Curries – Curry Types, Curry Theory, Regional Variations, Procedures, etc…

There are 4 Main Types of Curries:

  • Thai Curry
  • Japanese Curry
  • Indian Curry
  • Variations of the Above

Other Types of Curries:

  • Korean
  • Malaysian
  • Vietnamese
  • Indonesian
  • Chinese
  • Laos
  • Khmer
  • Burmese
  • Philippine
  • Nepalese
  • Bangladeshi
  • Sri Lankan
  • Pakistani/ Balti
  • Afghani
  • West Indies
  • British / Western-Style

Curry Overview:

  • Curry is used to describe a dish of meat, poultry, seafood, and or vegetable, cooked with a variety of Spices
  • You can Create Your Own Blend of Curry Spices according to your liking
    • The Main Spices in a Curry Powder are:
      • Cumin Seeds, Roasted
      • Coriander Seeds, Roasted
      • Cardamon Pods, Roasted
      • Turmeric Powder
      • ** Some may have only Cumin & Coriander, or only Coriander & Cardamon, or Only Turmeric Cumin & Coriander, Etc.. its up to you, or the dish
    • Other Dry Spices Vary depending on Region and type of dish, but include:
      • Cinnamon Sticks / Powdered Cinnamon
      • Black Pepper Corns / Black Pepper Powder
      • White Pepper Corns / White pepper Powder
      • Star anise / Anise Powder
      • Allspice
      • Nutmeg, Grated / Powdered
      • Fenugreek Seeds
      • Fenugreek Leaf
      • Bay Leaf
      • Mace
      • Mustard Seeds
      • Cocoa powder
      • Cloves
      • Paprika
      • Fennel Seeds
      • Sage
      • Oregano
      • Marjoram
      • Thyme
      • Savory, etc
      • Dried Chilies
      • Dried Roasted Chilies
      • Dried Galangal / Dried Blue Ginger
      • Chili / Cayenne pepper
      • Saffron
    • Fresh Ingredients in Curry Paste may Include:
      • Fresh Turmeric
      • Fresh Red Turmeric
      • Shallots / Roasted Shallots
      • Garlic / Roasted Garlic
      • Ginger Root
      • Lesser Ginger Root / Chinese Finger Ginger Root
      • Asafoetida / Giant Fennel or Powder
      • Lemon Grass, Lower 1/3
      • Thai Shrimp Paste / Shrimp Paste
      • Fresh Galangal / Blue Ginger
      • Kaffir Lime Zest/ Lime Zest / Lemon Zest
      • Coriander Root
      • Corriander Stems
      • Curry Leaves / Sweet Neem Leaves / Black Neem Leaves
      • Fresh Green Chilies / Fresh Roasted Green Chilies
      • Fresh Red Chilies / Fresh Roasted Red Chilies
      • Fenugreek Leaves
      • Fennel
      • Sage
      • Oregano
      • Marjoram
      • Thyme
      • Savory, etc
      • Green Peppercorns
      • Poppy Seeds
    • Additional Flavoring Ingredients added to Curry Dishes are:
      • Fresh Sweet Basil / Purple basil
      • Baby Eggplant / Aubergine Eggplant
      • Long Eggplant
      • Fish Sauce
      • Coconut Milk
      • Coconut Cream
      • Salt / Sea Salt / Flake Salt
      • White Sugar / Brown Sugar / Palm Sugar / Coconut Sugar / Whole Cane
      • Sugar –
      • Jaggery
      • Honey
      • Kaffir Lime Slices / Wedges
      • Kaffir Lime Leaves / Lime Leaves / Lemon Leaves, Torn or Slivered
      • Kaffir Lime Juice / Lime Juice / Lemon Juice
      • Roasted or Raw Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, or other Nuts
      • Cherry Tomatoes
      • Seedless Grapes
      • Raisins
      • Pineapple
      • Jackfruit
      • Bananas
      • Mango
      • Green Mango
      • Tamarind
      • Fish Tamarind
      • Tamarind Paste
      • Tamarind Water
      • Tamarind Pulp
      • Pickled Chili Peppers
      • Cilantro
      • Soy Sauce
      • Apple, Grated
      • Crushed Tomatoes / Wedged Tomatoes
      • Tomato paste
      • Yoghurts
      • Milks
      • Wine Vinegar / Rice Vinegar / Malt Vinegar / Other Vinegar
      • Vegetable Oil / Olive Oil / Peanut Oil / Mustard Oil / Grapeseed Oil
      • Sherry / Other Wine
      • Clarified Butter
      • Browned Clarified Butter / Ghee
      • Desiccated Coconut
      • Grated Coconut
      • Peanut Butter
      • Hard-Boiled Egg
      • Flour / Chick-Pea Flour / Other Flour
      • Mustard Paste
      • Pandanus Flowers
      • Pandanus Leaf
      • Hibiscus Flowers
      • Taro Leaves
      • Spinach
      • Starch, Vegetables and other Main Ingredient Additions
      • White / Red Potato
      • Carrot
      • Green Garden Peas
      • French-Cut Green Beans
      • White / Yellow / Red Onions
      • Straw Mushrooms / Button mushrooms / Brown Mushrooms, etc..
      • Pumpkin or other Winter Squash
      • Bitter Melon
      • Bell Pepper
      • Dry Beans / Kidney Beans, Black Beans etc
      • Dry Lentils / Black Lentils
      • Dry Peas / Black-Eyed Peas
      • Cucumber
      • Zucchini or other Summer Squash
      • Bottle Gourd / Other Gourd
      • Chick-Peas
      • Tofu
      • Rice
      • Noodles
      • Animal Products (omitted)
      • Celery
      • Yam
      • Sweet potato
      • Corn Kernels
      • Cauliflower
      • Broccoli

