Quick Balti Curry Spice Mix Recipe

Vegetable balti with naan bread
Vegetable Balti. Joff Lee / Getty Images
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: several curries (4 servings)
Ratings (9)

A Balti curry is a curry, meat or vegetable, which is cooked over a high flame then cooked again with extra spices and is served in the traditional round-bottomed balti dish.

Balti Curry is famous in and around Birmingham in the Midlands, and more specifically an area known as the Balti Triangle. Birmingham became Britain's balti capital thanks to the city's Pakistani and Kashmiri communities arrival into the city in the 1970's.

This famous curry is now served across the whole of the UK, and such fun to make at home (and at a fraction of the cost) of eating out. This Balti spice blend really takes moments to make and brings a great freshness and depth of flavour to the meat, fish or vegetables not found in any bottles or ready-made paste which are available from supermarkets.

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 4 dried curry leaves
  • 3 green chilies (split and deseeded)
  • For the Dried Spice Mix:
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or soft brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (black onion seeds)
  • 4 cardamom pods (split)

How to Make It

  • 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Beware the mustard seeds will start to pop when they are heated up, it will stop after a few minutes.
  4. Always take care when cooking with a spice mix, they can burn very easily and will impart a bitter taste to your food.
  5. 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.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 69
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 158 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 6 g
Protein 3 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)