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Fragrant Sri Lankan Spice Powder

Yields1 Serving

Source: Mangoes & Curry Leaves
Region: Sri Lanka
Rating: 9/10

 1 tbsp raw white rice
 1 2" piece cinnamon or cassia stick
 4 cloves
 2 tbsp coriander seeds
 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves (optional)
 1 tsp black peppercorns
 Seeds from 3 cardamom pods
 1 tbsp cumin seeds
 1 tbsp fresh or frozen grated coconut
 1 tsp black mustard seeds

Heat a medium or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Put in the rice and dry roast until just starting to brown. Add the cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, curry leaves, if using, black peppercorns, and cardamom and cumin seeds and roast, keeping an eye on the skillet to make sure the ingredients don’t burn; shake the skillet every once in a while. Depending upon your skillet and the heat, the spices will need 5 to 6 minutes to get brown and smell great. Add the cocnut and mustard seeds and continue to roast, shaking the skillet occasionally or stirring with a wooden spoon. The mustard seeds will pop and fly around, but not to worry. Roast until the spices are quite dark, but not burned. Turn out onto a plate and let cool a little.


Use a stone mortar for grinding, or use a spice/coffee grinder, and grind in batches until very fine. Place the powder in a sieve over a b owl and sift. Regrind again any spices not yet finely ground.