Thai Curry:

  • Characteristics:
    • Thai Curries Often use Pastes or a combinations of Pastes and Dried Powder Curry Mixtures
    • Thai Curry Pastes are often made from Fresh or Dried Chili Peppers, Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds, Turmeric, Garlic, Ginger or Finger Ginger, Shallots, Lemon Grass, Galangal, Lime Leaf or Zest, & Shr!mp Paste
    • Coconut Milk, Basil, Lime Wedges, Lime Juice, & F!sh Sauce, are some other Special Ingredients Often Found in Thai Curries
    • The Curry is Usually Light, Soupy, and a Thin Consistency, rather than being Thick & Hearty like other Curries
    • The Curry Sauce Usually Separates from the Coconut Milk in Thai Curries
    • Main Vegetables are Usually Potato, Pumpkin, Eggplant etc..
    • Fruits such as Grapes, Pineapple, Mango, Jackfruit, etc are often added to Thai Curry Sauces
    • Cooking Times are Short Compared to other Curries
  • 5 Main Types of Thai Curries:
    • Green Curry
    • Yellow Curry
    • Red Curry
    • Penang Curry
    • Massaman (muslim) Curry
  • Curry Pastes – Basic Examples:
    • Green Thai Curry Paste May Include some of these Common Ingredients:
      • Large Fresh Green Chilies, Seeds removed
      • Small Fresh Green Chilies, Seeds removed
      • Sea Salt
      • Shallots
      • Garlic
      • Galangal
      • Lemon Grass
      • Lime Zest
      • Coriander Root
      • White Peppercorns
      • Roasted Coriander Seeds
      • Coriander Stems & / or Root
      • Roasted Cumin Seeds
      • Shr!mp Paste
    • Red Thai Curry Paste May Include some of these Common Ingredients:
      • Small Fresh Red Chilies, Seeds removed
      • Dried Chilies, Soaked, Seeds removed
      • Sea Salt
      • Lemon Grass
      • Garlic
      • Shallots
      • Lime Zest
      • Fresh Turmeric Root
      • Roasted Coriander Seeds
      • Roasted Cardamon Pods
      • Black Peppercorns
      • Galangal
        Shr!mp Paste
    • Yellow Thai Curry Paste May Include some of these Common Ingredients:
      • Dried Chilies, Soaked, Seeds removed
      • Shallots
      • Garlic
      • Ginger
      • Galangal
      • Roasted Coriander Seeds
      • Roasted Cumin Seeds
      • Roasted Cardamon Pods
      • Turmeric Powder
      • Turmeric Root
      • Sea Salt
      • Shr!mp Paste
      • Lemon Grass
      • Black or White Peppercorns
      • Cloves
      • Cinnamon
    • Thai Penang (Penang, Malaysian) Curry Paste May Include some of these
      • Common Ingredients:
      • Dried Chilies, Soaked, Seeds removed
      • Roasted Green Chili Peppers
      • Roasted Coriander Seeds
      • Roasted Cumin Seeds
      • Roasted Cardamon Pods
      • Mace, Roasted
      • Black Peppercorns
      • Sea Salt
      • Shr!mp Paste
    • Thai Massaman (Muslim) Curry Paste May Include some of these Common Ingredients:
      • Dried Roasted Chilies, Seeds removed, Pan Roasted
      • Roasted Coriander Seeds
      • Roasted Cumin Seeds
      • Nutmeg
      • Cinnamon
      • Cloves
      • Garlic
      • Shallot
      • Galangal
      • Lemon Grass
      • Coriander Root
      • Lime Zest
      • White or Black Peppercorn
      • Sea Salt
      • Shr!mp Paste
  • Making Thai Curry Dishes – Basic Examples:
    • Common Ingredients:
      • Cooking Oil
      • Main Ingredient
      • Green Curry Paste
      • Coconut Milk
      • Torn Lime Leaves
      • Baby Eggplant, Quartered – or Long Eggplant, Cubed
      • Fresh Sliced Green Chilies
      • Basil, Spinach, or Taro Leaf
      • F!sh Sauce
      • Sugar
      • Ground Roasted Nuts
      • Raw Nuts
      • Potato
      • Eggplant
      • Pumpkin
      • Tamarind
      • Green Peppercorns
      • etc..
    • Basic Cooking Procedure I for Thai Curries:
      • Heat the Cooking Oil
      • Saute the Curry Paste in the Oil
      • Add 1/2 – 1/3 of the total Coconut Milk, little by little
      • Add the Main Items & Lime Leaves
