It's cold this winter and during this Chinese New Year, instead of soups and feasting on Chinese goodies, I'm actually craving for some hot & spicy curry!
Curry can be found in many parts of Asia and it comes in all colors and tastes. Yellow, Red, Green curries. Somewhat like traffic lights! Now, for those who are not used to taking hot and spicy food, stop right here else you'll be having "hot" flashes! Curry is best when it's hot and spicy! The hotter the better! And I don't mean just by the temperature itself!
What is Curry? So, what is curry? I grew up on it and I can even tell from having my eyes blindfolded. The aroma, the taste ... well, it's hard to forget once you've had it. Curry is distinctive in that it has some spices like turmeric (which attributes to its color too), coriander, cumin and red pepper. Chili is also a main ingredient. Coconut milk may at times be used, depending on which type of curry.
Curry originated from the word "khari" in Tamil. So, I supposed it originated from India! In some southern Indian languages, the word means side-dish.
Curry Countries Curry is best in South East Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and for some, India. Personally, I'm not fond of India's curry because it's a little too pungent for me. As for the rest of them, I love them all! Surprisingly, curry can also be found in China, Japan, Iran and Nepal. I've tried them all, except for those in Iran!
Cooking Curry Curry is best cooked with meats. Chicken, beef and pork are the meats that most chefs are proficient with. However, there are some who are more creative than others and have experimented cooking curry with roast duck. Thai chefs are successful in this aspect. Roast Duck Red Curry is awesome!
It's reasonably easy to cook curry as there are lots of prepackaged curry mixture/paste available in the market. All you need to do is to buy some chicken drumsticks or wings (breasts if you prefer) and then you can have it served within 15-20 mins. This you may do it at home but make sure you've got good ventilation in your kitchen else your entire house will smell of curry before you even finished cooking! My cousin in Toronto recently cooked curry early in the morning at 7 am and I was fast asleep on the upper floor of the house. I was awaken by... the smell of curry!!! Yes, it's no joke!!!
For those who have the luxury of Asian restaurants around your neighborhood, esp. Vietnamese and Thai restaurants, you're the lucky ones! These 2 restaurants serve some of the best curry around. If I may suggest, be more adventurous and try the seafood curry.
A popular way of cooking curry in Singapore is to cook an entire fish or fish head in curry. Known as Fish Head Curry, it is mostly cooked in clay pot and served hot with some Lady's Fingers in them. Generally, it tastes more sourish than other forms of curry but awfully delish! It is generally accompanied by rice.
Recommended Restaurants Saigon Star in Richmond Hill, Toronto serve the best Curry Crab I've ever had in my life! The curry sauce is so amazing that when you dipped French bread in the sauce, you've got a spectacular combo! Yes, the restaurant will provide warm toasted French bread to accompany its signature dish!
Prawns & squids are the common seafood found in Thai curries. I especially love the Thai Seafood Green Curry from Thai Express in Singapore. (Thai Express has restaurants not only in Singapore but also Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia & Australia.)
Recently, in Hong Kong, I found a great small authentic restaurant near to the hospital that my friend was admitted in Happy Valley. It served the best Seafood Red Curry in a coconut husk with strips of coconut flesh in the dish. Thai Noodle Cafe (Tel: 2803 4003) at 32 King Kwong Street, Happy Valley. We paid for HK$98 (about $12) and it was more than enough for 2! Yum!!!
Perhaps your favorite is lobster? Well, you can also find lobster curry in the market! Isn't that amazing?
If you're as adventurous as I'm with food, then you might want to try Kari Otak. An Indonesian way of cooking cow's brain with curry! ;-) How about it, I dare you!!! ;p Well, there is another type of curry in Indonesia which most vegetarians would love and that's Sayur Lodeh. It's a dish of different veges cooked in soupy curry. It's good and I highly recommend it to you.
For the less adventurous, Japanese curry may be the way to go for you. Japanese like to cook their curries with beef or lamb and the curry paste may be found in Japanese supermarkets which made it a good homecook meal.
Last but not least, even though I don't fancy it, it's Indian Curry. Indian Curry is often accompanied by Martabak (pancakes) or Roti Prata (folded bread). The Indians love their curry with mutton. If you love mutton, this is the curry for you!
By the way, the best way of eating curry with bread? By hand, of course! Finger licking good!!!
Curry is a generic description used throughout European and American culture to describe a general variety of spiced dishes, best known in Asian cuisines, especially South Asian cuisine. Curry is a generic term, and although there is no one specific attribute that marks a dish as "curry", some distinctive spices used in many, though certainly not all, curry dishes include turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and red pepper. The word curry is an anglicised version of the Tamil word kari. It is usually understood to mean "gravy" or "sauce", rather than "spices". In most South Indian languages, the word literally means 'side-dish', which can be eaten along with a main dish like rice or bread.