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Curry is not only a dish but it is also a spice. More specifically it is a mixture of different spices. It is used in many different cuisines to make curry dishes which all taste different thanks to their unique choice of ingredients, meats, spices, and herbs. Curry is thought to always be spicy but this is not true, some curry dishes are quite mild and still manage to be flavorsome with a deep taste and pleasing aroma. So lets dive deep into
Table of Contents
- What is Curry?
- How is Curry Used in Cooking?
- Fresh Ingredients Vs Dried spices
- Curry Dish
- FAQs on What Does Curry Taste Like?
What is Curry?
Curry, more specifically curry powder, is a blended mixture of spices that are combined to make something truly unique and special. Curry can be used in an astonishingly long list of dishes and is most common for its use in Indian dishes, though it works well in so many other cuisines that it is not limited to Indian meals only. Curry originates from Southeast Asia and with time it has evolved into an all-purpose spice that adds flavor and a nice smell to stews, soups, broths, and many more dishes.
What is Curry Powder Made From?
That iconic curry taste is thanks to a whole manner of different sweet and savory spices that are blended together. This can be done surprisingly easily at home with the use of a coffee grinder and the correct spices. The main ingredients found in curry powder are;
- Ground coriander
- Ground cumin
- Black pepper
- Bay leaf
- Mustard seeds
Curry is a bit of an acquired taste and is a spice blend from different dried spice powders. Some of the ingredients are mild spices, some can be sweet spices. Curry is not to be confused with the Indian spice blend known as garam masala as this instead uses spices such as cinnamon, mace, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and cardamon pods. Both spice blends are delicious and work well in different sauce or soup base dishes. Garam masala is used in Indian cooking and Indian curry almost exclusively, whereas curry powder can be used in Japanese curry, Chinese curry, and Thai and Indian curries. Curry powder is a bit more versatile and can be used in all cuisines including Indian cuisine.
Nutritional Benefits of Curry
Other than being known as a culinary flavor bomb, curry has a lot of health benefits to offer anyone who consumes it. One of the major ingredients, turmeric, is known for giving the curry its distinctive color. Alongside this, turmeric also has been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and is also an anti-inflammatory. There is a chemical in turmeric known as curcumin which is a very powerful antioxidant. Curcumin counteracts the effects of inflammation-causing enzymes by lowering the body’s levels of them. Because of this, some doctors and medical experts suggest that turmeric is an incredibly good painkiller.
Curcumin’s health properties do not end there. The antioxidant benefits that it contains are also good for preventing diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Sclerosis. Neurodegenerative conditions can also be helped by turmeric as it has a chemical called turmerone in it that is known for stimulating stem cells to make new brain cells.
Curry can also help improve digestion as the black pepper and other spices are good for the gut. They can also help you pass gas and make more stomach acid. This is also helpful for anyone suffering from nausea or diarrhea as the spices help against those as well. Some of the spices in curry are known as vasodilators which help maintain a healthy heart as well as lowering your blood pressure. A healthy heart keeps the risk of cardiovascular diseases minimized. These diseases include strokes and heart attacks.
What Does Curry Taste Like?
Curry tastes very differently depending on where you get it and who makes it. There is no exact recipe to make it so some people may use other spices that you are not used to. As long as the flavor and color are vibrant, then it is curry. While it may be an acquired taste at first, you will eventually get used to curry and appreciate the depth of its flavor. The curry taste has the potential to have a slightly sweet flavor if the correct spices are used, or it may be different if there are sweet and savory spices being used. Curry is not all about the heat so there is meant to be a nice flavor beneath all of the heat and spice. Curry spices will typically be producing a well-balanced flavor profile that is warm and has a deep earthy flavor.
You can almost imagine the flavor for yourself if you look at the ingredients. While it is a unique flavor, it is made up of a lot of familiar flavors such as the taste of a bay leaf, green bell peppers, and turmeric.
How is Curry Used in Cooking?
Curry is used so often in cooking thanks to its versatility. There are almost endless ways to use it as the flavor is so good that you can use it as a seasoning for whatever you wish. Instead of seasoning your standard meal with salt and pepper, it would be just as tasty to season it with curry instead.