      • Bring Slowly to a Simmer
      • Add Remaining Coconut Milk, Fish Sauce, Sugar & Tamarind
      • Bring Slowly to a Simmer Again
      • Add Eggplants and/ or Other Vegetable or Green Peppercorn
      • Simmer until all vegetables are tender
      • Add in Basil or Shredded Spinach, Chilies, & Roasted nuts
      • Remove from heat, and let rest for Basil & Chili Flavor set in
      • Serve with Rice, Garnish with Fresh Basil or Cilantro, and Slices of Fresh Chili Pepper
    • Basic Cooking Procedure II for Thai Curries:
      • Heat the Cooking Oil
      • Saute the Curry Paste in the Oil
      • Add the Main Items & Continue to Saute Briefly until Lightly  Browned
      • Add 1/2 – 1/3 of the total Coconut Milk, little by little
      • Add Lime Leaves
      • Bring Slowly to a Simmer
      • Add Remaining Coconut Milk, Fish Sauce, Sugar, & Tamarind
      • Bring Slowly to a Simmer Again
      • Add Eggplants and/ or Other Vegetable or Green Peppercorn
      • Simmer until all vegetables are tender
      • Add in Basil or Shredded Spinach, Chilies, & Roasted nuts
      • Remove from heat, and let rest for Basil & Chili Flavor set in
      • Serve with Rice, Garnish with Fresh Basil or Cilantro, and Slices of Fresh Chili Pepper
    • Basic Cooking Procedure III for Thai Curries:
      • Bring 1/2 the Coconut Milk to a Simmer, until it begins to separate
      • Mix the Curry Paste with a little water or coconut milk to dilute it
      • Add the Curry Paste into the Coconut Milk, return to a Simmer a few minutes until the Paste is cooked
      • Add the Main Items & simmer until partly cooked
      • Add the other 1/2 of the Coconut Milk, and return to a simmer
      • Add Lime Leaves, Fish Sauce, & Sugar, and Tamarind
      • Bring Slowly to a Simmer Again
      • Add Eggplants and/ or Other Vegetable or Green Peppercorn
      • Simmer until all vegetables are tender
      • Add in Basil or Shredded Spinach, Chilies, & Roasted nuts
      • Remove from heat, and let rest for Basil & Chili Flavor set in
      • Serve with Rice, Garnish with Fresh Basil or Cilantro, and Slices of Fresh Chili Pepper
    • Basic Cooking Procedure IV for Thai Curries:
      • Boil the Main Items, and any raw nuts, for up to 1 hour, save broth
      • Boil Potato, Pumpkin, or Other Vegetable Separately, drain
      • Heat Cooking Oil
      • Saute the Curry Paste in the Oil
      • Add 1/2 – 1/3 of the total Coconut Milk, little by little
      • Add Boiled Main Items & Nuts with desired amount of broth
      • Add the remainder of the Coconut Milk, and return to a simmer
      • Add Lime Leaves, Fish Sauce, Sugar, Tamarind and any par-boiled Vegetables
      • Bring Slowly to a Simmer Again
      • Add in Basil or Shredded Spinach, Chilies, & Roasted nuts
      • Remove from heat, and let rest for Basil & Chili Flavor set in
      • Serve with Rice, Garnish with Fresh Basil or Cilantro, and Slices of Fresh Chili Pepper
    • Add vegetables according to cooking time
    • Use Common Sense in putting Items in order into the Curry, according to how long they will take to cook
    • Select either Galangal or Ginger, as both have similar flavors, or select one of Shallots or Onions, rather than both, Lime Or Lemon, White or Black pepper, etc..
    • Adjust Seasoning & Flavor at the End of Cooking using some of the Following:
      • Sour – Tamarind, Lime Juice, Lime Wedges, Lemon Juice, Lemon Wedges, Vinegar, etc
      • Salt – Vegan Fish Sauce, savory Paste, Soy Sauce, Flake Salt, etc
      • Sweet – Sugar, Brown Sugar, Honey, etc
      • Undertones – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves,
      • Overtones – Black pepper, White Pepper
      • Fragrant – Basil Leaves, Cilantro Leaves, etc..
      • Heat – Fresh Chili, Chili Paste, Chili Sauce, etc..
      • Creaminess – Peanut Butter, Coconut Milk, etc

