Authentic Indian Cuisine: Ultimate Guide to Indian Curry
Deceptive in its simplicity yet tantalizing to the taste buds, the curry in all its varieties forms the cornerstone of authentic Indian cuisine. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, curry gets its name from the Tamil word “Kari” meaning a sauce to be consumed with rice.
In its simplest form the Indian curry comprises of a mix of spices with some spices like turmeric, coriander, red chilies and cumin being a standard feature. Post colonization, the curry became widely available in the form of a ready to cook curry powder but the most authentic way to prepare this classic Indian delicacy is from scratch. Spices are used as a whole or grinned along with a variety of other ingredients to create regional variety.
Indian Curry Basic Spices & Preparation
While Indian curry is made as both dry and wet curries, there are certain spices that remain a constant feature. Unlike the South Asian varieties, in India, the main spices are roasted or fried in oil prior to cooking.
The groundwork for preparing the best Indian curry is laid down by making a garlic and ginger paste. Freshly procured garlic and ginger is grounded into a fine paste which is then fried in oil. As the paste cooks, other fresh vegetables and roasted or fried spices are added to the mix. The curry gets its characteristic Indian flavor with the help of the curry leaves harnessed from the Murraya Koengigii tree. As the concoction reaches completion, fresh coriander is added to the mix for a complete authentic touch.
Overtime each region has developed its own distinct varieties which favor a different variety of spices to bring about their distinctive taste. For example, North Indian curry is characterized by the use of Garam Masala, Amchoor and Fenugreek which feature heavily in the North Indian curry recipes.
Garam Masala in particular is used in ample amount and with it brings the unique properties of peppercorns, cardamom seeds, mustard seeds, cloves and fennel seeds. This creates a much warmer and pungent taste in the curry. The other quintessential ingredient is Amchoor which is dried green mango powder. This is what gives the curry the citrus tangy flavor. Add to this mix the fragrant sweet nutty seed known as Fenugreek and you have your traditional North Indian Curry.
In contrast, the South Indian Curry variety makes use of two distinct ingredients which differentiates it from its North Indian counterpart. Tamarind takes a central role in this variation of the classic curry. Like the Amchoor, Tamarind, which is essentially a sour pod, gives the South Indian curry its tangy properties. In addition to this, the South Indian curry makes use of Coconut milk or cream. This helps to enrich the base of the curry and gives it a thick texture.
While it’s true that the curry originates from the Indian subcontinent, you will be able to find distinctive curry varieties in Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and other neighboring countries. Each region brings its own unique mix of ingredients to cater to local tastes thereby expanding the heritage of this classic hit item from authentic Indian cuisine.
If you’re in the mood for some authentic Indian curry in Malta then stop by at Sharma Ethnic Cuisines or order from us online to enjoy this Indian delicacy.