What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (2023)

When I began researching this article, I had no idea I’d be diving so deeply into world history. But you can’t understand the global reach, popularity, and variety of curry cuisine without finding out about 17th century US land grants. Or the conditions in engine rooms on 19th century British steamships. Or the close friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian attendant Abdul Kari. And how the 20th century innovation of combining yogurt with canned tomato soup produced the most popular dish in the United Kingdom.

Don’t worry if you aren’t a history buff; we’ll also explore the delicious side of curry as we follow its progress through time and space. We’ll learn which spices make up Indian curries as opposed to those found in Thai, Chinese, Filipino, and Caribbean kitchens. We’ll see the latest research on how these spices can support our health. And, of course, we’ll end with some delicious curry recipes so you can turn all this information into appetizing aromas and tantalizing tastes.

The Popularity of Curries

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (1)

The first thing to know is that the word “curry” can refer to many things: the dishes, the spice blends used in those dishes, and even a specific curry plant whose leaves are often included in South Asian spice blends. Also, basketball star Steph Curry and actor Tim Curry (Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show), but I digress.

The second thing to know about curries is that they are among the most popular dishes in the world, beloved for their fragrant, spicy flavors. You may have encountered them only in Indian or Thai restaurants (if you live in the US, that is; for reasons we’ll get into soon, you’ll find something curried on just about every restaurant menu in the UK), but they have a long history in the West. In fact, the first known American curry recipe, for apple curry soup, appears in a manuscript written by Catherine Moffatt Whipple, born in 1734 and wife of a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

So curries have been making their way around the world for hundreds of years. But if you’ve never cooked a curry, it can seem mysterious. Chefs guard their secret spice blend formulas. And food writers argue passionately about the proper composition of garam masala and Chettinad masala. So what exactly is a curry, and how do you make curry dishes?

What Is a Curry?

The term “curry” originated with the British to refer to the variety of fragrant spices used in Indian cooking. In traditional Indian cookery, the spice mixtures, called “masalas,” are prepared in the home. Many of these are blended with a liquid, such as water or vinegar, to create a curry paste or sauce.

Fresh ingredients and pastes didn’t travel well, however. So when British officials of the East India Company returned to England with their fortunes, they tried to figure out how to continue enjoying the cuisine they had enjoyed on the Indian subcontinent. The Brits then discovered that they could import what they loved about Indian cuisine back to England in the form of curry powders. Armed with these spice blends, English chefs began to recreate Indian dishes in their own kitchens.

As we’ve seen, curry can refer to a flavor element or a dish itself. As an element of a dish, curry is not a specific spice but a mixture. This can be confusing since there is a plant called a curry tree, and leaves from that tree are sometimes used in curry blends.

Curry Spices

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (2)

Curry mixes can include many spices — roughly 20 different kinds are used in different combinations, depending on the flavor desired. Common curry spice blends include cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, asafoetida (which shares a root with the word “fetid,” referring to the aroma of this spice before it’s cooked), fenugreek, fennel seeds, saffron, and, perhaps most significant of all, turmeric.

(Video) Gordon Ramsay Shows How To Make An Easy Curry At Home | Ramsay in 10

The specific ingredients, ratios, and methods of preparation vary from country to country, region to region, and even family to family. But the nice thing about this, of course, is that it’s impossible to get a spice blend “wrong.” As long as you like the taste, you can’t mess it up.

The trick with curries is to get the flavors of those spices into the dish itself in ways that enhance rather than overpower the other ingredients. Most curries are liquid-based, which is reflected in the etymology of the word. Linguists identify the origin of the word curry from the Tamil word kari, which means “sauce.”

In Thailand, home of red, green, and yellow curries, these dishes are called gaeng (also written as kang, gang, or geng), which means “any wet, savory dish enriched and thickened with paste.” Hats off to a language that can put all of that in one word!

Curry Origins

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (3)

Central to curry’s origins appears to be in the Indus civilization Harappa, the land we now know as Pakistan, circa 2500 BCE. The original curry was probably a slurry of onion, garlic, and ginger, three potent roots that also turn out to have tremendous health benefits. The innovation spread geographically, soon appearing in the cuisines throughout the rest of the Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Japan, China, the Philippines, and other regions.

