British manufacturers developed curry powders in an attempt to provide a ready-made spice mixture equivalent to the kari podi (podi means “powder”) that British colonists became accustomed to in southern India. Essential to the fiery cooking of southern India, sambar podi is the combination of spices that evolved into British-style curry powder. Poudre de Colombo came to the French West Indies with Sri Lankans who were taken there to work on the sugar plantations. Japanese curry powder, under the S&B brand, has been produced since 1923, when Minejiro Yamazaki began blending a well-balanced and sweetly aromatic curry powder especially suited to Japanese tastes. For all curry powders, starting with whole spices and lightly toasting them before grinding yields a more fragrant, fresher mixture.
To make a basic curry powder:
To make poudre de Colombo: