I love curries. Mention the word curry to me, and I am definitely in. There are many different kinds of curries found all over Asia and around the world. They range from sweet to hot, and everything in between. Though there are many different variations of curry, there are about 19 main types.
Portuguese explorers swiftly started trading curry spices in the 15th century, after they established the first marine trade routes from Europe to India. Fast forward to the 1700s when the British were incorporating “curry powder” into their cooking back home. Over the years, curry’s contrasting notes of sweet, spicy, sour, and heat have adapted to the ingredients and cultural preferences of various regions. There are as many types of curry as there are hands cooking it. But most types of curry start in India.
The most popular Indian styled curries are:
- Madras, which is a combination of herbs and spices mixed with tomatoes.
- Korma is a combination of herbs and spices mixed into a cooling yogurt sauce.
- Rogan Josh is a blend of lamb cooked with chilies, cinnamon, cloves and yogurt.
- Vindaloo, which is a combination of meats and spices in a red sauce and is usually known for its spicy heat.
- Saag or a green curried sauce using spinach as the base.
- Tikka Masala, which is usually chicken cooked with garlic, yogurt paprika and tomatoes. This is usually a creamy sauce that is relatively mild.
- Jalfrezi, which is meats and/or vegetables cooked in chilies, spices and oil and is not as creamy as some of the other types of curries.
Then there are Thai curries which are completely different than the Indian curries. In Thailand, curry means paste, and it is usually composed of aromatic chilies, garlic, coriander root, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime rind. The Thai curries are mostly known for their colors and they are red, green and yellow. There is also a Massaman curry, which has a little Persian influence and is the mildest of the Thai curries.
Some of the lesser known curries, but just as delicious, are curries from Japan, Ceylon, Jamaica, Trinidad, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Africa and Portugal. I have enjoyed all of these curries as well. Like I said, if curry is in the name, I am most definitely going to eat it. Out of all the different curried varieties, my favorites are both the Indian and the Thai.
My latest curried adventure was a green Thai-styled curry with both shrimp and chicken chorizo, combined with vegetables. I served it over fettuccine.
Thai-Styled Green Curry with Shrimp, Sausage and Vegetables
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb sausage, sliced
1 cup asparagus spears, cut into pieces about 1-1 1/2 inches long
1 red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips
1/4 red or white onion, sliced very thin
1- 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 TBSP garlic
1 1/2 TBSP ginger
2 TBSP lime juice
1-2 TBSP honey
1 tsp lemongrass curry, or regular curry
3 TBSP green curry paste
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
black seasome seeds for topping
olive or vegetable oil for cooking
Get a large skillet or wok very hot and add the oil. Cook the shrimp for about 5 minutes, making sure to turn them over to cook evenly. Then add the sausage and vegetables and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked, or about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.
Combine the coconut milk, spices, lime juice, curry paste and honey and add to the meat and vegetable mixture. Combine thoroughly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring often. (I hadn’t added the green curry paste yet, so my sauce is not quite green).
You can serve the curry over pasta or rice. This time, I served it over fettuccine, and topped it with some cilantro and black sesame seeds. I served it along side some fried beef wontons and a cool, crisp, citrusy chardonnay. Delicious! You can also serve it with a slightly sweeter white wine too, like a Riesling or a Gerwertztaminer. The sweeter wines will help cut the spiciness of the curry.
We enjoyed it out on our deck, as we so often do, and it was a perfect way to unwind and enjoy the evening.
Stay happy, stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.