What Is Curry?
The word Curry is a mix of spices, usually in powder or paste form, that originated from India and spread throughout Asia and other parts of the world, such as the Caribbean and even Britain, because of indentured workers. It is done differently everywhere, even within the Indian subcontinent (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), based on what is readily available and religiously accepted.
In the subcontinent, generally you will find a mixture of chilies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric, and garlic and onion added to the dry mixture when cooking. It is commonly mixed with coconut milk if in tropical areas, and dairy cream, or yogurt, if in northern areas, to add creaminess to the spice, with a multitude of regionally available vegetables and meats added. Colors vary based on whether turmeric is used, and if red or green chilies are added. Even with one region, there will be variations on flavor mixes as well.
Curry spread through all of Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, all adding their own influences, with Thai curry becoming famous in its own right. East Asia also took part, China through Malay influence, and with curry actually being brought to Japan by the British and becoming quite popular to this day.
Speaking of the British, the curry was brought back with British workers and military personnel involved with British rule in India, and also with a large number of immigrants that came from the subcontinent, and has become very popular
You may ask, but why is curry so popular in the Caribbean? It is popular because during foreign rule, after emancipation, more cheap workers were needed and were brought in from India, bringing their culture with them. In Guyana, Trinidad, and Jamaica, curry is fully adopted as a normal dish found in every home.
In Jamaica, we do not grow any of the chilies that are popular in India, such as Kashmiri red chilies that are popular in tandoori marinades, instead of using scotch bonnet peppers. Thyme and allspice are used, and only coriander (cilantro) in powder form, as it wasn’t grown in Jamaica until recently. Scallion is in almost every dish, added to the usual onion, garlic, and ginger mixture.
What Is Curry Made Of?
Curry powder is not a universally set mix of spices, as previously stated. Masala, which literally means “a mixture of spices”, is another name that you can find the spice mix commonly used in curry. Because of this, every curry powder from every region will make your dishes taste different.
I usually use traditionally Caribbean flavored curry powders in most of my recipes, but a few use different flavors, such as Punjabi-style masala or Thai curry pastes. In my recipes, I will either inform as to which curry powder you should use or list the ingredients instead of a mix. Here is my amazing Homemade Curry Recipe.
Lastly, what do I eat curry with? Traditionally, curry is usually eaten with various iterations of rice or a bread product (roti, chapati, paratha, dhal puri), and even noodles in Japan. It also fits brown rice, quinoa, and cauliflower rice beautifully.
This is a collection of my most popular curry recipes, along with a few personal favorites. Please make sure to let me know in the comments which recipes are your favorites, and check out my cookbook for more delicious recipes.
This insanely easy Punjabi- style Instant Pot Chickpea Curry or “Chana Masala” will warm you up with its delicious mix of spices, and won’t take much work from you.
This Thai Coconut Tofu Curry has a different flavor profile than my usual Jamaican curries, and tastes just like something you’d get in Thai takeout.
I used Butler’s Soy Curls to make this Vegan Curry “Chicken” and added potatoes for bulk, making a classic dinner dish that you’ll find yourself returning to.
You can find curry at lunch with this Curried Tofu Wrap! Keep things interesting and flavorful instead of the usual boring suspects.
Most people have had green jackfruit by now, usually BBQ-style, but it is also delicious in Jackfruit Curry. With Thai red curry paste and Thai basil leaves, this recipe will be nice and new for those used to Indian or Caribbean curry flavors.
A delicious snack or appetizer, Yellow Split Pea Fritters with Curry Sauce is a delicious quick burst of flavor that you and your guests will love.
When people think of curry, the classic potatoes, chickpeas, and so on are what comes to mind, but this Butternut Squash Coconut Curry will surprise you in a good way.
Lettuce wraps are a great way to lighten up your meal, and the filling in these Lentil Curry Lettuce Cups will make up for a typical wrap while being completely delicious.
This is a red lentil stew, better known as Masoor Dal. Red lentils are full of fiber and protein, so serve this with some rice and vegetables and you will have a perfect nutritious dinner option.
Of course, an everyday classic had to be on this list. Spicy Jamaican-Style Potato Curry, with carrots and peas, is filled with nutrients and flavor, and will definitely become a favorite of yours.
Cauliflower rice has been popular recently, but are you getting bored? Then try it as Curried Cauliflower Rice. Eat with another curry recipe if you just truly love curry!
Everyone loves quick meals that don’t need to much prep time. Instant Pot Curried Black Eyed Peas definitely fit the bill, and you will not be sacrificing any quality in taste.
Are you feeling adventurous? Tried all the different things you can curry already? How about Bitter Melon Curry? It is also full of nutritious elements, and potatoes are added for bulk.
This may not seem like a curry, but the flavor will tell you otherwise. Aloo Palak (Indian-Style Potato Spinach Curry) is a great way to get some greens in your diet and still enjoy your meal.
A great dinner option is anything that can be thrown into an Instant Pot and made into a stew, but that can become boring. Not with this Instant Pot Jackfruit Potato Curry!
Cabbage is a great healthy side dish that fits with anything, but I’m always looking out for ways to jazz it up. It is popular as Curried Cabbage in Jamaica, which adds lovely dimension to any meal.