Let’s just all accept that flavoursome and rich curries are yet the best cure against the cold and damp that the winter ushers in, and that the Brits love them in all colours, textures and flavours. Our deep-entrenched love for curries often leads us to Asian restaurants, especially during the winters, where a quick fix of these delectable and nutritious liquid-potions leave us feeling satiated and warm to our bones. For those looking to escape the UK as the weather gets harsher can find refuge at warm and cosy places in Asia that are also considered curry-havens. For your ease, we list below countries that stir curries to perfection:
The country grinding spices such as mustard, fennel seeds, and cumin in mortar and pestles before most of the world had to find a way to put these to good use; whoever has tasted an Indian curry will testify that a great job was done in that department. Depending upon the region of its origin, the aromatic and thick Indian broths rely heavily on tomatoes, pureed peppers/chillies or yoghurt/coconut milk for the richness they carry and employ generous use of spices to give them the heat known to beat most forms of common cold blue. The names in the list of best curries from India are endless but you must not miss Rogan Josh, Lamb Pasanda, Jalfrezi, Chicken Korma, Butter Chicken, Vindaloo and Keralan Fish Curry.
You may already be a fan of the Red or Green Thai Curry, but when you travel to Thailand you will realise the Thai kaeng, as the locals call it, have so much more standing out than just their colour. The preparation of curry paste, coconut milk or water, meat, seafood or vegetables remains common to the Indian curries but the main differentiating factor is that the Thai curries tilt more in favour of herbs and aromatic leaves than a mix of spices. You may also see special usage of kaffir lime leaves, fingerroot and Thai basil in Thai curries.
When French gained dominion over Vietnam, they brought with them not only Tamil Indian workers, but also the cuisine influences from one of their former colonial hubs – the port city of Pondicherry in India. The Vietnamese curries, therefore, borrow heavily from south Indian curries in texture, spices and flavour. When in Vietnam, one must try the Beef Brisket Curry or the Oxtail Curry as well as Cà ri gà, a local curry speciality that employs chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas and coconut milk to create a delectable broth. Mostly, the curries are served with the side of rice in Vietnam.
Malaysia being an important stop on the ancient spice routes has a similar story of being converted into a curry loving nation to Vietnam; the only difference is that Malaysian curries see a heavy use of turmeric as opposed to Vietnamese curries. There’s often a generous use of tamarind, shallots, ginger and shrimp paste in Malaysian curries. Like India, it is also not uncommon to see vegetable curries in Malaysia heroing vegetables such eggplants and carrots as well as those using tofu as the main protein. Anyone will tell you that you can’t leave Malaysia without trying the country’s version of Rendang.