Eventually, curries reached the Americas, primarily through the cooking traditions of indentured Indian servants who were brought to work on British-owned plantations in the Caribbean. Soon, curries became staples in the cuisines of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and other islands in the region.

As curries spread, they morphed according to local preferences, spices, and food availability. Caribbean curries’ distinctive flavor is allspice. In Thailand, curries often include lemongrass and galangal root with coconut milk as the liquid base of the sauce. Every region has its own chili peppers, and these get incorporated into the curries as well. Interesting fact: chili plants are native to the American continents and were introduced to Europe by Columbus. They made their way to Africa, India, China, and the rest of the world via mercantile travel.

UK Curries & Curry Houses

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (4)

More than any other western country, however, the UK has adopted curries as a central element of its national cuisine. In the 19th century, curries were popularized both by merchants and administrators enchanted by the food they had enjoyed while plundering India, and by Queen Victoria herself, who may have been introduced to the dishes by her close friend and servant, Abdul Karim. (Their unlikely friendship was popularized by the 2017 film Victoria and Abdul.)

It wasn’t just taste, multicultural appreciation, and deep bonds of friendship that motivated the queen’s promotion of curry, points out historian Lizzie Collingham, author of Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors and The Taste of Empire. Spreading the word about this “exotic” cuisine also lined up with her imperial agenda. The more of the world the British Empire controlled, the more new and exciting foods her citizens could enjoy.

The UK found a source of chefs from the Indian subcontinent who could prepare these dishes thanks in part to the terrible working conditions found on British merchant ships. The work was so unbearable, many of the workers jumped ship when they reached English ports and found work in restaurant kitchens. By the 20th century, a number of these immigrants and their children had saved enough money to open their own establishments.

(Video) Quick and Easy Chicken Curry Recipe

This led to the rise of curry houses — restaurants that provided anglicized versions of Indian dishes. Despite their Hindi names and curry spices, dishes like chicken tikka masala are as English, historically speaking, as fish and chips and bangers and mash. For many years, in fact, tikka masala was the most commonly ordered dish in English restaurants.

Types of Curry

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (5)

We can classify the wide variety of curries in a few different ways. One is by color: red, yellow, and green. Red and green curries are generally spicy, although this characteristic can, of course, be adjusted by varying the types and amounts of spices. Typically, yellow curries are the mildest, lacking the red and green chilies that give those curries their heat.

The colors come both from the spices and other ingredients as well. Red curries can include tomatoes as well as red chilies. Examples of red curries include the Indian tikka (whose red comes primarily from tomatoes and Kashmiri chilies — or sometimes paprika) and vindaloo (red vinegar) curries, and the Thai panang and massaman (both red from chili peppers).

Yellow curries, like the Indian korma, get their hue from turmeric. And green curries use green chilies, as well as other green ingredients like lime leaves and cilantro.

Health Benefits of Curry

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The more science learns about the health effects of the spices that make up curries, the more it becomes clear we should consume a whole lot of them. In this respect, the West is just catching up to the traditional Indian health system called Ayurveda, which prescribes spices, individually and in combination, for a variety of health conditions. Turmeric, for example, may be part of the reason that India has one of the world’s lowest rates of Alzheimer’s (roughly half of that in the US); it’s called the “king of spices” for good reason.

Cumin, another key curry spice, may improve digestion, can help regulate blood sugar (important for those with diabetes), and appears to be protective against heart disease, among many other beneficial characteristics.

Ginger, whether fresh or powdered, aids in digestion and also acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It appears to aid in weight loss and can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s also potentially helpful in reducing swelling and pain from osteoarthritis.

The variety of curry spice blends and recipes provide a wide range of potential health benefits. Chili peppers, garlic, cinnamon, and onions also come with documented health effects, including reducing inflammation, preventing cancer, reducing Alzheimer’s risk, improving bone health, and promoting heart health.

(Video) Al's Basic Chicken Curry - Al's Kitchen

Where to Find Curry

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (7)

You can find commercial curries as a paste or powder, or, increasingly, in a jar or packet as a premade sauce. Many supermarkets and grocery stores have a selection of these products in their spice aisles, or in the international section (often near Asian foods).

