Curry flavor remains one of the most valuable seasonings in the kitchen. The flavorful seasoning doesn’t just make your food delicious but provides an irresistible aroma and captivating appearance.
As a new and inexperienced cook, it might be challenging to find the right curry flavor for your food as there are many of them in the market.
Hence, we have chosen to discuss extensively the types of curry available in the market;
the differences between curry paste and curry powder; the type of curry paste, and their importance to food and the body. Sure you can’t wait to see what we’ve got for you, so let’s get started.
What is Curry?
Most people often take curry to be a seasoning, not knowing the difference between curry and curry flavor.
To clear the misconception, curry isn’t a seasoning or a specific dish. Instead, curry is a generally accepted term used for any cuisine containing the spiced sauce. It could be meat, tofu, or an aromatic vegetable.
In a concise meaning, curry is any dish or cuisine cooked with curry powder or curry paste. Having said that, some of the best curry dishes in the world are Tikka Masala, Korma, Rogan Josh, Madras, Jalfrezi, Vindaloo, Balti, Bhuna, Pasanda, Dopiaza, Panang, and Butter Chicken.
What Are Curry Flavors?
Curry flavors are the seasonings used in preparing the curry dishes above. They are one of the most vital ingredients in curry cuisines.
There are two categories of curry flavors, including curry powder and curry paste. Read on to discover the differences between them.
What Are The Differences Between Curry Power And Curry Paste
You may have seen an experienced chef choose curry paste over curry powder, and you can’t help but wonder what the difference between the two is.
Just as the name implies, curry paste is slightly wet. You need to dilute it with water before use to get a good result.
Curry powder, on the other hand, is a powdered ingredient that requires oil and water to produce a great result. Curry paste features high heat intensity due to the chili peppers in it.
On the contrary, curry powder doesn’t have any chili contents and its heat level is at the lowest minimum. Aside from the differences above, both ingredients have other components and contents in common.
Types Of Curry Pastes
There are three significant types of curry pastes. These include red curry paste, yellow curry paste and green curry paste.
1. Red Curry Paste
This is inarguably the tastiest curry pastes. Its versatility makes it suitable for diverse dishes in Asia Europe and other continents.
Red curry paste features at least 20 red chili peppers, which explains why it is hot. However, like modern chefs, you might decide to replace some chilies with chili powder or tomato sauce to enhance their color and taste.
Other ingredients present in the Red curry paste include garlic, sea salt, lemongrass, turmeric, and shrimp paste. Interestingly, you can make a plant-based version using ingredients that are easily obtained in the US and beyond.
You might equally choose the authentic one made from other ingredients. That being said, let’s answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Red curry paste.
What does red curry paste taste like?
A typical red curry paste tastes like ginger and garlic. The spicy paste contains a considerable amount of ginger and garlic; hence it unsurprisingly tastes like them.
What is red curry paste made of?
As mentioned earlier, red curry paste contains various chilies among other ingredients like ball pepper, garlic, ginger, and green onion or shallot, turmeric, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and black peppercorn.
You may decide to add lemon juice, lime, and lime zest if you want a bit of acidity in the paste although it is optional.
How To Make Red Curry Paste
Making red curry pastes isn’t a tough task as long as you have all the required ingredients mentioned already. Observe the following step-by-step guidelines to make a unique, spicy, and delicious paste.
- Step 1: Obtain All The Ingredients: Get all the ingredients in the right proportion. The amount of each ingredient depends on your preference and choice
We believe you know what is best for you. Nonetheless, check the image below if it’s too difficult to know the right measurements.
- Step 2: Get rid of all stems and seeds from your chilies.
- Step 3: Soak the chilies in warm water after tearing them into smaller fragments. Ensure the chilies stays in the water for 10 minutes.
- Step 4: While soaking the chilies, put other ingredients, including shallots, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, pepper, and salt into a blender’s bowl or inside a food processor.
- Step 5: Add the soaked chilies to the ingredients in the blender or food processor.
- Step 6: Grind the ingredients until they are smooth and evenly mixed. That’s all.
- Step 7: Store the freshly-made red curry in a safe container, and put it in the fridge.
Is red curry paste spicy?
