Around The World In 6 Curries
Curry is defined as a dish prepared or flavoured with a sauce of hot-tasting spices. And although curry is synonymous with the Indian sub-continent, there are variations of curries around the world. From Japan to Trinidad, each region has a unique take on this deeply flavoured and brightly spiced food the world loves so much.
Let's take a trip around the world in 6 curries to get an idea of each culture and how they celebrate this versatile food.
Arguably the best-known curries come from the Indian subcontinent, although there are so many different styles from within this country it would take a lifetime to explore them all. One such recipe that has become a symbol of Indian curry around the world is chicken Tikka. Small pieces of boneless chicken are skewered and marinated in a mixture of curry spice and yoghurt which are cooked in a traditional coal oven before being served with rice or local flatbreads.
One of South Africa's most famous curries has got to be the Cape Malay curry. The Cape Malay people come from a vibrant collection of intricately woven cultures and beliefs that began as a displaced population and thrived into a community with fantastic food to help tell their story. Cape Malay curries are typically served with spiced yellow rice and dishes are often laden with plump, sweet sultanas or aromatic cinnamon. The sauces are usually sweet and are perfect served over fresh white fish or chicken on the bone.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Caribbean is also known for its fiery flavours and passionate people. In Trinidad and Tobago, their local take on chicken curry is hot, to say the least. If there is one ingredient you cannot cook curry without in the Caribbean, it's fresh chilli and the hotter, the better. This curry uses potatoes and a curry paste made from powdered spices, fresh herbs and chillies. If you like it hot, this is the curry for you.
In Japan they have several variations of curry but one stands out for its uniqueness. It’s called karee pan, which essentially means curry bread. It consists of Japanese style curry, which is characteristically quite mild and uses vegetables and meats like beef mince in this case, as the base. The curry is encased in dough, coated in bread crumbs and finally deep-fried – although it is occasionally baked too.
Thai curries are usually made with a coconut-milk sauce or broth that is composed of regional ingredients. Lime, fish sauce, lemongrass coriander, chilli and ginger are a few common additives in Thai curries. In Thailand, the dishes are usually spiced with a paste and are characterised by their colour. They come in three main colours – red, green and yellow. Proteins and vegetables can be interchanged around the core of these different coloured bases.
Food is often a snapshot of local culture – expressing the sentiments, traditions and product the landscape has to offer. Curry recipes around the world may look different, but they all serve the same purpose, to fill tummies and warm hearts.