You can find a much wider selection of curry products at Indian and Asian grocery stores, upscale health food stores, and online. (Note: if you’re fish-free, check the ingredients on Thai curry pastes and sauces, in particular, as they’re often flavored with shrimp paste or fish sauce.)

Choose your spice blend based on the cuisine and the dish you want to make. And remember that heat levels can vary. It’s probably a good idea to start with milder blends and work your way up. I once bought a few ounces of an extremely hot curry blend, which, so far, has turned out to be a lifetime supply. The mildest curry powders will often have turmeric as the first ingredient.

You can also make your own curry spice blends. Here’s a DIY recipe using a combination of whole and ground spices: Indian Curry Powder. And here’s one featuring ground spices only: DIY Curry Powder.

How to Use Curry

Typically, you add curry paste, powder, or sauce to a broth- or sauce-based dish. Many of the most common curries are meat-based (chicken vindaloo, lamb rogan josh, beef kofta “meatballs”), but it’s easy to substitute plant-based ingredients. Thanks to India’s robust vegetarian traditions, there are many vegan and vegetarian options already: lentils, veggies, and even fruit like pineapple. These dishes, like all curries, can be served over rice, another grain like quinoa, or with Indian breads like naan, roti, or paratha. And, of course, if you like, you can use plant-based meat analogues, from the familiar tofu or tempeh, to plant-based meats.

You can also add curry powder or curry spice mixes to a number of other dishes, like soups and stews, stir-fries, potato dishes (any Indian dish with the word “aloo” contains potatoes), condiments like ketchup (if you’ve never tasted curry ketchup, you’re missing out!), and marinades for tofu and other meat analogues. One of my favorite ways to add curry spices to my day is to include them in a breakfast tofu hash, also known as scrambled tofu. The turmeric makes the tofu curds look a lot like scrambled eggs.

Curry Recipes

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Whether you’re a curry newcomer or longtime devotee, we think you’re going to love the curry options below.

If you’re looking for an appetizer, dive into the Crispy Curry Tofu Poppers with Sweet Mango Sauce (yum!). Want to start the day with amazing burritos that have a kick? Then the Curry Tofu Breakfast Burritos are for you! If experimenting with a variety of grains is your thing, then you’re going to crush on the Buckwheat Tofu and Broccoli Curry. And if you’re looking for a dinner date, the Sweet Red Lentil Curry has you covered. Finally, feel like you’re dining out at your favorite Thai restaurant with the Thai Almond Chickpea Curry!

(Video) SECRETS To Cooking A PERFECT Indian Style CHICKEN CURRY (STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS)

1. Crispy Curry Tofu Poppers with Sweet Mango Sauce

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (9)

Don’t let the ingredient list fool you — this recipe is super simple to make! If you’re new to curry (or even a “seasoned” curry enthusiast), enjoying these poppers with a sweet and tangy mango sauce is a great way to start (or continue) your curry journey! The spices in both the crispy tofu and the sweet mango sauce are what give this dish its “wow” factor!

2. Curry Tofu Breakfast Burritos

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (10)

One common practice when substituting tofu for eggs is to add ground turmeric to create the yellow hue that typically comes from egg yolks. Turmeric also adds a subtle earthy flavor as well as healing qualities from the curcumin. This tofu curry also includes cumin and garlic — two other nutrient powerhouses that enhance flavorful curries. Pro tip: Sprinkle a little ground black pepper on top before serving, which helps to activate the healing compounds in turmeric.

3. Buckwheat Tofu and Broccoli Curry

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (11)

Hearty, satisfying, and invigorating thanks to curry spices, this dish delivers both flavor and nutrition. Fun fact about buckwheat: It’s actually a cousin of rhubarb, so it’s not technically a grain at all. But its nutrients, nutty flavor, and usage have allowed it to become classified as a grain. Combine nutritious buckwheat with superfood broccoli, tofu, and healing spices, and you have a recipe that is guaranteed to please the palate and the soul.

4. Sweet Red Lentil Curry

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (12)

This curry is like the ideal dinner date: a little sweet, a little spicy, extremely satisfying, and when it’s all over, you can’t wait to see them for dinner again. And, don’t be surprised if you have that post-dinner-date glow the next day from all of the healing ingredients like garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes, and lentils!

