In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What is the best curry? We will mention seven types of curries that we believe are among the best and explain the difference between curry as a spice and as a dish.
What is the best curry?
The best curry is the one that will delight your taste buds and the one that you will be able to prepare at home. But before we go ahead with discovering the best type of curry, let’s clarify what exactly is “curry.”
What is commonly called curry in the West is a mixture of spices used to flavor dishes in India and Southeast Asia, but in reality, the term curry refers to all dishes in spicy sauce. The actual term for the spice blends used in Indian cuisine is “masala”, which means “mixture” in the Indian language, the word “curry” deriving from the Tamil “Kari,” meaning “stew.”
Curry should not be confused with “curry leaf” or kaloupilé, a spice that often goes into curry composition (the mixture).
The origins of curry
Curry-type spice blends have always been used in India, and still prepared today in the same way as they were millennia ago, by grinding the often roasted spices over the fire. With a little fat.
The yellow curry powder (a homemade recipe here) that everyone is familiar with is said to date from the 18th century. Indian merchants allegedly made it for British colonial government members and the army returning to England.
These English bring back this mixture, still called “masala,” then rename it with the term that everyone knows today: “curry.”
The composition of curries varies enormously, they can be very mild or very spicy, made with a wide variety of spices and herbs or not, and of all colors, although the most famous is the yellow curry made from turmeric.
The spices that compose it varies according to the type of curry, the region, and the family that prepares it, but in most curries, we find:
- coriander seeds
- cumin seeds
- mustard seeds
- chili pepper
- cinnamon breaks
- fennel seeds
- Salt, etc.
The best 7 types of curries
These are curries that you will find on the market in the West, those in India are just endless.
Madras curry: the most famous
Madras curry is a very fragrant and slightly spicy curry, it is the classic among the classics, an essential in the kitchen. It is a yellow curry, because it is based on turmeric, which is very easy to use in any savory cuisine.
It is usually made from turmeric, dried garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander, cubeb, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, curry leaves, mustard seeds, mace, chili, and pepper.
Bombay curry: the softest
Bombay curry is characterized by its large number of spices, up to 70 in one blend! It is a mild and fragrant curry and yellow due to its turmeric base.
It is usually made from turmeric, coriander, black mustard, cumin, green pepper, fennel, fenugreek, black pepper, poppy, etc.
Green curry: Thai curry
Green curry is a blend of spices made up of spices, but mostly herbs and sometimes green peppers which give the mixture color. It is a soft and subtle blend that is often used as a paste.
It is often composed of paprika, coriander, celery, tarragon, ginger, lemongrass, but we also often find chili, fennel, fenugreek, black pepper, etc.
Red curry: a spicy curry of Thai origin
Red curry is characterized by its flavor, but also its spiciness, unlike yellow and green curries. It is found in the Southeast Asian region, particularly Thailand.
Indeed, red curry gets its color from its predominantly red ingredients, including paprika and cayenne pepper, which will give it all its power.
Black curry: curry from Sri Lanka
Black curry is characterized by its naturally dark or even black color and its powerful, bewitching and very sweet fragrance. It is a typical blend of Sri Lankan cuisine.
Indian curry: the hottest
Indian curry is fragrant but incredibly spicy, because it is made with reasonably healthy peppers. It is often available in two versions, hot and extra-hot, and it is more orange than yellow, because of the peppers that compose it.
Its spiciness makes it often used in sauced dishes, made with coconut milk, cream or yogurt, to soften the spiciness of the mixture.
The curry has been exported from India to many places around the world which have appropriated the blend, modifying it to suit local flavorings, to give extraordinary new blends. Among these mixtures we find:
- the vadouvan masala with French influences
- the Masala of Reunion Island
- Colombo of the Antilles
- Indonesian seven seas curry
- lemongrass curry from Vietnam
- Malaysian Malaysian curry
- the Kingston Kari of Jamaica
- the Kari from Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago
- Singapore’s Pulau Hujong Kari
Other Indian masalas
Even if we differentiate them from curries in the West, the other Indian masalas can be considered as curries; we quote among the most famous:
- garam masala from North India and Pakistan
- the tandoori masala
- the vindaloo masala
- the masala tank from North India and Afghanistan.
Curry is an excellent option to flavor rice or legume dishes, such as lentils, which combine in a very natural way with their flavor. In these cases, curry is used as one more spice. However, there are a couple of tricks to get right.
- The curry should always be added when the rice or stew is already boiling so that it dilutes and flavors the entire preparation equally.
- It is essential to be very careful with the amount added since its flavor has a lot of presence, and it is advisable to avoid excesses.
- When buying prepared curry, it should be borne in mind that there are more or less spicy mixtures.
If you want to prepare a homemade curry, you will need a grinder. A mixture of turmeric, cayenne pepper, mustard, cloves, cardamom, dried coriander, nutmeg, and pepper is what you will need.
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