Japanese Curry:

  • Characteristics:
    • Thick & Hearty
    • Introduced to Japan from the British, who took it from India back to England and modified it for British tastes, which was again modified for Japanese Tastes
    • Made like Western Stews
    • Japanese Curry Sauce is Thickened with Roux, like Stews are
    • Japanese Curry Sauce usually contains some tomato product, like Stews do
    • The Sauce doesn’t Separate like in Thai Curries
    • The Sauce is Usually as Thick as other Western Sauces, Soups, Stews, Etc..
    • The Curry Powder itself is much like Indian Curry
    • The Vegetables Used are Similar to Other Western Stews
    • The Curry Sauce often Contains Apples dissolved into the Sauce, for Body & Flavor
    • Its More like Western Food, A Western Sauce, than it is “Asian”
  • Basics of Japanese Curry Powder:
    • Similar to Thai & Indian Curry
    • More Similar to Indian Curry than Thai Curry
    • May Contain Some of the Following:
      • Turmeric
      • Coriander
      • Cumin
      • Cardamon
      • Black Pepper
      • Chili Pepper
      • Clove
      • Fennel
      • Cinnamon
      • Star Anise
      • Allspice
      • Nutmeg
      • Fenugreek
      • Bay Leaf
      • Sage / Oregano / or Other Herb
  • Basics of Japanese Curry Sauce:
    • The Roux is Made while Vegetables are Sauteing, the same as Western
      Sauces are Made
    • The Curry Powder and Other Dried Ingredients are added to the Oil &
      Vegetables, before making the Roux
    • A Tomato Product is Usually incorporated, such as:
      • Boiled, Peeled, and Minced Tomato
      • Canned Crushed Tomato
      • Finely Chopped Fresh Tomato
      • Tomato Sauce
      • Tomato paste
      • Ketchup
    • A Fruit Product is Also Typically Incorporated into Japanese Curries, Such as:
      • Boiled, Peeled, Cored, Crushed Apple
      • Boiled, Peeled, Cored, Crushed Pear or Japanese Pear
      • Grated or Minced Fresh Peeled & Cored Apple
      • Grated or Minced Fresh Peeled & Cored Pear or Japanese Pear
      • Sauteed Apple or Pear
      • Apple Sauce
      • Pear Puree
      • Apple Cider
      • Pear Juice
    • Main Curry Vegetables & other Fresh Ingredients included in Japanese Curries are:
      • Potato
      • Carrot
      • Onion
      • Garlic
      • Ginger
      • Bell Pepper
      • Chili Pepper
      • Bitter Melon
      • Long Eggplant
      • Straw Mushrooms
      • Fresh or Frozen Peas
      • Fresh or Frozen Corn Kernels
    • Other Flavorings which may be added into the Curry Sauce
      • Worcestershire Sauce
      • Cinnamon Sticks
      • Star Anise
      • Cloves
  • Basics Procedure for Making Japanese Curry:
    • Cut all meat and Vegetables into Similar Sizes
    • Heat enough Oil for Roux in a Heavy-Bottomed pan
    • Add Onion & Garlic
    • Add Curry Powder & Dry Seasoning ingredients to Oil
    • Add Meat and Continue to Fry
    • Add Carrot, & Eggplant if used..
    • Add Apple or Pear Product
    • Add Flour to Make Roux
      • Make Brown Roux for a Darker Curry
      • Make Blonde Roux for Lighter Curry
    • Add Tomato Paste or Tomato Product & Sugar, and Begin to Caramelize
    • Slowly mix in Broth
    • Add Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise, Bay Leaf, and other Whole Spice Items to the
    • Liquid
    • Add Bell Pepper, Mushroom, etc..
    • Add Seafood
    • Simmer Until Thickened
    • Adjust Seasonings

