Does curry sauce have dairy?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Does curry sauce have dairy? We will talk about the 6 key ingredients in the preparation of curry paste and their benefits.

Does curry sauce have dairy?

Curry sauce does not have dairy products in it and it is water-based. Some chefs may choose to use dairy or coconut milk to make it denser, but this is not a rule. If you are allergic to dairy products, you can ask the person who cooked to be safe, or if you are at a restaurant next to the curry sauce it will be mentioned what allergens it has.

Curry is native to Indian cuisine and consists of a mixture of dried spices and/or fresh herbs, usually including fresh or dried hot peppers.

The key ingredients in the preparation of curry paste are dried hot peppers, spring onions, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, lime kaffir peel, pepper, coriander seeds, cumin, salt and shrimp paste. Dried hot peppers give a note of sharpness to the curry, fresh herbs and spices give it the aroma of essential oils.

Western curry has little to do with the origin of curry. And while there are as many different curry mixes as there are cooks who make it, there seems to be some consensus as to what goes into the mix. 

Normally, the base of curry is a spice called turmeric, which is what gives it its characteristic yellow colour, and coriander, cumin, and fenugreek are also basic ingredients. To this mixture, you can add everything, such as cardamom, chilli, anise, nutmeg, poppy seeds, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and also different peppers or chillies to give it a spicy flavour.

Does curry have dairy?

The use of dairy in a curry depends on where it originates from. Indian curries use dairy mostly in the form of curd or cottage cheese. On the contrary, Thai curries don’t have any dairy and are made using coconut oil or peanut oil. Similarly, Chinese curries are made with broths or stocks and do not contain dairy.

Types of curries: yellow, red and green curries

Normally, curry is yellow because it contains a large amount of turmeric, which is what gives it its characteristic colour. Now, for example, in Thai cuisine, it is common to see other types of curry with a spicy flavour such as green curry or red curry, and this is nothing more than a special curry that has a large amount of green chilli or red chilli in your mix.

6 essential curry ingredients 

Although we can say that there are as many versions of curry as there are people who cook it, there are 6 ingredients that are common to all variants of this mixture of spices. These are also the secret of its being so healthy.

  1. Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory medicine

Turmeric allows the preservation of the freshness, taste and nutritional value of food, which is why in Indian pots where various vegetables are used cooked together, miraculously, you can feel the taste and smell of each vegetable, and the combination is very successful.

It can also be used as a natural food colouring: half a teaspoon of turmeric gives a golden colour to the curry.

How much turmeric to use: 3 tablespoons.

2. Black mustard, great for your heart

The black mustard is a herbaceous plant in the cruciferous family with yellow flowers with four petals, grouped in inflorescences. The fruits contain small dark brown or black seeds that when crushed and moistened give off a characteristic odour and have a pungent taste. Black mustard is rich in selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties, and in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, in magnesium and in vitamin B1, which is involved in energy production.

How much black mustard to use: Add a tablespoon of ground mustard to your mix. Toast the seeds a little, as roasting helps release the aromas (the same goes for other seeds, such as coriander and cumin).

3. Do not forget the chilli pepper

The chilli pepper is a flavour and health bomb. Capsaicin, responsible for the spicy taste, has multiple properties, including its anti-inflammatory and anti-infective action.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of hot peppers means 36 milligrams of calcium, 1.3 milligrams of iron, 4 milligrams of magnesium, 113 milligrams of potassium and 397 milligrams of sodium.

4. Black pepper, as an antioxidant 

The body needs very little manganese, but this antioxidant mineral is essential for bones and skin. Pepper stimulates the taste buds by transmitting signals to the stomach to increase the amount of hydrochloric acid secreted, thus improving digestion. 

Hydrochloric acid is needed for the digestion of proteins and other food components. When the production of this substance is reduced, food can stay in the stomach longer causing burns or indigestion. All pepper types help prevent the formation of intestinal gas, also due to increased production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

How much black pepper to use: Add half a teaspoon of freshly ground peppercorns to your curry mixture.

5. Cilantro, for a good digestion

The coriander seeds give the curry notes of citrus and sage. In Europe, it is attributed to properties to control blood sugar and cholesterol. The plant contains volatile oil represented by linalool, pinene, geraniol, borneol, terpineol, citronellol, carvone, camphor. 

Coriander is used in phytotherapy in case of digestive disorders, dyspepsia, abdominal flatulence, anorexia, hepato-biliary disorders, intestinal parasitosis. Externally, coriander seed oil can be applied to relieve haemorrhoid or rheumatic joint pain.

How much cilantro to use: add 2 tablespoons of dried cilantro.

6. Cumin, to avoid flatulence 

Cumin seeds are small but add a great healthy addition to curries. For this it is very useful to make an infusion: leave a tablespoon of seeds in boiling water for 8-10 minute. 

How much cumin to use: put a tablespoon and a half in your curry mix.

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

Do vegetarians eat fish sauce?

Does Worcestershire sauce have to be refrigerated after opening?

Does Thai fish sauce taste fishy?


In this article, we answered the following question: Does curry sauce have dairy? We talked about the 6 key ingredients in the preparation of curry paste and their benefits.

In conclusions, curry is a water-based sauce, and in only very rare cases someone may use coconut milk to increase its density.  The base of curry is turmeric, which is what gives it its characteristic yellow colour, and coriander, black pepper, black mustard and chilli pepper are also basic ingredients. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!


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