Curry basics: red, green, yellow?

Curry Powder

Curry Powder

If you’re a connoisseur of Asian cuisine, you may have noticed how much curry can differ from country to country (or chef to chef), and even within India, where the cuisine originated. The word curry actually just derives from a Tamil word for sauce, so the phrase isn’t very specific. It can vary greatly, but it usually does have some common flavors, as well as a bit of kick. Common curry spices include coriander, chili, ginger, garlic, mustard, and turmeric. It can vary to suit almost any taste.

One great example of its variations can be found in Thai food – if you’ve ordered a curry dish in a Thai restaurant, you may have been given the option of red, green, or yellow curry. Green gets its color from Thai basil; red is made with a curry paste; and yellow gets a milder flavor from the addition of coconut cream. Thai curries often have a coconut milk base.

Red Curry

Red Curry

Curries work well with almost anything, including meats, vegetables, potatoes, rice, and noodles. Japan’s curry udon noodles are a particular favorite of ours. Feel free to get as creative as you like with your food combinations.

If you’re looking for curry in the grocery store, there are two places you might try: curry powder can usually be located with the spices, and boxed curry cubes of the Japanese variety can often be found in the Asian section. The latter generally comes in mild, medium, and hot, so check carefully if you’re sensitive to spicy foods.

Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

Never had curry? Here’s a quick, simple introduction. Throw a cup of water and one cube of curry from a box into a slow cooker on high. Once the curry dissolves, throw in a cubed potato and let it cook until tender. It’s easy and a really delicious addition to a meal.

Questions about using curry powders or other versions in cooking? Need to know what the tastiest varieties are? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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6 Comments

corndog corndog says:

I absolutely love curry! I make a mushroom and eggplant red curry that my family asks for all the time. I serve it over a little brown rice and I can rest easy knowing that my family is eating a flavorful, healthy meal.

Blue Blue says:

Curry is a favorite in our house, and we have numerous ways of making it. Coconut is one of the very best curry bases in my opinion, but it has to complement the dish. I add a little curry powder, lemongrass (you can find it in a paste or the whole stalks; I prefer the paste), and tons of basil and fresh ginger. Japanese golden apple curry is another fond favorite of ours. I’ve never encountered curry cubes or curry paste, though. I’ll have to look those up and see if they’re a good alternative to curry powder.

Sedra Sedra says:

I’ve been experimenting with curry more often recently and so far I enjoy the green and yellow curries quite a bit. I haven’t hit on the right red curry recipe yet but I’ll keep trying.

Rhanda Rhanda says:

I will try the simple recipe of curry, water and potatoes in the slow cooker. I will be honest and say that I am a curry “virgin”. I can’t wait to experiment with it.

Shelia Shelia says:

I would have to say that I love the green curry the best! We like it very spicy in my house, so the flavor is always welcome! I find that I tend to be a little critical when someone makes a curry dish with a pre made sauce. It’s just never as good.

Cookiemonster says:

I’ve never branched out into cooking curry yet but I’ve ordered it at the Thai place we go to eat. I had the lighter version that has a sweet taste of coconut but I think I’d also like a spicier version. Good post! This has given me a few ideas. Thanks.

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