Vadouvan French Masala Curry


Whomever said that curry isn’t a European dish has clearly never heard of France’s madrigal to masala, Vadouvan curry.

1 oz./28 g.

Sold By: Spice Jungle

Product Description



Vadouvan curry is a ready-to-use spice blend. typically a French derivative of a masala known as vadavam, vadagam, or vadakam. It is an Indian curry blend with added aromatics such as shallots and garlic. The spice blend is thought to have originated from French colonial influence in the Puducherry region of India.


It has the fundamental experience of most yellow curry powder mixes, but trades off the heat, for a bit more aromatics, along with the sweetness of added sugar. Turmeric, cardamom, mustard seed, and shallots, were substituted for spicier elements of vadagam, the spicy Tamil curry, on which it’s largely based,  to make it more palatable. Sugar, likewise, was added to improve acceptance in France, and beyond.


Vadouvan curry powder blend originates in Puducherry, in Southeast India. It was later made in a French enclave in Italy as well, then blended in France. Today, it is available from a variety of spice blend manufacturers all over the world.




During the French colonial era,  the French, like the British, experienced the wonders of the Indian culinary palette. The blend began in  a French settlement, in southern India, in the town of Puducherry. The area was controlled by France from the mid-17th century through the mid-20th century. 

The French chefs of the settlement enjoyed a Tamil spice blend called vadagam. The process of making a vadagam curry involves rolling it into balls, then sun drying the combined ingredients.

The lack of sophistication in most Europeans’ palates, of that day, made the bold flavors of a vadagam undesirable, as an export item.  So the local French toned down the heat, and played up the aromatic, and savories, with a touch of sugar sweetness.  

While almost forgotten in French-speaking countries, it was really not until 2005, in Los Angeles, when Trois Mec’s chef, Ludo Lefebvre, added it to his aromata, and introduced into dishes at the restaurant, that it became something of a foodie mania in North America, for a few years. 


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