Red curry paste is inarguably the spiciest among the three Thai curry pastes, thanks to its tasty constituents.
Garlic and ginger are known for their tasty attributes, while onions don’t need a special introduction as one of the tastiest and delicious ingredients in the kitchen.
Does Red Curry Taste like coconut?
Red curry naturally doesn’t taste like coconut. It tastes more like ginger and garlic combined.
However, the cuisine sometimes determines red curry’s final taste.
For instance, Dopiaza’s taste differs from Pasanda’s even if both are flavored with red curry paste. It is believed that red curry paste tastes like coconut if it’s added to Chicken sauce.
It is also important you know that adding coconut milk to the Red curry paste will change the ingredient’s taste to something different. In this case, the red curry might end up tasting like coconut.
What is the flavor of red curry paste?
The flavor of Red curry paste simply means the recipes present in the tasty paste.
The red curry paste is spicy, meaning it contains some spicy flavors and ingredients, such as garlic, sea salt, lemongrass, turmeric, combined in the right formation or proportion.
Is red curry the same as Panang?
No! Panang curry isn’t the same as red curry. Though both are in color, they have different tastes. Red curry is hotter than Panang as it contains different chilies in higher quantities.
Red curry paste is spicier than Panang as a result of the various red chilies present in it. On the contrary, Panang doesn’t contain many red chilies. It contains peanuts and coconut cream which combine to reduce its spiciness.
Meanwhile, peanuts and coconut contents in the Panang curry don’t have negative effects on the paste.
They enhance the sweetness and thickness, thereby making it one of the most versatile and valuable curries pastes in Asian countries. So, It’s safe to say that Panang is thicker, sweeter, and more attractive than the red curry paste.
Which curry paste is not spicy?
Though all the curry three pastes are spicy, the yellow paste is less spicy among them. It doesn’t contain many spicy ingredients like green and red curry pastes.
In most cases, coconut milk is added to yellow curry to increase the sweetness, richness, and cream, which often leads to loss of spiciness.
Some of its components, including Palm sugar and cinnamon, also play a key role in reducing its spiciness.
2. Green Curry Paste
Here is the second type of curry paste you would come across in Thai and beyond. It is made from green chilies which are largely responsible for its green color.
It is very hot and spicy, although not as spicy as the red curry paste. Talking of hotness, the green curry paste comes first in the ranking. It’s closely followed by the Red curry while the yellow curry comes third.
Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about the green curry paste and their answers.
What is green curry paste made of?
Green curry paste contains all the ingredients present in the red curry paste except red chilies. It is made up of green chili and other ingredients including ball pepper, garlic, ginger, and green onion or shallot, turmeric, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and black peppercorn.
How to make Green Curry paste
There are a few differences between green curry paste and red curry. They both have the same manufacturing processes; hence, you should follow the steps already discussed.
How To Use Green Curry Paste
Green curry paste is used for different purposes, including adding it to curry dishes and stews. Other ways to use green curry paste are:
1. Used In Preparing Soups
The Thai green curry paste is used in soups due to its flavor and sweetness. With the paste’s coconut milk and flavourful attribute, you won’t have to simmer your soup for long.
The green curry paste is most suitable for Thai coconut soup and Heidi Swanson’s summer squash soup.
2. Used In Seafood Dishes for more Flavor
Seafood dishes are well known for their flavor, aroma, and delicious taste. Add the green curry paste to your seafood to increase the flavor.
You should spread it on white or shrimp fish before steaming it in banana leaves. You can equally use as a saucy base for clam dish.
3. It Is Used In Noodles
Green curry, like other Thai curry paste, can be used as a base for fried noodles. Add a bit of the green curry containing coconut milk and stir vigorously until you are satisfied with the end product.
Alternatively, you can soak up your noodles in a stew made with curry. It’s suitable for Khao Soi, a Thai cuisine consisting of egg Noodles with Rich Chicken Curry Sauce.
4. It’s Used In Spicy Salad Dressing
Here is another way to use green curry paste. Blend the curry, add it into yogurt or mayonnaise.
Ensure you include some acid, like vinegar or lime juice, before whisking the mixture vigorously to give a creamier salad dressing. Apply the dressing on a green salad or noodle salad.
