Which is better curry paste or powder?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Which is better curry paste or powder?” and tell you the difference between these two. We will also tell you how to properly store curry powder and curry paste.

Which is better curry paste or powder?

There is really no comparison between curry powder and curry paste because they both are different. Curry paste is used to make Thai style dishes while curry powder is used to make Indian style dishes.

You should choose between the two based on what kind of dish you want to make. 

What is the difference between curry paste and curry powder?

One main obvious difference between curry paste and curry powder is that curry paste is wet with ingredients such as water or oil while curry powder is a dry blend of whole or ground spices.

Curry paste belongs to Thai cuisine. Thai curry paste consists of red, yellow, and green curry pastes. Each one of these have a distinct flavor and get their names from their color. 

For example the main ingredients in red curry paste are red chillies and paprika. The main ingredient in green curry paste are green chillies. Similarly, yellow curry paste has turmeric as its main ingredient.

These three pastes range from mild to spicy, with red being the most spicy and yellow being the mildest. 

On the other hand, curry powders are a part of Indian cuisine. They are used to make Indian style dishes. There is a significant difference between Thai and Indian cuisines.

Curry pastes tend to be more spicy as they use whole chili peppers. Curry powders are not as spicy as curry pastes because they use ground spices so they tend to be a little mild. 

Curry paste is made with a wet ingredient like oil or water. Curry powders are dry. Curry paste can be fried before cooking the dish because it already has oil while curry powder can not be fried on its own as it will burn.

Can I use curry powder in place of curry paste?

No, you can not use curry powder in place of curry paste because the final dish made with curry powder will not have the same flavor profile as the dish made with curry paste. 

The same is true for when you are trying to substitute curry paste in place of curry powder. The two have very different texture and flavor profiles. Just because they share the same word “curry”, does not mean they can be used interchangeably. 

How do you turn curry powder into paste?

In order to turn curry powder into paste, you will need:

  1. Diced onions
  2. Garlic cloves
  3. Water
  4. Blender
  5. Curry powder

Put water, garlic cloves, and onions in a blender and blend well. Once it has blended, add curry powder and blend again. Keep blending until everything comes together. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the blender as you do not want any unblended portions.

Once it is done, transfer to an airtight jar and store it in the refrigerator for use when required.

Ideally, curry powder and curry paste should not be used interchangeably because they both belong to different cuisines and have different flavor profiles.

How do I store curry paste for a long time?

Curry paste can last up to 4 months when stored properly. In a refrigerator it will only last for up to a week. After that, it will start to lose its freshness and taste.

In order to store curry paste for a long time, freeze it. Measure out small amounts of curry paste required to make your favorite recipe and freeze them. Either use an ice cube tray for this purpose or a sheet pan. This way you only have to take out one serving at a time rather than thawing the whole curry paste at once.

Learn about the uses of curry paste here.

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. 

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.

Shelf life of properly stored curry powder can be around 3-4 years. The key to keep it in its best quality is to store it properly in airtight containers.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How do I use Thai curry paste?

How do I make my Thai curry less spicy? 

Does curry taste better the next day?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Which is better curry paste or powder?” and told you the difference between these two. We also told you how to properly store curry powder and curry paste.

Citations

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.