5. Thai Almond Chickpea Curry

What Is Curry? — And How to Use It in Your Kitchen (13)

(Video) Why Should You Cook with Fresh Curry Leaves?

Get enchanted by the aromatic mingling of nutty coconut sauce infused with lime, ginger, and curry spices while this dish is baking. It’s a deeply flavorful dish that is almost effortless in preparation. The result? A restaurant-style meal that you can serve over cauliflower rice or your favorite whole grain.

Cultivate a Love for Curry

Curry is many things: a cuisine, a dish, a sauce, a spice blend, and a link to cultures around the world. Its flavor varies from country to country and even kitchen to kitchen. But because it’s beloved and adopted by many cultures, curry can bring the world together in a positive and peaceful way. And both curry dishes and curry spice mixes are incredibly versatile and can be used to make an endless amount of flavorful and nourishing, plant-based dishes.

Tell us in the comments:

  • What’s your favorite curry dish? What cuisine is it from?
  • How many curry spices do you have in your spice cabinet?
  • Which curry recipe do you want to make at home?

Read Next:

  • How Curcumin Can Help You Hack Your Genes And Avoid Disease
  • Whole Foods Plant-Based Recipes from Around the World

FAQs

How is curry used in cooking? ›

It is commonly used to flavor soups, stews, sauces, marinades, meat, and vegetables. As the popularity of curry flavor increases, creative chefs are finding more unconventional uses for the seasoning such as hamburgers, scrambled eggs, and potato salad.

How do you describe curry? ›

curry, (from Tamil kari: “sauce”), in Western usage, a dish composed with a sauce or gravy seasoned with a mixture of ground spices that is thought to have originated in India and has since spread to many regions of the world.

What is curry good for? ›

One study found that people who eat more curry powder are less likely to have high blood pressure. Another study found that having curry powder in a meal improves circulation immediately after the meal. The turmeric commonly found in curry powder also helps lower cholesterol, which makes heart disease less likely.

What's in curry? ›

Originating in India by those British colonialists, curry powder typically includes spices like cloves, cardamon, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, caraway, ajowan seeds, dried basil, mustard seeds, mace, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, saffron or cinnamon.

What kind of food uses curry? ›

A curry is a dish with a sauce seasoned with spices, mainly associated with South Asian cuisine. In southern India, leaves from the curry tree may be included. There are many varieties of curry.

What type of food uses curry? ›

In its simplest form, curry is an Indian gravy or sauce that is used in tandem with meat, tofu, or vegetables. It's served rice, most popularly Basmati rice, and contains many different kinds of spices. Depending on what your recipe calls for, you could have a mild curry or a curry that's super spicy.

What is curry and what does it taste like? ›

Curry is quite varied, but often carries the flavors of Asian spices (think: cumin, coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, garlic, and ginger) It has a deep earthy, savory, and umami flavor, but there are a thousand variations depending on the ingredients.

What is the most common type of curry? ›

If there's one dish that might be considered “universal” to all Indian restaurants, tikka masala is arguably it. The tikka element is the chicken or other meats cooked in a tandoor on a skewer, while the masala is the creamy sauce that smothers it. The spices lend zest to the dish, but not a great deal of burn.

Is curry healthy or not? ›

Made up of meat and vegetables in a spiced sauce, usually accompanied by rice, curry can potentially claim 'good for you' status. The vegetables contain lots of minerals and nutrients, and turmeric – the main spice in most curry powders – has anti-inflammatory effects.

What is the secret to a good curry? ›

Build a deep flavour

The three core ingredients of almost any Indian curry are garlic, onion and ginger. There are a few styles of curries that don't use garlic to ensure subtle flavour isn't overwhelmed, but it's a good rule of thumb that those three ingredients are likely to be included.

What color curry is the healthiest? ›

The long list of herbs also makes green curry one of the healthiest Thai cuisine dishes. You may also see green curry in Thai fusion dishes like pasta or sandwiches.

What is the most important ingredient in curry? ›

The most common ingredient in curry dishes is garlic. Onion, cilantro, tomatoes, vegetable oil, fresh ginger root, white sugar, coconut milk and chicken stock are also common ingredients in curry recipes. For herbs and spices, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are popular.

