The word curry in the western world implies any kind of Indian dish made with a lot of spices. It’s a very generic term that tries to simplify and market Indian food to western audiences. In fact you can find curry powder in supermarkets which would lead one to believe that Indian dishes can be created using just that. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact in India no one refers to Indian dishes as curry or uses curry powder. Most people will stare at you if you mention curry powder.
So what is an Indian curry? It consists of different Indian spices which will vary depending on the “curry” you are making, the core ingredients of the curry which could be lentils, beans, eggs, potatoes, cottage cheese, fish and many more, vegetables like tomatoes and onion, and other herbs like ginger and garlic. I mention the last two specifically because almost every Indian curry seems to have them. All these different ingredients along with oil or ghee, heat, and time when added at the right time in the correct sequence yield the Indian curry. It may sound complicated but generally you add the ingredients and spices in a specific order for most curries. So if you can make one, you can make all as long as you have your windows open.
The ingredients which give flavor to the curry are the spices. So you can imagine the difference in taste if you make a dish with store bought “Curry Powder” versus getting the original herbs that go into the spice and grinding them at home thus releasing all the flavors and aromas of the spices that go into it. Your curry will taste fine even with store bought spices but to take it to the next level you may want to create them fresh.
Many of my International friends have been asking about Indian Curries. In the coming weeks I’ll post recipes of different Indian Curries.