Today’s quick and easy recipe is a 5 ingredient low FODMAP curry powder. I ate curries my whole life before I found out most pre-made curry powders contained garlic and onion powder. Solution? Come up with a low FODMAP curry powder recipe instead of removing curry from my life.
Curry was a big part of my diet growing up because I have Pakistani roots. The IBS low FODMAP diet meant that pre-made curry powders were not an option anymore and low FODMAP curry powders are close to non-existent in store. That’s where this recipe comes in.
Now, you might be thinking a curry powder without onion or garlic might lack in flavor but I promise you won’t know the difference.
What Is Curry Powder?
Curry powder is a dry ground mixture of spices. Different regions of Asia have their own blend and each meal has its own mix of spices. Curry powder imparts flavors of whole spices and is used as the primary seasoning in curries.
The main ingredients in curry include onions and garlic. Luckily, those ingredients only make up a small percentage and they’re almost undetectable because the other spices are so robust!
What You Need To Make Low FODMAP Curry Powder
Every curry is different, be it Indian, Pakistani, Malaysian, Thai, Japanese or Indonesian. This low FODMAP curry powder recipe is meant to replace the generic store bought curry powder mix used for Indian and Pakistani curries.
My 5 ingredient curry powder is based on my favorite Malaysian curry blend that happens to be low FODMAP. There’s not much work to make this low FODMAP curry powder. All you need to do is measure out the spices and mix them together:
All spices listed below must be in the powdered/ground form:
- Coriander (Coriander powder is ground cilantro seeds and tastes nothing like fresh fresh cilantro. Check out the picture below)
- Cayenne or Red Chili Flakes
Use cayenne powder instead for a mild curry powder recipe or red chili flakes for a spicier curry powder.
IBS or not, some people may have non-FODMAP reactions to chili, cayenne pepper or even bell peppers. Capsaicin (in chili, cayenne and bell peppers) can cause heartburn and stomach pain.
Note: Red chili flakes have a low FODMAP serving of 2 grams or 1 teaspoon. Larger servings of 13 grams or 1.5 tablespoons are moderate for fructose. Servings exceeding 17 grams or 2 tablespoons contain high amounts of fructose.
I like to make enough low FODMAP curry powder to fill a small jar. That way it’s ready for me to use whenever I need it. Just add all of the spices into a jar, shake it all up and voila, you’re done.
You could go one step further and toast all the spices whole and then ground them in a high speed blender but regular packaged ground spices work just as well.
Why This Low FODMAP Curry Powder Recipe?
This is my go to low FODMAP curry powder mix because of many reasons:
- Only has 5 ingredients
- No celery
- No onion
- Mustard free
- Oil free
- Nut free
- Seed free
- Soy free
- Wheat and gluten free!*
- Low FODMAP recipe
*Note: Always check your ground spices for additions like wheat or anti-cracking agents. Every country and brand will have variations of ingredients. Make sure to purchase pure ground spices without any additions.
In this list, I refer to excess FODMAPs in terms of low or high FODMAP limits based on the research published by Monash University and their low FODMAP app. Most plant food will contain trace amounts of small levels of FODMAPs in amounts that are tolerated by most individuals with IBS.
Curry Powder Flavor Variations
Curry powders differ from region to region and even dish to dish, these are some variations of spices I’ve added in my low FODMAP onion free curry powder mix:
- Asafoetida/Hing (a popular low FODMAP garlic and onion substitute)
- Star anise
- Mustard (seeds or powder)
I grew up with curry powders being the 3rd addition to any curry. Personally, I think the best curries are made with a combination of three things:
- Fresh Spice Paste: This is usually a blend of aromats like onion, garlic, ginger and chilis. My low FODMAP version of this is green onions, ginger and garlic oil in a blender. Followed by leafy aromats.
- Curry leaves: You have not lived until you try adding curry leaves into your curry. Curry leaves smell like curry and further reinforce the flavors. I also use kaffir lime leaves in Thai curries.
- Curry Powder: This blend of ground spices adds another dimension of flavor to any curry and is the perfect compliment to fresh spice paste and curry leaves.
I usually skip the onion and garlic in my Indian curries and start off with pounded ginger because the curry powder gives the dish most of the flavor. But Thai curries don’t use that much spice and rely on onions and garlic.
So, I came up with my own Thai curry paste here: Low FODMAP Curry Paste. New to curry making? Here are my top 10 tips for making a low FODMAP curry that’s bursting with flavor.
Top 10 Tips To Making Any Low FODMAP Curry
The secret to a good low FODMAP curry recipe lies in the ingredients and some tips I picked up from generations of women in my family that have been making curries:
- Use garlic and onion infused oil to have the best of the flavors without any FODMAPs. You can also saute garlic and onion in oil and strain all the garlic and onion pieces before you continue cooking.
- You can use garlic or onion substitutes like asafoetida or hing powder. SNS also has low FODMAP garlic salt.
- Use ghee or vegetable oil instead of olive oil. Ghee is the traditional choice and vegetable oils have a higher smoking point than olive oil. This is better for toasting spices.