What are the three types of curry? ›

The Difference Between Red, Yellow, and Green Curries

There are three main types of Thai curries—red, yellow, and green—which are categorized by the color of the curry paste. The color of the chilies and other ingredients gives each curry its distinct hue.

How spicy is curry? ›

The powder can range from mild to spicy, depending on the type and amount of pepper used; mild will list ginger and black pepper as ingredients, while chile peppers will signify a spicy blend.

Which vegetables are best for curry? ›

Vegetables: Onion, Carrots, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Bell pepper, Peas, Chickpeas. Flavorings: Garlic, Ginger, Curry Powder, Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander.

What is the difference between a curry and a stew? ›

Both are slowly cooked sauce dishes, but the difference lies in the ingredients. Typically a curry uses South and South Eastern Asian spices and is milk-type based, where stews are typically broth based.

Why is it called a curry? ›

Curry is a word invented by the British back when they ruled India. It is the anglicized version of the Tamil word kari, meaning sauce and is now commonly used to describe almost any food of South Asian origin.

What is the full meaning of curry? ›

ˈkə-rē variants or less commonly currie. plural curries. : a food, dish, or sauce in Indian cuisine seasoned with a mixture of pungent spices. also : a food or dish seasoned with curry powder.

What tastes similar to curry? ›

Cumin and Allspice are a good blend that offers both the warmth and sweetness of curry powder. It will be a simpler flavor profile than curry but is still a great substitute for chicken dishes, soups, and sauces. Mix equal amounts of both cumin and allspice.

What do you call curry in English? ›

The Word Curry Came From a Colonial Misunderstanding. No Indian language uses the term, and the closest-sounding words usually just mean “sauce.” Curry is, supposedly, Indian. But there is no such word in any of the country's many official languages.

What curry is best for beginners? ›

Kang Keaw Wan Kai (sweet green curry with chicken) is a great starting point for beginners. Red curry is usually made from dried red chiles, along with spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric. It's very versatile and can include a wide range of proteins and vegetables.

What's the healthiest curry? ›

Healthier options:

Tomato-based or dry curries like tandoori, madras, jalfrezi, rogan and bhuna dishes; plain rice, roti, poppadums.

What makes curry unhealthy? ›

A single portion of takeaway curry can contain over 1,000 calories and a huge amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar. You'd need to cycle for about three hours to burn it off.

Does curry help with inflammation? ›

Potent anti-inflammatory properties

Being that curry powder is packed with spices like turmeric, coriander, and chili pepper, it's no wonder that this seasoning has been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits ( 1 ).

What spices go good with curry? ›

Turmeric, cumin, chilies (red or green) and ginger are essential ingredients in many curries, but coriander, fenugreek, mustard, pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and nutmeg can be just as vital, along with fresh aromatics such as garlic, onion, cilantro, lemongrass, lime and lemon to name but a few.

Do you cook the chicken before putting it in curry? ›

You should have a rich, flavoursome sauce, add your RAW chicken into the sauce, keep the heat medium high and seal the chicken in the sauce, stir constantly and create the deep flavour in the chicken.

Which curry helps in weight loss? ›

Kidney bean curry is another legume that can be added to the diet when the mission is to shed kilos. The red beans are extremely rich in iron and nutrients like protein, fiber, copper, vitamin K and others. Having a bowl of kidney bean curry with rice or chapati can provide you with high-quality nutrients.

What is the most popular curry color? ›

Green curry is considered the most popular curry. With coconut milk as one of the main ingredients, there is a hint of sweet flavoring as well. Because the green curry paste is made with green chilis, it is far hotter than other curries. However, for most curry lovers, the spicier the better!

Which curry is best for weight loss? ›

Tomato-based gravies instead of the fatty cashew nut and poppy seed heavy korma dishes are also a better option for you if a healthy lifestyle is your goal. The roasted cauliflower curry is an excellent choice, for those on a vegetarian diet.

What is traditional curry made of? ›

Classic Indian curry recipes include combinations of spices including turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and much more. Some curries have all of the above in them, others may be simpler. Curry can be that collection of spices mixed with yogurt, ghee, or oil.

Which curry is better red or green? ›

Thai Red Curry vs.

While the dish's spiciness can vary based on the chef, typically, red curry is hotter than green. Red curry tends to be more versatile, while green is more unique in its flavors.

