A World of Curry
Indian curry is probably the best known spicy dish of the world, but of course we have amazing masala bowls coming out of kitchens all over the place. Here we will look at a few other regions that produce their own.
Pakistani curries, especially in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh are basically similar to their counterparts in northern India. Meat, including mutton and beef, are often an ingredient. A typical Pakistani lunch or dinner often consists of some form of bread (such as naan or roti) or rice with a meat or vegetable-based curry. Barbecue style or roasted meats are also very popular in the form of kebabs.
It is worth noting that the term curry is virtually never used inside the country; instead, regional words such as salan or shorba are used to denote what is known outside the country as a “curry”. In addition, curry powder is almost never used in a Pakistani curry.
Several different types of curries exist, depending on the cooking style, such as bhuna, bharta, roghan josh, qorma, qeema, and shorba. A favourite Pakistani curry is karahi, which is either mutton or chicken cooked in a cooking utensil called karahi, which is similar in shape to a wok. Lahori karahi incorporates garlic, ginger, fresh chillies, tomatoes and select spices. Peshawari karahi is another very popular version made with just meat, salt, tomatoes, and coriander.
Bengali cuisine, which refers to the cuisine of Bangladesh and the West Bengal state of India, includes curries, including seafood and fresh fish. Mustard seeds and mustard oil are added to many recipes, as are poppy seeds. Emigrants from the Sylhet district of Bangladesh founded the curry house industry in Britain and in Sylhet some restaurants run by expatriates specialise in British style Indian food.
In the West Indies, curry is a very popular dish. The Indian indentured servants that were brought over from India by different European powers, brought this dish to the West Indies. In Jamaica and Trinidad, curried goat is prominently featured. Curry can be found at both inexpensive and upscale Caribbean restaurants, and ingredients can range from chicken or vegetables to shellfish such as shrimp and scallops. Examples of curries in the West Indies include:
- Jamaica: Especially curried chicken, goat, fish and shrimp.
- Trinidad and Tobago: Especially curried chicken, duck, goat, beef, shrimp, and “aloo” (potato), along with wild meats.
- Guyana: Curried chicken, goat, duck, shrimp, beef (eaten by Muslims and Christians), “aloo” (potato), fish (different varieties) and crab.
- Bahamas: Curried Mutton “Goat or Lamb”, Curried Chicken, Curried Porkchops.
In the Philippines, two kinds of curry traditions are seen corresponding with the cultural divide between the Westernised north and Islamised south. In the northern areas, a linear range of curry recipes could be seen. Chicken cooked in coconut milk, chillies and curry powder is the usual curry dish that northern Filipinos are familiar with. A typical northern Filipino curry dish would be usually of either pork or chicken as the meat while cooked at a similar manner as to other local dishes such as adobo, kaldereta, and mechado, patis (fish sauce), with potatoes, bay leaf, coconut milk, and sometimes lemongrass and carrots to complement.
In southern areas of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and southern Palawan, various curries are seen, and owe their origins to their non-colonised histories and thus centuries of continued contact with Indonesia, the Malay Peninsula and South Asia. These Mindanaoan curries include Kulma, synonymous with Korma, Tiyula Itum which is a beef curry blackened with burned coconut-meat powder, and Rendang, also eaten in Indonesia and Malaysia. Meats used in these curries include beef, lamb and chicken. Pork is not used in accordance with Islamic dietary laws.
Chinese curries (咖哩, gā lǐ) typically consist of chicken, beef, fish, lamb, or other meats, green peppers, onions, large chunks of potatoes, and a variety of other ingredients and spices in a mildly spicy yellow curry sauce, and topped over steamed rice. White pepper, soy sauce, hot sauce, and/or hot chili oil may be applied to the sauce to enhance the flavour of the curry.
The most common Chinese variety of curry sauce is usually sold in powder form. It seems to have descended from a Singaporean and Malaysian variety, countries which also introduced the satay sauce to the Chinese. The ethnic Cantonese (dominant in Kuala Lumpur), this yellow, Chinese-Malaysian variety was naturally introduced to China by the Cantonese, and features typically in Hong Kong cuisine, where curry is often cooked with brisket or fish balls. Malay satay seems to have been introduced to China with wider success by the ethnic Teochew, who make up the second largest group of Chinese of Singapore and are the dominant group in Thailand.
There are many different varieties of Chinese curry, depending on each restaurant. “Galimian,” (from Malaysian “curry mee” or “curry noodles,”) is also a popular Chinese curry dish.
Curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. It is commonly served in three main forms: curry rice (カレーライス karē raisu, curry over rice), curry udon (curry over noodles), and curry bread (a curry-filled pastry). Curry rice is most commonly referred to simply as “curry” (カレー karē?).
A wide variety of vegetables and meats are used to make Japanese curry. The basic vegetables are onions, carrots, and potatoes. For the meat, beef, pork, and chicken are the most popular. Katsu-karē is a breaded deep-fried cutlet (usually pork or chicken) with curry sauce.
Curry was introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868–1912) by the British, at a time when India was under the colonial rule of British Raj. The dish became popular and available for purchase in supermarkets and restaurants in the late 1960s. It has been adapted since its introduction to Japan, and is so widely consumed that it can be called a national dish.
The Brits have a long standing love affair with curry. Because of its long rule and Empire of India, the British have had a connection with the cuisine for a very long time. The U.K has a very diverse population with lots of Pakistanis, Indians, Jamaicans and Bengalis. Hence curry has become a popular dish throughout the country. So much so that it has developed its own dishes.
This is a very British dish. The word Balti means bucket. “Balti houses” are famous in Britain and especially in Birmingham.
