How to Make Chili Powder

How to Make a Perfect Chili Powder Blend


A Fiery Mix of Sri Lanka’s Favorite Spices

Chili powder is one of the staples of Sri Lankan cuisine. Many Sri Lankan recipes use chili powder to give them their typical strong and spicy taste. You will find many recipes on this site utilizing my homemade Sri Lankan chili powder mix. I’m mainly using chili powder for meat curry, mango curry and ambrella curry.

Kalawam Miris is a blend of finely ground chili pieces, cinnamon, black pepper and many other typical Sri Lankan herbs and spices. It’s not to be confused with ground chili pepper (thani miris), which is only one of its many ingredients. While you can go ahead and use a ready-made chili powder mix from the grocery store, I much prefer to make my own chili powder mix. Only when you make your own chili powder blend you can control the many different flavors and make it taste exactly the way you want it to taste.

Use this Sri Lankan chili powder mix together with homemade curry powder to bring a rich and authentic flavour to your curry dishes.

This recipe comes from my mom and it’s the best chili powder I’ve ever tasted. Back in Sri Lanka we used to send the blend to the mill to have it ground for us, but you can grind it at home as well. Just be careful when handling the dust!


250g red chili

100g coriander

50g black pepper seeds

2tbsp cumin

20 cardamom cloves

20 pieces of clove

1 1/2 inches cinnamon

1tbsp mustard seeds

10 branches of curry leaves

10 inches of pandan leaves (rampe)


1. Wash everything and let it dry under the sun.

2. Pre-heat an empty frying pan on medium flame, add coriander, whole cardamom cloves, cinnamon stick and whole curry leaf branches and heat until light brown.

3. Add mustard seeds and cumin, heat for another minute and take the pan off the fire.

4. Add the red chili and black pepper, let it all cool down for about 10 minutes.

5. Grind the mixture.

Store in a dry place!

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