Indian Curry:

  • Characteristics:
    • Indian Curries are Often Made in the Pan, without Prior Mixing into Powders
    • They Incorporate a Wide Variety of Ingredients Found in Both Japanese & Thai Curries
    • Tomato is Often Used, as is Coconut, Yoghurt, Lemon Juice, Fresh Cilantro, etc..
    • Roux is Not usually made for Indian Curries
    • Indian Curries are Typically Well Fried, and are more Oily
    • Indian Curries generally use as Little Liquid as Possible, Less than Thai Curries, only the Minimum Amount
    • Indian Curries rely on Oil and Liquid Reduction from Longer Simmering Times for Thickening
    • Coconut, Milk Curd, & Yoghurt are also often used as thickening agents
    • Yoghurt is often Fried int he beginning Stages until the liquid Dries up, then a small amount of water is added for the duration of cooking
    • Broth is usually made in the Dish itself, and is the main liquid; Cow’s or Goat’s Milk is Sometimes also used as All or part of the Liquid, so is Cream, and also Coconut Milk
    • Curries are usually cooked in thick Cast-Iron pans, and are often Covered and Left atop Coals, or in Ovens
  • Basics of Indian Curries:
    • Main Curry Ingredients are typically some of the Following:
      • Turmeric
      • Coriander Seeds
      • Cardamon Pods
      • Cumin Seeds
      • Black Peppercorns
      • White Peppercorns
    • Some Curry Dish Main Items are:
      • Dry Lentils Curry
      • Dry Beans Curry
      • Dry Peas Curry
      • Green Mango Curry
      • Assorted Vegetables Curry, including some of the following:
        • French-Cut Beans
        • Garden Peas
        • Yam
        • Cucumber
        • Gourd
        • Carrot
        • Bananas
        • Tomatoes
        • Bell Pepper
      • Mushroom Curry
      • Okra Curry
      • Jackfruit Curry
      • Tofu Curry
      • Potato Curry
      • Eggplant Curry
      • Bitter Gourd Curry
    • Other Accompanying Ingredients:
      • Ground Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Cashews, other Nuts
      • Poppy Seeds
      • Onion
      • Sugar, Brown Sugar
      • Paprika
      • Cinnamon
      • Garlic
      • Chili Pepper
      • Coriander Leaves, Cilantro
      • Coriander Root
      • Mint Leaves
      • Bay Leaf
      • Curry Leaf, Neem Leaf
      • Fenugreek Leaves
      • Fennel
      • Mustard Seeds
      • Mustard paste
      • Ginger
      • Saffron
      • Lemon Juice
      • Lemon Wedges
      • Tomato Paste
      • Tomato Puree
      • Tamarind Pulp
      • Vinegar
      • Plain Yoghurt
      • Milk
      • Cream
      • Coconut Milk
      • Grated Coconut
      • Apple
      • Celery
      • “Masala” Powder – Typical Ingredients
        • 4 sticks of cinnamon
        • 1/2 cup cardamon pods
        • 1/3 cup cloves
        • 1/3 cumin
        • 1/4 cup coriander
        • 1/3 cup black pepper
        • 1/3 cup white pepper
    • Basic Indian Curry I Procedure:
      • Heat oil in a Pan
      • Fry Dry Seasonings
      • Add Fragrant Vegetables and Fry Further
      • Add Main Ingredients and Continue Frying
      • Add Yoghurt or Tomato Paste or Puree, And Fry until Liquid is Gone
      • Add Small Amount of Liquid
      • Add Other Vegetables
      • Simmer until Reduced & Items are Done
    • Basic Indian Curry II Procedure:
      • Heat oil in a Pan
      • Fry Dry Seasonings
      • Add Fragrant Vegetables and Fry Further
      • Add Main Items and Continue Frying
      • Add Coconut Milk, Other Milk, Water, Broth, or Other Liquid
      • Add Other Vegetables
      • Simmer until Reduced & Items are Done

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