This mild rice and fish dish is another example the British rule. Kedgeree is thought to have originated with an Indian rice-and-bean or rice-and-lentil dish Khichri, traced back to 1340 or earlier. It is widely believed that the dish was brought to the United Kingdom by returning British colonials who had enjoyed it in India and introduced it to the UK as a breakfast dish in Victorian times, part of the then fashionable Anglo-Indian cuisine. However the dish was listed as early as 1790 in the recipe book of Stephana Malcolm of Burnfoot, Dumfriesshire. The National Trust for Scotland’s book The Scottish Kitchen by Christopher Trotter notes the Malcolm recipe and other old examples, expressing the belief that the dish was devised by Scottish regiments hankering for the tastes of India.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Said to be the national dish of the U.K, Tikka Masala is eaten all over the country and for sure you could not find a curry house that does not serve it.
Brits love going out for a “Indian” but what many of them do not know is that in most cases they are being served by either Pakistanis or Bengalis. The term “Indian” just refers to curry and would include all three countries, with little to zero knowledge of the difference in the cuisine. To be fair curry in the U.K can be in many parts a fairly watered down version and much milder. Inner cities and urban areas served a much more authentic version, meaning where they have larger Pakistani, Indian or Bengali residence. The taste buds of the Brits is pretty tame so mild curries work better from a business sense for restaurant owners.
Saying this though, the Brits love Curry, with every high street in the land having a curry house, it is said the U.Ks curry industry is worth around $5 Billion.
In Thai cuisine, curries are called kaeng, and usually consist of meat, fish and/or vegetables in a sauce based on a paste made from chilies, onions or shallots, garlic, and shrimp paste. Additional spices and herbs define the type of curry. Local ingredients, such as chili peppers, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal are used and, in central and southern Thai cuisine, coconut milk. Northern and northeastern Thai curries generally do not contain coconut milk. Due to the use of sugar and coconut milk, Thai curries tend to be sweeter than Indian curries. In the West, some of the Thai curries are described by colour; red curries use red chilies while green curries use green chilies. Yellow curry—called kaeng kari (by various spellings) in Thai, of which a literal translation could be “curry soup”—is more similar to Indian curries, with the use of turmeric, cumin, and other dried spices. A few stir-fried Thai dishes also use an Indian style curry powder (Thai: phong kari).
Thai curries include – Yellow curry Massaman curry Green curry Red curry Phanaeng curry Khao soi Kaeng hang le Kaeng som
In Vietnam, curry is called cà ri. Vietnamese curry features coconut milk, potato, sweet potato, taro roots, chicken garnished with cilantro and green onion and is more soup-like than Indian curry. Goat curry also exists but only at a few specialised restaurants. The curry is usually eaten with a baguette, rice vermicelli or steamed rice. Vietnamese curry is considered a Southern food.
Being at the crossroads of ancient trade routes has left a mark on the Malaysian cuisine. While the curry may have initially found its way to Malaysian shores via the Indian population, it has since become a staple among the Malays and Chinese too. Malaysian curries differ from state to state, even within similar ethnic groupings, as they are influenced by many factors, be it cultural, religious, agricultural or economical.
Malaysian curries typically use curry powders rich in turmeric, coconut milk, shallots, ginger, belacan (shrimp paste), chili peppers, and garlic. Tamarind is also often used. Rendang is another form of curry consumed in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines; although it is drier and contains mostly meat and more coconut milk than a conventional Malaysian curry. Rendang was mentioned in Malay literature Hikayat Amir Hamzah (1550s) is popular among Indonesians, Singaporeans and Malaysians. All sorts of things are curried in Malaysia, including mutton, chicken, shrimp, cuttlefish, fish, eggplants, eggs, and vegetables.The vegetarians in Malaysia would make vegetarian curries with vegetables or tofu based products.
In Indonesia curry is called kari or kare. The most common type of kari consumed in Indonesia is kari ayam (chicken curry) and kari kambing (goat meat curry). In Aceh and North Sumatra roti cane is often eaten with kari kambing. Other dishes such as gulai and opor are dishes based on curry. They are often highly localised and reflect the meat and vegetables available. They can therefore employ a variety of meats (chicken, beef, water buffalo and goat as in the flavoursome gulai kambing), seafood (such as prawn, crab, mussel, clam, and squid), fish (tuna, mackerel, carp, pangasius, catfish), or vegetables (young jackfruit, common beans, cassava leaf) dishes in a spiced sauce. They use local ingredients such as chili peppers, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, Indonesian bay leaves (salam leaf), candlenuts, turmeric, turmeric leaves, asam gelugur and asam kandis (sour mangosteens similar to tamarind), shrimp paste (terasi), cumin, coriander seed and coconut milk. In Aceh, curries use daun salam koja or daun kari (Murraya koenigii) translated as “curry leaves”.
One popular dish, rendang from West Sumatran cuisine, is often describes as caramelised beef dry curry. In Indonesia, rendang is usually not considered to be curry since it is richer and contains less liquid than is normal for Indonesian curries. Authentic rendang uses water buffalo meat slow-cooked in thick coconut milk for a number of hours to tenderise, caramelise, and flavour the meat. Opor Ayam is another variation of curry, which tastes very similar to that of gulai. Opor is usually whitish in colour and uses neither cinnamon or turmeric, while gulai may contain either or both. Opor is also often part of a family meal around Lebaran, while gulai can be commonly found in Padang restaurants.
In Sri Lankan cuisine, rice, which is usually consumed daily, can be found at any special occasion, while spicy curries are favourite dishes for lunch and dinner. “Rice and curry” refers to a range of Sri Lankan dishes. Examples are “Chicken Curries and Pork Curries. Sri Lankan food nit just its curries is just wonderful, take a look at these videos.