This versatile SIMP or South Indian Masala (Spice) Powder is very handy to prepare gravies, rice, curries, chutneys in jiffy. The blend of fresh spices fried to golden brown in oil makes it convenient for quick cooking. Tamarind adds sour taste to the dishes. Those who don’t prefer tamarind can add amchur (dry mango) powder. Adding salt will enhance the shelf life. I will be using this powder in my coming recipes. Feel free to change the ingredients quantity as per your taste. No hard rules.

This SIMP powder is handy for making the following dishes.
  • Variety rice with vegetables of your choice.
  • Dry roast curries
  • Sambars and kootus (lentil based gravies from South India)
  • Chutneys (dips)
  • Puli Aval (tamarind poha/beaten rice)
  • Stuffed vegetable curries
  • For kotsus (a type of stew for tiffins)


Recipe: South Indian Masala Powder (SIMP)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Grinding Time: 15 minutes (in batches)
Quantity: One 500 gms bottle full
Shelf Life: Upto 1 Month when kept in fridge
Recipe Level: Basic/Beginner
Recipe/Post by: Viji

1 cup Gram/Channa Dal/Split Chickpeas
1 cup Urad Dal/Split & Skinned Black Lentils
½ cup Sesame Seeds
½ cup Coriander Seeds
½ cup Desiccated Coconut
15 Red Chillis
3 pea sized Hing/Asafetida (in paste form)or 1-2 tsp Hing Powder
2 tbsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek/Methi Seeds
1 lemon size Tamarind Pulp
1 tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
Few Curry Leaves
2 tbsp roasted Groundnuts/Dalia/Whole Channa
8 Cashews Nuts
1-2 tbsp Sesame Oil
Little Salt

Special Utensils:



  1. Fry all the ingredients, except turmeric powder and salt, separately in oil at medium to low heat till theu turn light golden brown and aromatic. Add coconut and cumin seeds at the end and roast them till they turn light golden in colour.
  2. Keep these roasted ingredients aside on clean and dry plate and let them cool completely.
  3. Transfer all these roasted ingredients into a mixer jar and grind them to coarse powder.
  4. Mix in turmeric powder and salt and mix them well.
  5. Tansfer ground powder into clean and dry air tight container.

Special Notes/Tips:
  • Tamarind can be cut into small pieces and fried or microwaved before grinding.
  • Adding tamarind or amchur powder (dry mango powder) will save us from adding lemon juice for dry dishes.
  • Always add cumin/jeera at the end when all other ingredients are hot.
  • The nuts give crunchy taste and will thicken gravies to some extent.

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  1. Hari Chandana // 4 August 2009 at 16:56  

    Wow... Lovely recipe.. looks spicy... perfect presentation.. :)

  2. Pari // 4 August 2009 at 20:11  

    Brilliant! I am going to try it.Very nice clicks.

  3. meeso // 5 August 2009 at 03:36  

    This is so tasty and a convenient powder to keep on hand... it makes the most delicious fried rice and even my bf had to have a batch so he could make his own fried rice with it... This is a must try... I always keep some in my kitchen now! Thanks, Viji, for sharing your great powder :)

  4. aquadaze // 5 August 2009 at 07:18  

    thats a lovely picture! I've always relied on my MIL to give me different spice powders, they really come in handy in fixing quick yummy meals!!

  5. Vani // 5 August 2009 at 23:44  

    Beautiful pictures, Viji! A versatile powder too.

  6. Justine // 10 August 2009 at 01:35  

    The spices in this sound like they create amazing flavors! Great pictures, too!