry spices.

If you follow these practices, the curry spices will definitely last you longer and give the maximum flavor to your curry.

Find out the shelf lives of spices here.

What are the substitutes for curry powder?

Curry powder is a complex blend of spices that are mixed together to form an aromatic and flavorful blend. If you have run out of curry spices, or if your curry spices are not as aromatic anymore, you can try using the following substitutes.

Coriander, turmeric, and ginger

Each of one these spices when mixed together serve as a great substitute for curry powder. These spices are usually available at all households. Mix them up in whatever ratios that suit your taste buds and make your curry powder.

Garam masala

Garam masala literally means ‘hot spice’. It is used in small amounts to heighten the flavor or any dish as it is very potent. You can use this in moderation as a substitute for curry powder.

Curry paste

If you do not have a spice mix available, you can always use curry paste to make curry. It is readily available in almost all grocery stores.

Chaat masala

Chaat masala is also a spice blend with citrusy notes. You can use it in place of curry powder but in moderation because like garam masala, it is also very potent.

Ground cumin

Ground cumin can be used as a substitute for curry powder. Although it does not have the same extent of flavor as the curry powder, it can be used when you have run out of curry powder and have no other alternative.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How do you store curry paste in the freezer?

How do you reheat curry puffs in the microwave?

How do you preserve fresh curry leaves?


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “Do curry spices go out of date?”, mentioned a few ways to maximize their shelf lives, and mentioned a few alternatives for when your spices have gone out of date. 


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!