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.

Curry Origin

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.

Why Is Curry So Common In The Caribbean?

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.

Vegan Curry Recipes

Chana Masala

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.

chana masala in a two white bowls on white background


Thai Coconut Tofu Curry

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.

vegan tofu curry in a white bowl on a burlap on white background


Vegan Curry “Chicken”

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.

vegan curry chicken and potatoes in a black bowl on a wooden background


Curried Tofu Wrap

You can find curry at lunch with this Curried Tofu Wrap! Keep things interesting and flavorful instead of the usual boring suspects.

vegan curry wrap on a white plate on wooden background


Jackfruit Curry

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.

jackfruit curry on a wooden background


Yellow Split Pea Fritters with Curry Sauce

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.

yellow split pea fritters and curry sauce


Butternut Squash Coconut Curry

When people think of curry, the classic potatoes, chickpeas, and so on are what come to mind, but this Butternut Squash Coconut Curry will surprise you in a good way.

butternut squash coconut curry in a white bowl on a white background


Lentil Curry Lettuce Cups

Lettuce wraps are a great way to lighten up your meal! The filling in these Lentil Curry Lettuce Cups will make up for a typical wrap while being completely delicious.

lentil curry lettuce cup


Masoor Dal

This is a red lentil stew, better known as Masoor Dal. Serve this healthy dal recipe with rice and vegetables and you will have a perfectly nutritious dinner option.

masoor dal in a black saucepan


Spicy Jamaican-Style Potato Curry

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. It will definitely become a favorite of yours.

jamaican spicy potato curry in a white bowl on a white background


Curried Cauliflower Rice

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!

Cauliflower rice curry with red bell pepper, chopped green onion, carrot strips in a black bowl, silver spoon on a brown burlap napkin on a wooden background


Instant Pot Curried Black Eyed Peas

Everyone loves quick meals that don’t need too much prep time. Instant Pot Curried Black Eyed Peas definitely fit the bill, and you will not be sacrificing any quality in taste.

black eyed pea curry


Bitter Melon Curry

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.

bitter melon curry on a white plate on a white background


Aloo Palak

This may not seem like a curry, but the flavor will tell you otherwise. Preparing Aloo Palak is a great way to get some greens in your diet and still enjoy your meal.

aloo palak curry recipe in a white plate on a wooden background


Instant Pot Jackfruit Potato Curry

This Instant Pot Jackfruit Potato Curry recipe is full of flavor. The texture of the jackfruit is chewy with the smooth creamy potatoes. 

instant pot Jamaican jackfruit and potato curry on a white background


Curried Cabbage

Cabbage is a great healthy side dish that fits with anything. I’m always looking out for ways to jazz it up. It is popular as Curried Cabbage in Jamaica, which adds a lovely dimension to any meal.

curry cabbage on wooden background

If you enjoyed this post and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Also please leave a star rating ;-)

Need some encouragement on your Healthier Steps journey?

Join our Facebook groups, sharing lots of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, health tips, etc., from our members. Please join us and invite your friends to Gluten-Free and Vegan For Beginners and Vegan Recipes With Love.