Not all curry powders are created equal. The blend, the proportions, and the quality and age of the spices in the blend can all be different, so keep trying new spice blends as you come across them and be discerning with where you buy your spices.
If you've already run the gamut of spice blends, it's likely that there's one particular spice within the blend that isn't to your liking. Try making your own curry spice blend - something we recommend doing at least once anyway! Not only can you control the freshness and quality of the spices, but you also get a feel for each spice individually. With some trial and error, you can identify which spice is the culprit and can tweak the recipe to your taste. We like the spice blend used in our recipe for Malaysian Beef Curry.
You can also try substituting garam masala. This is another Indian spice mix that tends to be sweeter to the palate than curry powder. Though garam masala also varies in the exact blend and in quality, it usually includes spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and coriander. Check out our recipe for DIY Garam Masala and give it a try in your next curry recipe.
Any other suggestions of particular curries to try or other spices to substitute?
(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)