In a recent blog I gave a recipe for a curry made with coconut milk--this is my favorite curry powder for South Indian style curries, it has more of the aromatic spices you see in Malaysian and Sri Lankan Tamil curries, like Cinnamon, Fennel, Clove, and Star Anise. (Although it does not have cardamom, which might also be there.)
It is Sun Brand, Madras Curry Powder, and I found it on Amazon.
As a general rule, saute curry powder over a low flame before adding to dishes, but you can certainly add this to liquids like soup or cooking rice, without cooking separately.
Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diegohttp://www.bodymindwellnesscenter.com