Difference Between Red And Green Curry
Let’s consider the following categories and see the difference between both curry pastes:
Color is the main difference between the two pastes. Green curry exists in green color as it contains a high quantity of fresh green chilies. Red curry is made of dry red chilies, hence it is red.
The Red curry is more versatile than the green as it is used for multiple dishes. It is suitable for any of the top 10 curry dishes including Rogan Josh, Chicken Stew, Shahi Egg Curry, Chingri Malai, etc. Though green curry is used for some dishes, it isn’t as versatile as Red curry.
Considering its milky content and sweetness, it is unsuitable for some dishes. It is safe to admit that the red curry paste has the upper hand over its green counterpart in this category.
The red curry edges out the green curry in this category as it boasts high amounts of spicy content.
One might argue that both are made of almost the same ingredients, but you can overlook the influence of coconut milk on the green curry’s spiciness.
Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean green curry isn’t spicy. The flavorful seasoning is spicy in its own right. It features chilies and other spicy ingredients.
The green comes first in this category. You aren’t advised to go for green curry paste if you can’t withstand heat and hotness.
Fresh green chilies, coriander, kaffir lime, and Thai basil all combined to enhance its hotness and spiciness. As much as Red curry exhibit a certain degree of hotness, it can’t stand head-to-head with green curry.
We already mentioned that both curry pastes are made through these same procedures. However, there is a slight difference between the two.
You don’t add coconut milk to red curry, while green curry requires a certain volume of coconut milk to make it creamy.
3. Yellow Curry Paste
This is the mildest among the three Thai curry pastes as it doesn’t contain many chilies. Just as the name implies, it is yellow and nowhere near the red and green curry in terms of spiciness and hotness.
What is yellow curry Made of?
The Thai yellow Curry paste contains cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, garlic, salt, bay leaf, lemongrass, cayenne pepper, ginger, and cinnamon.
The yellow color is derived from turmeric, which is one of the paste’s most valuable ingredients.
How to make Yellow Curry Paste
Below is the brief guidelines on how to make a flavorful, spicy, and delicious plant-based yellow Curry:
1. Get all the ingredients you need. These include little chilies, shallots, galangal, garlic, coriander, ground cumin, cumin seeds, cinnamon, fish sauce, shrimp paste, turmeric, white pepper, brown sugar, lime juice, and tomato puree and 3 ounces of coconut milk.
2. Grind them in a food processor or blender. You might add more coconut milk depending on your desire.
3. Ensure you blend the ingredients appropriately. Then, store your newly processed yellow curry paste in a secure place.
How To Use Yellow Curry
Like the Red curry, Yellow Curry is versatile as it serves different functions. It’s suitable for diverse Thai curries and cuisines.
Frequently Asked Questions About Curry Pastes
What is the least spicy curry paste?
The yellow curry is the least spicy among the three curry paste as there is a need to enhance its sweetness with coconut milk.
As much as coconut milk works wonders on the taste, it harms its spiciness. Let’s say yellow curry substitutes spiciness for sweetness whenever coconut milk is added to it.
What flavor curry is the best?
Though Thailand is credited as a source of curry dishes, more countries now have some spicy, delicious curries.
As much as Thai curries are highly regarded among tourists and travelers, it’s unfair to overlook curries made in other countries.
Hence, our list of best 10 curry dishes in the world includes Dopiaza, Thai Green Curry, Goan, Thai Red Curry, Kerala, Massaman, Dhansak, Rajma Masala, Makhani, and Bhuna Gosht in no particular order. It’s left for you to decide which one comes first in your ranking.
What if I don’t have curry powder?
Curry paste is a close substitute for curry powder as they perform the same functions. You can choose curry paste for your meal if you don’t have curry powder.
Likewise, Sambar Powder, Tandoori Masala, Chaat Masala, Cumin + Allspice, and Garam Masala are good substitutes if curry powder and curry paste are unavailable.
Can I use curry powder instead of garam masala?
Yes, curry powder is a quality replacement for garam masala, vice-versa.
Best way to preserve curry paste
The best way to preserve your curry paste involves storing it in a screw-top jar before putting it in a fridge for close to a month.
Endeavor to add a few drops of oil to form a layer on it before keeping it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can store it in an ice-cube tray before freezing it for three months.