Balti Curry Paste

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves / cilantro
4 dried curry leaves
3 fresh green chilies, split and deseeded

1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
4 cardamom pods, split

Lightly crush the mustard seeds in a pestle mortar if possible. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar then pop the seeds into a Ziploc or plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Roughly chop the coriander / cilantro leaves.

Take the curry leaves and place in the palm of your hand and squeeze gently to crack the leaves and release some of the scent.

Take the chillies and split open, Remove the seeds then finely chop. It is advisable to wear rubber gloves whilst chopping the chillies and always wash down your boards, knives and anything else which may have come into contact with them.

Take all the remaining dry spices, place them into a bowl and mix thoroughly to make sure they are all incorporated.

Add the mustard seeds, the coriander / cilantro leaves, the curry leaves and the finely chopped chillies, again stir well.
Your spice mix is now ready to use with either chicken, beef, fish, prawns or vegetables. See notes below.


To ensure a fresh, vibrant, curry blend it is important to use spices as fresh as possible. If your spice jars have been lurking at the back of your cupboard for the past few years you may want to think about replacing them.

The spice blend is usually added to onion, garlic and ginger before adding in the meat, fish, seafood or vegetables once they are in a hot pan.

Beware the mustard seeds will start to pop when they are heated up, it will stop after a few minutes.

Always take care when cooking with a spice mix, they can burn very easily and will impart a bitter taste to your food.
Spice mix can be prepared in advance and kept in a screw top jar or airtight box. Keep in the refrigerator and use within the month. They also freeze well.

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