Do you want to try Indian cuisine but don't know where to start? Look no further than this beginner's guide to curry! Learn about the different spices that make up a typical curry dish, what it tastes like, and some recipes to get you started.
What is Curry?
When it comes to Indian cuisine, there is no dish more popular than curry. But what exactly is curry? Is it a spice? Is it a type of rice? Is it a stew?
The answer to all of these questions is yes! Curry is all of these things and more. In India, the word "curry" refers to any dish that is made with a combination of spices.
These spices are usually wrapped in a spice blend called garam masala, which includes cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper. When most people think of curry, they picture a dish that is spicy and full of flavor (the ultimate aromatic curry smell).
However, the term “curry” refers to various dishes from different regions of the world. The word is thought to come from the Tamil word “kari,” which means “sauce.” Curry dishes can be made with chicken, beef, fish, or vegetables, and they often incorporate a variety of spices such as curry leaf, turmeric, and chili powder.
Curries originated in India and Southeast Asia, but they have since become popular in many other parts of the world. In fact, there are now countless variations of curry, each with its own unique flavor. Whether you like your curry mild or fiery hot, there will surely be a dish that will suit your taste.
What Does Curry Taste Like?
When it comes to flavor, curry is definitely a unique dish. Some people compare it to a complex spice rub, while others say it tastes like a flavor-packed soup. One of the things I love about curry is that there are so many different ways to make it, and each one has its own unique flavor.
The base of most curry mix is a blend of spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric, which gives it a warm, earthy flavor. The spice mix can make it quite fiery, or it can be milder and more fragrant. Then, depending on the region and the ingredients you use, you can add different layers of flavor.
For example, coconut milk and lime juice give Thai curries a sweet and sour taste, while Indian curry sauce will often have a more complex flavor due to the addition of garam masala, chiles, ginger, and garlic. The best way to figure out what curry tastes like is to try making it yourself.
What Does Curry Smell Like?
Curry is a spice made from a variety of different ingredients, including turmeric, coriander, cumin, and chili peppers. As such, it can smell quite strong and pungent.
However, the exact scent of curry will vary depending on the specific spices used. For example, a curry made with plenty of turmeric will have a strong earthy smell, while a curry made with more chili peppers will have a fiery scent.
Regardless of the ingredients used, most curries will have a complex and robust scent that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Ingredients In Curry
Curry paste typically contains a blend of spices, including turmeric, curry leaves, coriander, and red chilies. These spices are combined with either chicken, beef, or vegetables, and simmered in coconut milk or tomato-based sauce. The result is a rich and flavorful curry dish that can be enjoyed on its own or served over rice or noodles.
Also, depending on the region the spice mixture can vary somewhat as well. For instance, in Thai curry, you might find lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves. In Indian curry, you might find mustard seeds or fenugreek seeds. And in Sri Lankan curry, you might find coconut milk or tamarind paste.
How To Thicken A Curry
One common problem when making curry is that it can end up being too watery. This is usually because too much liquid is used in the recipe, resulting in a thin and runny curry. There are several ways that you can thicken up your curry and get it closer to the desired consistency.
- One simple way to do this is to simmer the curry for longer so that some of the water evaporates.
- Another option is to add a thickening agent such as cornstarch or flour. These ingredients will help to absorb some of the excess liquid and make the curry thicker.
- Finally, you can also add more solid ingredients such as vegetables (minced veggies or potatoes work well) or meat. This will help to bulk up the curry and make it more filling.
Thai Curry vs Indian Curry
Both cuisines have a long history and boast complex flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. So, how can you choose between these two delicious options? Here’s a quick comparison of Thai and Indian curry to help you make up your mind.
- When it comes to ingredients, both Thai and Indian curry sauce typically will include a spice blend of savory spices such as black pepper, coriander, and turmeric. The exact mix of spices depends on the region and the chef, but you can always expect a flavorful punch.
- Thai curries also typically include fresh ginger, Thai curry powder, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves, while Indian curries often feature garam masala, cloves, and cinnamon. As for the main event, Thai curries typically feature chicken or shrimp, while Indian curries often feature vegetables, chicken, or lamb.
- In terms of flavor, Thai curry paste is often described as bright and fresh-tasting, with a balanced mix of sweet and savory spices. Indian curry sauce taste richer and more complex, with a heavier focus on spices.
Curry Recipes For Beginners
If you're new to cooking with spices, curry is a great place to start. There are endless variations of this popular dish, so you can find a recipe to suit your taste.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some delicious recipes that anyone can make. The list includes chicken, egg, and vegetable dishes.
Best Curry Recipes:
One of the great things about curry dish is that you can tailor it to your own taste preferences. If you don't like spicy food, reduce the amount of chili powder in the recipe for a milder flavor. On the other hand, if you are a fan of spicier dishes, then try vindaloo from Goa for an extra kick!
Curry Dishes From Around The World
When it comes to delicious curry, there are endless possibilities. This beloved dish can be found in almost every corner of the globe, each with its own unique spin.
- Indian curry paste is often made with a variety of spices, including bay leaf, chili powder, turmeric, and coriander. Famous dishes are Butter chicken, Chicken tikka masala.
- Thai dishes, on the other hand, tend to be much more fragrant, thanks to the addition of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Famous dishes are Thai chicken curry and Massaman curry.
- Japanese curries, meanwhile, are typically milder and sweeter than other varieties, as they tend to use more sweet spices. Famous dishes are Katsu chicken curry and Japanese curry rice.
- Caribbean curries are often cooked with coconut milk for a rich, creamy curry flavor; you've probably heard of Jamaica's famed goat curry.
So next time you're in the mood for something new, why not try a curry dish from another part of the world?
The Health Benefits Of Eating Curry
While curry is commonly thought of as comfort food, it actually has a number of health benefits.
- Curry powder is a good source of antioxidants, which can help to boost the immune system.
- Spice turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been shown to be effective in treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- Most are cooked with ginger, which can help to settle the stomach and ease nausea.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Curry can range in flavor from mild to very hot depending on the ingredients used. Some curries are sweet, while others are quite spicy.
Thai curry typically has a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor, with the addition of fresh herbs giving it a unique taste. Common ingredients used in Thai curry include coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, cilantro, fish sauce, and kaffir lime leaves.
Malaysian curry typically tastes sweet and spicy, with common ingredients including chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, turmeric, fish sauce, cumin, and coconut milk.
Wrap Up: Curry Taste
- Curry is a beloved dish found all over the world, and for good reason - it's delicious!
- But this popular cuisine isn't just about flavor. Curries also offer a variety of health benefits, thanks to their mix of spices and herbs.
- Whether you like it mild or spicy, there's a curry out there for everyone. So why not give this delicious dish a try? You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.
- Please try one of the curry recipe in this post and leave a comment to let us know what you think.
If you enjoyed reading this post, please leave a comment to let us know what you think. We'd love to hear your feedback!
Quick Vegan Curry Recipe
- 2 onions sliced
- 1 potato diced (small cubes)
- ½ cup tomato puree
- ½ cup peas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 sprigs chopped cilantro
- 1 sprig mint for garnish optional
- ½ cup water or as needed
- ½ teaspoon salt or as per taste
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and potatoes cook until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the spices and cook for another 3 minutes, stir the mix with little water to prevent the spices from burning.
- Now stir in the tomato puree, peas and cover the pot with a lid. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Then add ½ cup of water and salt and simmer the curry for 10 mins
- Finally taste and adjust seasoning as needed, and finish off the curry with some chopped cilantro.
- Serve with rice, naan bread or poori, and garnish with mint.