Curry spans a much wider range of flavors and fun than we give it credit for. Curries can be wet or dry. They can be spicy or mild but typically come with some sort of pepper in the mix. They can be red, yellow, green, perhaps brown, various hues of orange, and the list keeps growing. They may or may not include flavoring from an actual curry plant, but they often have coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Curry, in short, is a crowd of spices meant to please a crowd.
Nearly every region of India has its own version, as does the rest of South and Southeast Asia. Surely throughout most of the rest of the world we are making two major mistakes with regards to curry: We aren’t eating it enough, and we are being far too conservative with how we use it. Curry isn’t just for rice and noodles. Indeed not! It’s not just for Thai and Indian restaurants. It’s something that we can make easily at home, something that can zing and zang a typical dinner or snack all over the place. It comes hot, cold, thick, thin, and always highly touted.
The Other White Carb
Recipe by Rinku Bhattacharya
Though many of us tend to associate curry as sauce spooned over rice or noodles, the saucy spooning doesn’t have to stop there. Potatoes make for some wonderful curry carriers, and British “chips” with curry sauce is an absolutely favorite way to do this. Who needs ketchup when a big fat French fry could be covered with steaming curry sauce! Stewing the potatoes so that they absorb the curry flavor also makes for tremendous dish. Or, funk up a baked potato with curry sauce rather than the same old toppings. Point being: don’t forget potatoes.
And, don’t forget sweet potatoes, either! Check out this awesome curry with glutton-free sweet potato pasta.
Beans and Pulses
Recipe by Ashley Flitter
Looking for a new way to get that protein? Well, while we plant-based eaters all love our legumes, we are always looking for new way to twist the recipes. Why not try spicing up a pot of garbanzo beans with a coconut creamy curry sauce, or curried mung beans with root vegetables? Or, go for a double dose of deliciousness and protein with almond curry lentils. Curry and beans of all sorts, but for some reason especially white ones, make for fantastic dishes that’ll fill us up with flavor and pizzazz and plenty of protein. Curry sauce takes a typical pot of beans and turns it into a party.
Soups and Stews
Recipe by Akshata Sheelvant
Without a doubt that curry flavor blends beautifully into soups and stews, especially combining it with starchy items like pumpkins, winter squashes and sweet potatoes. Throw some beans and vegetables in their for good measure, cook it down and whizz it all up into a thick soup, like this curry maple yam soup, or leave it chunky for something more along the lines of a stew, a sort of ginger-cauliflower curry concoction. All it takes is a little extra water or plant-based milk — coconut is the dream — added to that curry sauce. It’s great for warming up and winter afternoons or sweating out the summer heat.
Saucy Stuffing and Stacks
Recipe by Charanya Ramakrishnan
Where there is a pepper, squash, eggplant, mushroom or so much other great stuff for stuffing, therein is lies an opportunity to fill them with a chunky curry sauce full of even more deliciousness. Do it with tiny eggplants or, instead of the usual filling, do it in a pot pie. Or, for those instances when stuffing something is just too time-consuming, make it a topping that’ll turn an everyday starter spectacularly special.
The Roasting and Rubbing
Recipe by Jesse Lane
There are a lot of great things to be said for curry sauces, soup and stews and stuffing and all that jazz, but to leave out the curry rub is to make a serious mistake. Rather than always dumping all that spice into a sauce, remember that it can change a regular roasted vegetable — cauliflower — into a fragrant head-turner or just start >curry jerking — tofu — Caribbean-style. A little sprinkle of curry powder and coconut oil can even kick up the next bowl of popcorn
So, there is no reason not to get to it. Here’s some insider info about Thai curries tips for a little DIY Thai curry paste. Or, do it quickly with vegetable coconut curry in a hurry, perfect all those stuffed dishes or spooned over a “buttermilk” biscuit. The flavor works all over the place so why not in your kitchen.
Lead image source: Black Chana Vedic Curry