Making Great Curry

Curry is a complicated dish but it is well worth learning about. A few tips will start you on your way to making great curry.

Curry has a long and varied history, almost as varied as the recipe itself. Westerners refer to just about anything with curry powder in it as curry. However, in India they do not even use the term curry. But no matter what you call them, curry dishes are some of the best and numerous recipes around. The difficult part is deciding which kind of curry you want to make. But there are certain things to remember when making any kind of curry.

The number one most important rule is never use commercial curry powder found in your regular grocery store. Curry powder is not a spice like salt or chili powder but it is a mix of many spices ground into a fine powder. Ingredients often included are coriander, turmeric, chilies, clove, cumin, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and cassia. Varying these ingredients is what makes the wide variety of tastes that curries can achieve. For instance, although most people think of curry as being yellow that is merely caused by the turmeric in the curry powder. There are also red curries and green curries which have a different mix of spices. The reason grocery store curry powder is not desirable is because it uses a lot of the cheaper spices and very little of the more expensive spices. That is why dishes made with these spices never taste as good as in a restaurant. There are two alternatives to buying grocery store curry. You can make your own curry powder if you have the time and energy or you can buy curry from a specialty store. Making your own curry powder is not that hard but it involves a little patience and a lot of ingredients. There are many recipes available but you may have to experiment to see which you like best. You can also buy curry powder or even sometimes curry paste from a store that sells foreign foods. Whether the market specializes in Asian, Indian, or even African foods they are likely to have curry powder which is a cut above the grocery store variety. There are also many web sites that sell ethnic foods online if there is no foreign market near you.

The second rule about curry is that anything goes. This is a dish that has a home on just about every continent and has a different recipe for every location. Curry is a constantly evolving dish and you do not need to follow any one recipe to the letter. In fact, it is a good idea to look at many curry recipes and see what types of ingredients are in them. Before you get started you may need to decide exactly which kind of curry you are thinking of. Otherwise you may wind up cooking something that is totally different than what you expected. As previously mentioned there are red, green and yellow curries. Decide which of these you are interested in. If there is a certain dish in a restaurant that you like, for instance Garam Masala, find a recipe for that particular dish. If you are aiming for a creamy dish with lots of sauce then you need a recipe that uses sour cream or yogurt. If the curry you are thinking of is sweet is is probably a Thai curry which uses coconut milk. Also consider whether you want a spicy or a mild curry and vary your ingredients accordingly.

Once you've decided on what type of curry you want then consider what you want to put into your curry. Just about anything can go into a curry. Ingredients that work best are chicken, lamb, beef, cauliflower, peas, potatoes and onions. You can mix these ingredients, for example beef and potatoes are often used together, or just stick with a simple chicken curry. Curry often makes an excellent vegetarian dish which can use a mix of vegetables.

The key to making great curry is to experiment. One persons idea of great curry is quite different than another's. Once you've seen all the choices and varieties there is sure to be a curry that fits your taste.

© High Speed Ventures 2011