- Make sure to toast spices and add ingredients in stages instead of dumping all the ingredients together.
- Always use fresh spice paste. A fresh spice paste is the base of any good curry. This is usually garlic, onion and ginger. I like using just ginger and mustard seeds.
- Combine curry powder with curry paste. Not one or the other. A curry with curry powder will taste flat and powdery. A curry with curry paste will taste bland and lack spice.
- Use curry leaves! Get them fresh or frozen but not dry. Curry leaves will elevate your curry to another level.
- Cook everything low and slow. Letting your curries cook for hours will give it a depth of flavor.
- Cook curry until the oil rises to the top. In malay or Indian cooking, you know a curry is done when the deeply colored oil splits for the curry and floats to the top.
- Season with a variety of condiments like salt, sugar and tamarind.
There you have it, 10 tips that’ll guarantee the perfect low FODMAP curry. But what if you don’t want to make your own low FODMAP seasonings?
Where To Buy Low FODMAP Curry Powder
Buying packets or random ground spices in bulk to make low FODMAP curry powder may not be your thing if for multiple reasons. They’re not ingredients you’ll use again or there’s a budget. Fear not, here’s a list of low FODMAP curry powders you can buy.
Which pre-made curry powder is low FODMAP?
Your go to pre-made curry powder mix should be low FODMAP as long as it contains no onion or garlic powder. Still not quite sure and have some questions about curry powder? Head on to the next section for the low down on curry powder.
Curry Powder FAQ
This section of the post has some of the internet’s frequently asked questions about low FODMAP curry powder.
Why is curry powder high FODMAP?
Pre-made curry powder and curry blends contain onion powder and or garlic powder. These are high FODMAP ingredients that trigger IBS symptoms.
There are some garlic and onion free curry powder blends available in supermarkets, so be sure to check the list above or the ingredient label before buying curry powder. My advice is to stock up on any pre-packed curry powder that doesn’t have garlic or onion.
Is curry powder high FODMAP?
Monash’s FODMAP app lists generic no brand curry powder as low FODMAP at 1 teaspoon or 2 grams. This level contains trace amounts of FODMAPs but should be tolerated by anyone with IBS. Curry meat powder from Malaysia also has the same serving size.
The problem is that most curry powders may contain garlic or onion powder. Make sure to check the ingredient label for onion or garlic powder. Some curry powders or pastes even contain dairy cream and natural thickeners derived from plants like lentils or beans.
Curry powder is low FODMAP as long as there is no onion or garlic in it.
Is curry powder gluten-free?
The recipe I’m sharing is a gluten free curry powder as well as a low FODMAP curry powder but please be aware that some curry powders may contain wheat.
This can be due to contamination with other products or additives in ground spices. Some ground spices contain wheat to dilute the quantity of spice. This means more spice for a lower price.
Is curry and spicy food good for IBS?
Curries can have zero spice and still trigger IBS symptoms. People with IBS or gastro and digestive issues may experience gas, bloating and even cramps from certain spices or spicy food.
Non-FODMAP reactions to capsaicin include heartburn and indigestion even if the meal is garlic and onion free. Even spices like black pepper may cause discomfort to sensitive stomachs.
Make sure to experiment with certain spices and monitor how your body reacts to them. I enjoy cooking with cumin but I do notice some mild bloating when I have it in curries.
What curry is best for IBS?
Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, South East Asian (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysian) or Thai curries are all amazing curry options even with IBS. As long as you know your spice limits and they’re onion and or garlic free.
I like choosing milder curries like butter chicken, korma, tikka masala or even spiced tandoor meals.
What spices are FODMAP friendly?
Lots of dried herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary are low FODMAP. Some low FODMAP ground spices are cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, cumin, mustard, coriander, fennel or fenugreek. Cayenne pepper, paprika and chili flakes have low FODMAP servings but they do contain capsaicin which may trigger IBS symptoms or indigestion.
Is turmeric OK on low FODMAP?
Ground turmeric is low FODMAP at 1 teaspoon or 2 grams. Fresh turmeric has a larger serving size of 1 tablespoon or 10 grams. Turmeric has plenty of medicinal benefits but it’s also great for digestion!
That’s the end of this low FODMAP curry powder post, folks. Everything from how to make your own curry powder to where to buy it and how to spot it. Please note that this low FODMAP curry powder recipe is meant to be used in place or as a substitute for generic pre-made curry powder.
This is not a curry sauce mix and it will not thicken when cooking. This is a spice blend that’s intended to flavor a curry dish.
Other low FODMAP curry dishes:
Low FODMAP Curry Powder Spice Mix
Looking for an easy low FODMAP curry powder that's onion and garlic free? This 5 ingredient curry powder is exactly what you need.
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp ground paprika, chili or cayenne (Optional: Leave this out if you don't wan't it to be spicy)
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground fennel
- 3 tbsp ground cumin
- 5 tbsp ground coriander
Add the ground spices together and mix until thoroughly combined.
Transfer the low FODMAP curry powder to an airtight container, jar or ziplock bag.
I like to make a big batch of this and keep it for future use but you can use the exact recipe in teaspoons for a smaller portion of curry powder.