23 September , 2014

The Origins, Elements & Cooking of Curries

What is curry?

Curries are generally spicy dishes of meat, vegetables, or seafood cooked with a complex combination of herbs and spices. They originated in Southern and Southeast Asia and India but have now been adopted by countries all around the globe.


Curry characteristics and origins

These use tomatoes, garlic and chilli, as well as almond and coconut milk – the most well known being Korma, Rogan Josh, Madras, Vindaloo and Jalfrezi.


Sri Lankan
Sharing similarities to Indian curries, Sri Lankan dishes are famous for using a variety of different proteins, including goat, lentils and Maldivian fish.

Thai curries tend to be more aromatic, and include ingredients such as red and green chillies, lime leaves, coconut, lemongrass and coriander, and are know for Red and Green Curry, Massaman and Panang.

Malaysia is famous for Nasi Goreng- which is spicy fried rice - as well as using yellow curry paste and peanut sauce (satay).

Known for curries that are rich in spices, meat and coconut milk – the Rendang is the most famous.

Europe has developed its own curry dishes in more recent times. Tikka masala (yogurt, chilli powder and turmeric) and Coronation Chicken (curry powder and fresh herbs) have become incredibly popular, especially in the UK.


What are elements of a great curry?


Spices – the building block of flavour in the dish; normally sautéed in a pan to release the fantastic aroma and flavour.

Chilli or the paste – these add the heat and the colour of the dish and can often form the name of the curry.

Herbs - more commonly found in Asian curries but can be added to any style during cooking or after as a garnish.

Seasoning – helps to bring out the complexity of flavours.

Onions, ginger and garlic – these are core ingredients in a curry dish as they are used for flavour and thickening.

Oils and fats – these carry the flavour throughout the curry.

Protein – these can be chicken, beef, lamb, pork, seafood or vegetables.

The stock – while adding moisture and flavour, stock also acts as the broth in watery curries, and aids in slow cooking the meat in dry curries.


Cooking an amazing curry

These are the basic steps found in most curries, but head to Campbell’s kitchen for more specific styles and recipes:

Step 1:            Heat some oil in a hot pan and sauté the spice or spices
Step 2:            Sauté the onion, garlic and or ginger
Step 3:            Add in the chilli or the paste and stir
Step 4:            Add the main protein or ingredient
Step 5:            Add the stock and cover until the protein or vegetables are tender
Step 6:            Add coconut milk, cream or yogurt if desired to taste
Step 7:            Add fresh herbs to garnish dish and serve


Campbell's makes the difference

With chicken, beef, vegetable and fish varieties – Campbell’s Real Stock can be used with all types of curry dishes. Whether slow cooked, saucy or broth-based curries, Campbell’s stock adds moisture and flavour, whilst carrying the complex blend of herbs spices throughout the dish.

Written by Adam Moore at 12:00