This blend is the hottest curry powder we found in Africa, although some pastes like berbere might top it on the heat scale. To make it milder, while retaining its chile flavor, substitute one dried red New Mexican chile for the piquins. In Malawi, the spices are traditionally sun-dried before being ground, and are not toasted. Note the large number of cloves in this recipe, possibly the result of influence from nearby Madagascar, a clove-growing island.


10 small, hot, dried red chiles, such as piquins or santakas, seeds and stems removed

3 tablespoons coriander seed

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

3 tablespoons poppy seed

2 teaspoons mustard seed

1 tablespoon cumin seed

1 tablespoon powdered turmeric

10 whole cloves

2 teaspoons cinnamon


Combine all ingredients in a spice mill and process to a fine powder.


yield : About cup.


country : Malawi

course : condiment


source : Flavors of Africa Cookbook : Spicy African Cooking - From Indigenious Recipes to Those Influenced by Asian and European Settlers / Dave DeWitt, Mary Jane Wilan and Melissa T. Stock