DIY: How to Make Sindoor/ Kungumam /KumKum at Home

Wearing sindoor/ kungumam/ kumkum is a part of Hindu culture. I love to apply sindoor, though I apply it only for occasions and use liquid bindi on a day to day basis. I have always seen my elders wear sindoor/kumkum.

My maternal grandmother used to wear a big sindoor on her forehead daily, till my grand father passed away. I love to wear it when I am traditionally dressed in a saree or when I am visiting a temple. Usually sindoor is applied on the forehead and in the parting line of the hair.

In the parting line of the hair, we usually apply it as it is, but on the forehead a special paste called “Kumkum paste” is applied and then we apply the sindoor on top of it. Applying the kumkum paste and then applying sindoor makes the sindoor to stick nicely on the forehead. It is very easy to make sindoor at home.

It is just a mixture of slaked lime and turmeric paste, the same mixture that we use for making “Arathi” in ceremonies. When you mix slaked lime into the turmeric paste, it turns a bright red. You can either mix it fresh or dry and store it. In my personal experience, mixing fresh wet slaked lime with organic turmeric powder gives the best red color and it is exactly how I like to make it.

The mixture can be used immediately without the kumkum paste. But if you want to make a large batch and want to store it, mix the turmeric powder and slaked lime along with little water to a smooth paste. Now all you have to do is wait for the mixture to dry. Once dry, break the clumps and you will have chemical free kumkum.

This dried mixture is not as bright red and it will have an orange tinge to it, as seen in the main picture. Add a few drops of lemon juice to form a paste. When you add lemon juice, it turns bright red again. You can apply the paste as it is, since it is wet, it sticks perfectly. Don’t worry if you don’t get perfect circle the first time, with practice you will get perfect round kumkum on the forehead each time.

How To Make Sindoor At Home:

1.This is slaked lime and in India it is sold as a wet paste, sealed in small packets.

2. You can mix the wet paste with little organic turmeric powder till you there is no moisture left and you have beautiful dark red sindoor/kumkum. I prefer to make it like that, as it is exactly like store bought one. If you are planning to store it, mix the turmeric powder with slaked lime and little water to get a smooth mixture.

3. Mix well till they are mixed well. Spread the mixture on a plate and let it dry.

4.Once dry, break the lumps. You can even sieve the mixture too. The dried mixture will have an orange tinge. To use, just mix with little lime juice, it will turn red again.


  • Don’t add too much of water, it will take a long time to dry.
  • The dried powder will have an orange tinge, this is normal. But it will turn red, once you add a few drops of lemon juice.
  • Mixing both turmeric powder and wet slaked lime fresh, gives the best results. You can store them both in separate jars and mix whenever required. I recommend this method.