Why is Japan obsessed with curry? ›

The fame of the dish in Japan is mainly due to the Imperial Japanese Navy, which was modeled after the Royal Navy, whose sailors ate a meat stew with curry seasoning and bread as a side dish for their voyages, which was also provided by the Japanese Navy.

Is curry salty or sweet? ›

Curry is an umbrella term used to describe a spiced sauce or gravy. As a category of food, curry can be sweet or savory, mild or hot, and appear as a soup, stew, or stir fry. Curry is both vague and inclusive, with flavor profiles that vary by country, region, and household.

What part of the curry plant is used for cooking? ›

The curry plant is native to the Mediterranean region. The plant's young shoots and leaves are used in Mediterranean dishes to give meat, fish, or vegetable flavor (3). Recently in Britain, people started to add the plant's leaves to dishes for flavoring (5).

What does curry taste like? ›

Curry is quite varied, but often carries the flavors of Asian spices (think: cumin, coriander, red chili powder, turmeric, garlic, and ginger) It has a deep earthy, savory, and umami flavor, but there are a thousand variations depending on the ingredients.

What is Indian curry used for? ›

They can be boiled for a tea or a tonic or ground up. They have natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a good source of iron, helping with anemia. Curry leaves also have anti-diabetic qualities, that help reduce blood sugar levels and can help regulate cholesterol.

Is curry used in Japanese cooking? ›

Curry was introduced to Japan in the late 1800s by the British and they were originally Western-style stews mixed with curry powder. The Japanese adapted curry to their own version and 'Curry Rice' (Kare Raisu, カレーライス) was born soon after.

What does curry plant look like? ›

As a young plant it looks very similar to lavender, growing dusty greenish-grey, needle shaped leaves. Once it matures however, the appearance of this herb changes as small round, yellow colored flowers bloom on the stalks of the plant which may reach 24 inches in height.

Does curry plant taste like curry? ›

What do curry leaves taste like? Curry leaves have a characteristic flavor, though it is sort of difficult to define the actual taste it can be compared to citrus, anise, or lemongrass. Once cooked, they impart a sharp bite and a nutty aroma. A host of Indian snacks and entree dishes are tempered with curry leaves.

Do you remove curry leaves after cooking? ›

Curry leaf newbies take note: Some preparations will call for curry leaves to be removed from a dish, but it's fine when they don't—the leaves are completely edible.

What is the secret to curry? ›

Build a deep flavour

The three core ingredients of almost any Indian curry are garlic, onion and ginger. There are a few styles of curries that don't use garlic to ensure subtle flavour isn't overwhelmed, but it's a good rule of thumb that those three ingredients are likely to be included.

Is curry a healthy food? ›

Made up of meat and vegetables in a spiced sauce, usually accompanied by rice, curry can potentially claim 'good for you' status. The vegetables contain lots of minerals and nutrients, and turmeric – the main spice in most curry powders – has anti-inflammatory effects.

What are the three main types of curries used in curry dishes? ›

There are three main types of Thai curries—red, yellow, and green—which are categorized by the color of the curry paste. The color of the chilies and other ingredients gives each curry its distinct hue. Traditionally, all Thai curries were made with the same ingredients except for one thing: the chilies.

What is traditional curry? ›

Curry dishes usually start with a tomato and onion base to which spices like cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, and sometimes garam masala are added. Most curry dishes are more watery and simple than other Indian gravy dishes and are more likely to have a milder flavor.

Is curry Japanese or Indian? ›

After importing curry from India, the Europeans invented curry powder so that the layman could cook curry without having to master the intricacies about spices. This form of curry was introduced to Japan during the Meji Period (1868-1912), from which the Japanese adapted the dish to suit their tastes.

Why do Japanese people like curry? ›

The fame of the dish in Japan is mainly due to the Imperial Japanese Navy, which was modeled after the Royal Navy, whose sailors ate a meat stew with curry seasoning and bread as a side dish for their voyages, which was also provided by the Japanese Navy.

Is curry a stew? ›

Both are slowly cooked sauce dishes, but the difference lies in the ingredients. Typically a curry uses South and South Eastern Asian spices and is milk-type based, where stews are typically broth based.

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