Curry is a popular dish that has been enjoyed around the globe for centuries because of its delicious and aromatic taste.
With its origins in South Asian cuisine, curry has become a popular staple in many households and restaurants around the globe.
Growing up in Nepal, the curry was the staple dish in our home. It is still one of my best comfort foods, and I cook it daily.
I have realized that many people think making curry is complex and challenging. Is curry hard to make?
In this blog post, we’ll explore how difficult it is to make curry and share some tips and tricks for easy curry cooking, and provide some easy curry recipes for beginners.
Understanding the Basics of Curry
Curry is a broad term that refers to various dishes made with a blend of spices and herbs. Originating in India, curry has been a staple in the region’s cuisine for centuries.
The spice blend can vary depending on the type of curry and the region it originates from, and there are countless possibilities for dishes and ingredients.
From classic Indian curries featuring chicken, lamb, or vegetarian options to Thai curries with coconut milk and seafood to British-style curries focusing on meat and potatoes, there is truly something for everyone.
The possibilities are endless, and it’s easy to experiment with new ingredients and flavors to create a unique and delicious dish.
Here are the three primary components of curry.
Curry would be incomplete without spices to give it flavor and aroma. The spices used in curry can vary from place to place and even from recipe to recipe.
Different cultures and regions have their unique blend of spices that they use in their curries.
The most common curry spices used in south Asian include turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. It’s also fun to experiment with different spices to find your favorite blend.
Aromatics like onion, garlic, and ginger are essential for creating depth in your curry. When cooked, these ingredients release their flavors, providing a savory base for your dish.
The liquid base is what brings everything together. It can be anything from coconut milk, yogurt, tomato, and onion sauce to water or broth. The choice of the liquid base will determine your curry’s overall texture and flavor.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Curry
Not Using Fresh Ingredients
A common mistake people make when cooking curry is using old or stale ingredients. This can significantly impact the taste and aroma of the dish.
Fresh vegetables, meat, and spices are essential for the best results. Fresh ingredients provide not only better flavor but also have a higher nutritional value.
Using the Wrong Spice Blend
The backbone of any curry consists of a blend of spices known as a masala. It is essential to have the right spice blend for a curry.
Using the wrong spice blend can result in a dish that lacks flavor and aroma. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, red Kashmiri chili powder, and garam masala powder are the most common curry spices. A delicious curry can be made with a minimal amount of spices.
You can easily make it at home or buy it from a store. I occasionally make it at home but mostly buy curry powder from the Asian store. Both would work.
Overcooking or Undercooking the Ingredients
Another important aspect of making a good curry is to cook the ingredients for the right amount of time.
Overcooking or undercooking can result in a dish that lacks flavor and texture. When making a curry, it’s essential to cook the vegetables or meat until they are tender and fully cooked.
The sauce should also be cooked at the right time to ensure the flavors blend together.
Not Simmering Curry Enough
Not simmering the curry long enough is a common mistake. While it may be tempting to rush through the cooking process, it’s important to remember that the flavors of the spices need time to meld together and develop, which can only be achieved through a slow and steady simmer.
The best curries are made by simmering the sauce and ingredients for a long time. This allows the flavors to develop and gives the dish a rich and complex taste.
So, take your time with the process to make a delicious curry.
Using Too Much Oil
Using too much oil can make the dish greasy and heavy. Choosing the right amount of oil will help you achieve the right taste and texture.
A simple way to reduce oil in curry is to use non-stick cookware. It has a special coating that prevents food from sticking to the surface. This means that you can cook with less oil or even no oil at all without compromising the flavor or texture of the dish.
Easy Curry Recipes for Beginners
If you’re new to making curry, here are some easy recipes with step-by-step photo instructions to get you started.
Making curry may seem challenging initially, but with some practice and experimentation, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
While there are certain basic principles to follow, such as using fresh ingredients and balancing spices, it is all about knowing the basics and adjusting them to suit your taste, dietary needs, and spice level.
Like any other dish, it might take a few attempts before you get it right. Don’t let your first few attempts discourage you.