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Burning Question: Exactly What Is Curry?

Curry is a broad word used to describe a variety of dishes flavored with different spices. Although the concept of curry originated from India, curries exist throughout the world, and can be found in Japanese, Ethiopian, Thai, Caribbean, and German cuisines, among others. Virtually any spiced, sauce-based dish with vegetables and/or meat can be call a curry, but the popular variety we think of contains curry powder with high proportions of turmeric, cumin, and coriander seed.

The other familiar term, masala, is simply a spice mix; curry powder is in fact a masala. In countries like Pakistan that have numerous curry dishes, however, each has a specific name, and might include a range of spices such as fenugreek, cloves, ginger, hot pepper, and leaves from the curry tree, an herb native to India.

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Join The Conversation
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 8 years
Curry without coconut milk is good!
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 8 years
Thai and Indian curry are the best. Yummm. I've never made my own Thai style curry but I make the Indian curry about once every two weeks. So delicious.
baybelle baybelle 8 years
It's a good explanation, but in India (where I am) a curry is just a dish with gravy. Anything with a gravy can be a curry - the word comes from "kadai" - a type of cooking dish - I *think*. Also - no one has really been able to tell me this - what the heck IS in curry powder?? We have nothing like that here - every dish uses a different combination of spices. If one were to use a single curry powder, wouldn't everything taste the same?
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
Indian food is my favorite food on this planet, so curry is one my favorite dishes! Mmmmmm, I would totally chow down on some right now. :P
jspeed jspeed 8 years
I just had curry last night! skinless/boneless chicken breasts + light alfredo sauce + curry powder [cooked in a crock pot] = delicious easy dinner! Served over jasmine rice with steamed green beans and whole wheat naan from the grocery store.
boredatwork boredatwork 8 years
This is kind of weird...I was just checking out a menu with a curry dish that I was thinking of trying, but was afraid of the flavor based on what I've smelled before. I guess I just thought it was curry powder, a single spice, and I've steered very clear of it...BUUUT, now I'm a bit more informed and I think I'll give it a try.
goatimpact goatimpact 8 years
I'm Indian and growing up, my Mom was very against having the house smell like food. Her trick was boiling cinnamon sticks and whatever else she had on hand (cloves, lemons, etc.) immediately afterwards. It worked, esp since one comment I remember from childhood is a kid from school telling me that I can't be Indian since I don't smell like it.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
Got my curry fix last night!! :D Boyfriend took me out to an indian resturant and boy was i in nirvana eating the chicken curry! . . . then i went to hell when my stomach realized what was going on. :( BUT the curry i had wasn't too spicy. it tingled my tongue and back of my throat for a bit and even the spices in the rice and potato dish was not as extreme as i expected. But back to the curry. It was yummy, the brown golden color (dunno what that is) and i scooped it up with freshly baked Naan. best part, we didn't have to deal with the "smell issue". i still want to make my japanese curry though.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
you know, i think that i had a basic understanding of what curries were but now that i have a bit more information i might try some of them. i've historically been kind of afraid of them since i wasn't always a 'spice' person, but knowing that curry is really any number of different things kind of makes it a bit more 'doable' to me.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 8 years
My brothers are visiting this weekend and the youngest has been nagging me to make Japanese curry, the middle likes chicken tikka masala, and the oldest likes thai red curry (my personal favorite is thai green curry). Since it's going to be rainy and cold this weekend, I'll be sure to stock up and my curry ingredients after work! :)
CoconutPie CoconutPie 8 years
I'd eat curry dishes everyday if I could. :drool:
ard126 ard126 8 years
I'm indian, and this is possibly the best explanation of curry i've seen :0) for the girls that are worried about the smell that sticks--there isnt really much you can do about it, but try leaving your windows open or using a fan in the kitchen while you cook..happy eating!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Soniabonya - I can understand about the smell - I LOVE curry, and I always think it smells awesome when I'm making it, but it's crazy how much it'll stick around afterward. I used to hang delicate clothes in the room next to the kitchen, and they would absolutely reek of curry for days when I would cook with it.
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
I love thai and chinese curry. I have wanted to try indian curry for so long, but I can not get the husband to go with me cuz he says he can't stand the smell. I think one of these days I need to find a place near work and pick it up for lunch.
angriv angriv 8 years
i LOVE curry. it's a little rainy here in Florida, and i was planning on getting some tonight! so funny this is the "burning question"! Thai Panaang Curry is my favorite w/ the peanuts.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
aaah. was going to make a japanese curry dish tonight for my boyfriend, but he doesn't want the "smell" of it to linger in his tiny studio apartment. personally, i like the aroma, but i understand his concern. -.- i will have to fullfill my curry need tomorrow.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
Yum, I want some now...
Katharine Katharine 8 years
I am allergic to curry. I developed the allergy as an adult and it seems to only be to red curry. I don't know which spice in the mix it is but I avoid most of them now :(
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I have curry plants growing in my herb garden right now.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
I'll tell you what curry is. Curry is FREAKING DELICIOUS.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Before the boyfriend starting cooking a lot of indian food, I just assumed that only one spice went into curry powder.
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