How to Make a Good Curry: Spices, Tips and Tricks!

If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, you must be familiar with curry. Curry is a versatile dish that can be prepared in a myriad of ways, depending on the region, the ingredients, and the cook’s preference. It is a complex blend of spices and herbs that gives it a unique flavor and aroma. While cooking curry may seem like a daunting task, it’s not that hard once you know the basics. If you want to learn how to make a good curry, read on!

Types of Curry

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of making curry, let’s first discuss the types of curry that exist. Depending on the region, curry can vary in its texture, heat level, and ingredients. Here are some of the most common types of curry:

  • Indian Curry: Indian curry is known for its robust flavor profile and is usually spicy. It is made by blending various spices, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili. Indian curries can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian and can be paired with rice, naan, or roti.
  • Thai Curry: Thai curries are usually made with curry paste, which contains various spices, such as coriander seeds, garlic, and lemongrass. Thai curries can be red, green, or yellow, depending on the type of curry paste used. They are usually spicy and are served with rice.
  • Japanese Curry: Japanese curry is sweet and slightly spicy, unlike its Indian and Thai counterparts. It is made with a curry roux that contains flour, oil, and various spices. Japanese curry is usually served with rice.

Spices Used in Curry

No curry is complete without the right blend of spices. Here are some of the most commonly used spices in curry:

Spice Flavor Profile Commonly Used In
Cumin Earthy, nutty flavor Indian curry
Coriander Citrusy, slightly sweet flavor Indian and Thai curry
Turmeric Earnthy, slightly bitter flavor Indian curry
Chili Spicy flavor Indian and Thai curry
Ginger Spicy, fresh flavor Indian and Thai curry
Cinnamon Sweet, warm flavor Indian and Japanese curry

Tips and Tricks for Making a Good Curry

Making curry can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to it. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you make a good curry every time:

Use Fresh Seasonings

Fresh seasonings can make all the difference when it comes to making curry. If possible, use freshly ground spices and herbs, such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Fresh herbs, such as cilantro and mint, can also add a fresh touch to your curry.

Don’t Skimp on the Oil

Curry usually requires a good amount of oil to bring out its flavors. Don’t skimp on the oil, or your curry may end up tasting bland. Use a neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil.

Slow-Cook Your Curry

Slow cooking your curry can help meld the flavors and make the sauce thick and creamy. Cook your curry for at least 30 minutes to an hour over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Pair Your Curry with the Right Sides

The right sides can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your curry. Pair your curry with some steamed rice, naan, or roti. You can also serve it with some yogurt, chutney, or pickle to balance out its flavors.

Recipes for Different Types of Curry

Now that you know the basics of making curry, let’s explore some recipes for different types of curry:

Indian Chicken Curry

This recipe is perfect for those who want to enjoy a spicy and flavor-packed Indian curry:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
  3. Add curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, and cook for another minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  5. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro.

Thai Green Curry

This recipe is perfect for those who want to enjoy a spicy and flavorful Thai curry:

  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Jasmine rice, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the curry paste and cook for another minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash and cook until crisp-tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add fish sauce and brown sugar and stir to combine.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with basil.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about making curry:

  • What are the essential spices needed for making curry? The essential spices for making curry are cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili, ginger, and cinnamon.
  • What type of oil should I use for making curry? You should use a neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil, for making curry.
  • How long should I cook my curry? You should cook your curry for at least 30 minutes to an hour over low heat.
  • What are some good sides to serve with curry? Good sides to serve with curry include rice, naan, roti, yogurt, chutney, and pickle.
  • What are some good recipes for making curry? Some good recipes for making curry include Indian chicken curry, Thai green curry, and Japanese curry.

References

Here are some resources that can help you learn more about making curry:

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