Do you like curry? Curry is a dish that uses a complex combination of spices or herbs like ground turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, clove, cardamom, bay leaf, mustard, and a variety of chilies. This dish is originated from the Indian subcontinent.
If you have eaten one, you will notice that curry has this unique, deep, earthy flavor that came from a blend of savory spices but also has a hint of sweet spices in it. And even though curry is originated in India, nowadays we can see that many countries have their own version of a curry dish. This is how curry dishes look like around the world.
Let’s begin with where it all came from: India. This country has a huge variety of curry dishes. One of the most common curry dishes in this country is Korma, which is a creamy dish made with coconut milk or yogurt. They also have Paneer curry which is made with paneer cheese (Indian version of cottage cheese, if you will).
One of the most popular curry dishes that we can see in Pakistan is Nihari. This dish is a slow-cooker curry with a bunch of lovely ingredients such as beef brisket, onions, red chili powder, and also different kinds of spices.
The curry that Sri Lanka has is pretty interesting. This dish is called Lamprais and has an influence both from Indian and Dutch cuisine cultures. Similar to Amok which is from Cambodia (we’ll get into that later on), this curried rice dish is cooked inside a banana leaf, but one of its must-have ingredients is Frikkadels, which basically is Dutch-style meatballs. And of course, the Sri Lankans don’t waste their food. They have a dish called Koola’ya which is made from their leftover curries. Yum!
Malaysia is one of the early adopters of curry from India. They picked up the recipes through spice merchants a long time ago. In this country, we can find Curry Laksa or Curry Mee, which is a curry noodle soup paired with deep-fried tofu and bean sprouts.
The curries from Thailand is a bit unique because they have a wide variety of colors. They have the Kaeng Kari (yellow curry) which is the mild curry served with cucumber relish and Kaeng Khiao Wan (green curry) which is the spicier one thanks to its green chilies. Another type of curry dish they have is the Kaeng Phet (red curry) which is like Kaeng Khiao Wan but with red chilies instead of the green ones.
Thailand also has Massaman Curry, which is made with potato and peanuts, and Kaeng Som which is the sour type of curry. Both of these curry dishes are slightly different but both are made with coconut milk and kaffir leaves.
Indonesian curry has a similar taste to the ones they have in Malaysia and Thailand, but it still has its own unique flavor. Indonesians call them Gulai, which is a spicy, rich-flavored curry made with spices and usually a type of meat like chicken, beef, lamb, or even bison meat in some regions. This dish is typically served with white rice and collard greens. Or, if you want a milder option, try Opor Ayam which is a yellow chicken curry made mainly with coconut milk and milder spices.
As we previously mentioned, Cambodia has a curry dish called Amok. This curry dish is typically made with fish cooked in banana leaves, although there are chicken and beef Amok as well. We can also find another curry dish called Num Banh Chok, which is a rice-noodle fish curry soup that is commonly served for breakfast. Interestingly, curries in Cambodia often served with a baguette, owing to the French influences.
Similar to the one in Cambodia, Vietnamese also serve their curries with baguettes. The most popular curry in Vietnam is called Cari Ga which is a type of chicken curry made with chicken, sweet potatoes, and spices like spicy yellow curry blend, lemongrass, garlic, and onions.
Curry is such a popular dish in Japan. This is actually quite surprising because the Japanese used to shun any food culture from outside the country for a long time. But curry made its way in, and now we can see many kinds of curry dishes in Japan. They have Karee Raisu which is curry rice and Karee Udon which is curried wheat noodles. When they have leftover curries, usually they will make Karee Pan which is curry stuffed inside a bread roll and then deep-fried with breadcrumbs.
Owing to the Malaysian laborers’ influence a long time ago, the curry from South Africa is mainly made with lots of nuts and coconut milk. In South Africa, they call this curry dish Bunny Chow. Bunny Chow is a curry dish that is typically served by dumping the curry into a hollowed-out loaf.
Trinidad and Tobago
Did you know that the Caribbean also has a strong curry tradition? Take a look at Trinidad and Tobago, for instance. Trini curries use hotter chilies like Scotch Bonnet chilies and blend them with herbs like shado beni which is similar to cilantro. They are usually made with various meats, chickpeas, and potatoes.
Who knew there are so many kinds of curries, right? So which one is your favorite curry dish? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!
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