One of the most popular ways to use curry is as a marinade. This is where you let some meat soak up all the flavors of your marinade for a while. It seeps deep into the meat and evenly flavors it before you start cooking. This is also how curried chicken is made, as the meat is marinated in curry overnight or for a few hours before being cooked.
Curry is also used in the famous dish known as a chicken tikka masala where it is paired with coconut milk and other ingredients to produce a warm and hearty meal with flavored chicken and a deep sauce, usually presented with rice on the side. Using this as inspiration, curry can also be used to add flavor to any sauce, soup, stew, or broth that needs an extra hint of flavor.
It may seem unconventional, but curry is best used when thrown into dishes at random where it is not usually expected. A potato salad or a hamburger can be greatly improved with just a hint of flavor from curry. Curry can also greatly help as a secondary flavor in a dish when paired with flavor bombs such as garlic and onions. When the curry flavor is an afterthought and not the overpowering force of a dish, it can really shine and surprise people with how delicious it is.
Fresh Ingredients Vs Dried spices
If you are wanting to dabble at making your own curry that is perfected just for you, then I heavily recommend that you use fresh ingredients over any store-bought curry powders or ingredients. I say this because fresh ingredients will always taste better and outshine the pre-made powders. One of the reasons curry tastes so great is because it is a labor of love and has been perfectly crafted and refined by experts for ages, using low-quality ingredients and a quick shortcut will produce nothing but mediocrity. If you have curry leaves then they can be used to add more authenticity to your curry.
You will have to constantly taste your curry to see if you have perfected it yet or not, as only you can tell what truly makes it suitable for you. As long as turmeric is your main ingredient, the rest of the spices are up to you. Add them in little quantities and try each spice a tiny bit before you add it to see if you like it, consider this a form of art. Depending on what you use, your curry can have a light and mild flavor, or it can be spicy and intense. Both are suitable, but it is ultimately down to what you want it to end up like.
Many delicious curry recipes exist for the dish. It is easy to get curry, the powder, mixed up with curry, the dish. The dish, curry, belongs in many different cuisines as it has adapted over time. The dish originated in India and was then spread globally by many different countries and empires, one of them being Britain. The dish has been changed in almost every country to suit their preferences. Some curry dishes are a thick sauce over some food, whereas other countries make dry curry where the sauce is reduced so much that it hardens on the surface of the meat and can only be tasted once bitten into.
The curry dish, whether it be Indian curry, Japanese curry, or United Kingdom British curry, has some basic rules so that it is definitely curry and not a similar dish. The rules of making curry are;
- The base. Almost all bases consist of ginger, garlic, or onion
- The spices. There is always a different mix and blend of spices, turmeric is oftentimes the main one
- The fat. This helps bind and ehnace the flavors, so a fat such as oil, butter, or cream is needed. Coconut milk is a popular choice
- The acid. To add acidity and depth to the meal lemon, lime, or yogurt is added
- The heat. This refers to spice, not temperature. The dish will be either mild or spicy, so what kinds of heat are added will depend on the goal
- The protein. Almost al curry will have protein in it to make it a well rounded and balanced meal. This can be either meat or a plant-bsaed protein such as beans
There are other things you can do to change your curry, such as decide the thickness and viscosity of the sauce. This can be done by either watering the sauce down or by adding a thickening agent such as more cream or cornflour.
FAQs on What Does Curry Taste Like?
Is curry supposed to be spicy?
Whether you refer to the curry powder or the curry dish, neither must be spicy by definition. It is all about flavor and tasting good. Some people will choose to add relatively spicy ingredients to each, whereas others will opt for a more mild outcome instead.
Is it healthy to eat curry?
The dish is typically very well rounded with proteins and carbohydrates and is certainly not unhealthy. The spices found in curry also prove to have some good health benefits. There is a certain lack of fiber in curry so if you make sure to add some vegetables or fruit to your diet, then curry is completely healthy.
How does curry smell like?
Depending on the spices and ingredients used, curry will smell differently. For the most part curry will have a deep earthy aroma that will be incredibly pleasing and irresistible.