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Curries of the World

Published on
18 November 2023
Chef Silvano
Chef Silvano

Dive into the vibrant world of spices with my spicy journal entry. Uncover the rich tapestry of flavors that span continents, as we explore the stories behind each exotic spice. Join me in this aromatic adventure, where every journal entry is a sensory voyage into the heart of global culinary treasures. The spices of the world will enchant you.

Meat, fish, or vegetable dishes with sauce, enjoyed with rice or bread:
As plain as this definition may sound from the kitchen lexicon, the diversity of delights behind the term “Curry” is as promising as an adventure. It’s no wonder that these classics, originating from India and conquering the world, are gaining more enthusiasts among us.

The World of Spices

The origin of the word “Curry,” whether it’s an Indian term or coined by the English colonialists, is a matter of debate. What’s certain is that we owe Curry to the English, who brought it from India to Europe in the 18th century, both as a spice blend and a dish. Madras specially created curry powder as we know it today for export, catering to the English returning home who couldn’t bear to part with their beloved curries. In India itself, there are only a few standardized spice blends.


Families pass down Curry recipes from generation to generation, while also individually blending the spices. While some experts may use up to 20 spices, a small palette is enough to embark on a fascinating journey into the wonderland of flavours in your own kitchen.


Each family’s Curry recipe is a legacy, and the art of blending spices becomes a unique tradition. Even though culinary experts may employ a multitude of 20 different spices, a modest selection is ample for anyone venturing into the enchanting realm of flavors within their home kitchen.

The allure of Curry

The allure of Curry lies not only in its rich history but also in the creative freedom it offers. Whether crafting a mild, aromatic blend or opting for a fiery and bold combination, the possibilities are as diverse as the chefs who wield the spices. Curry’s beauty lies in its ability to transform simple ingredients into a symphony of tastes, where each bite becomes an exploration of the senses.

In our kitchens, we continue this tradition, experimenting with spice proportions, discovering the perfect balance that suits our palates. It’s a journey where every pinch of spice tells a story, and every sizzle in the pan echoes the legacy of centuries-old culinary craftsmanship.

Try it Yourself

As you embark on your own Curry adventure, remember that the magic lies not only in the finished dish but also in the joy of crafting it. A celebration of tradition and individual expression that transcends borders and brings people together over a shared love for the extraordinary flavours of Curry.

The world of curries is incredibly diverse, with each region offering its unique blend of flavours and cooking techniques. Here’s a brief exploration of the differences between Indian, African, Thai, and Chinese curries.


Indian Curry

  • Base Ingredients: Indian curries often feature a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Garlic, ginger, and onions are commonly used for flavor.
  • Consistency: Indian curries can vary in consistency, from thick and creamy to thin and soupy, depending on the specific dish.
  • Protein: Common proteins include chicken, lamb, and vegetarian options like lentils and chickpeas.
  • Serving: Typically served with rice or various types of Indian bread like naan or roti.


African Curry (e.g., from regions like Ethiopia):

  • Spices: African curries often incorporate a variety of spices, including berbere, a spice blend common in Ethiopian cuisine, which may contain chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and other spices.
  • Base Ingredients: Staples like lentils, chickpeas, and a variety of vegetables are commonly used.
  • Consistency: African curries can range from thick stews to lighter broths.
  • Serving: Often served with injera, a sourdough flatbread.


Thai Curry

  • Base Ingredients: Thai curries are known for their vibrant and aromatic flavours, with key ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, and coconut milk.
  • Spices: Thai curries come in different colours – red, green, and yellow – each featuring different types and quantities of chili peppers and other spices.
  • Consistency: Thai curries are often creamy due to the use of coconut milk.
  • Protein: Common proteins include chicken, beef, shrimp, and vegetables.
  • Serving: Typically served with rice.


Chinese Curry

  • Base Ingredients: Chinese curry often features a savoury and slightly sweet flavour profile.
    Ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.
  • Spices: While not as heavily spiced as some Indian or Thai curries.
    Chinese curry may contain star anise, cinnamon, and other warming spices.
  • Consistency: Chinese curry is usually thicker in consistency.
  • Protein: Common proteins include chicken, beef, or shrimp.
  • Serving: Often served with rice or noodles.

My journal curry descriptions provide a broad overview. It’s important to note that within each of these categories, there is a vast array of specific dishes. Each with its own unique characteristics and regional variations.

My love for Curries

In the culinary voyage through diverse curry landscapes, each entry into the kitchen is a passage to a world of unique flavors and traditions. The Indian curry, a tapestry woven with the warmth of spices like cumin and the golden hues of turmeric. Beckons with its rich history and a spectrum of textures from creamy to soupy. Across the African plains, curry takes on a bold identity. Infused with the complex dance of berbere and the hearty embrace of lentils and vegetables. Served alongside the spongy communion of injera.


In Thai territory, the aromatic symphony of lemongrass, galangal, and coconut milk awakens the senses. With the color palette of red, green, and yellow curries painting a vibrant culinary canvas. Meanwhile, in the heart of Chinese kitchens, curry emerges as a harmonious blend of savory and sweet. Where soy sauce and warming spices join forces to create a lusciously thick tapestry enveloping proteins like chicken or beef.

Each curry, a unique chapter, unfolds as a story told through spices, textures, and regional nuances. It’s a journey where every aroma, every simmering pot, carries the legacy of centuries-old culinary craftsmanship. Inviting exploration and celebration in equal measure. As we navigate these culinary realms, our kitchen becomes a crossroads of cultures. A place where traditions mingle, and the love for extraordinary flavours unites us in a global curry adventure.

Some of my favourite ingredients


PEPPER · comes in white, green, or black kernels. They are used whole, crushed, or ground. The spiciness varies from mild to robust depending on the color.


GINGER · when peeled and freshly grated, unfolds its spicy-sharp citrus aroma best. The roots are more intense than ginger powder.


CORIANDER · has a sweet, spicy-woody aroma. The grains are white to light brown.


CURRY POWDER · is a blend of up to 20 different spices. Its yellow color comes from turmeric. Crucial components also include cumin, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.


CUMIN · and Cross Cumin, has a sharp, slightly bitter taste. The somewhat strong odour disappears when the seeds are roasted and crushed in a mortar.


CHILIES · come as fresh and dried peppers and ground as cayenne pepper and chili powder. The content of capsaicin, an active ingredient mainly found in the partitions and seeds, determines the degree of spiciness.


CARDAMOM · has a very spicy, slightly burning taste. The whole green pods season milder than the extracted and ground seeds.


CINNAMON · is used as a stick or powder. We popularly use cinnamon as a spice for desserts and pastries, but it is also added to curries in Indian cuisine.


FENUGREEK · has a spicy, slightly bitter taste and enhances various curries, whole or crushed. You should use it sparingly due to its strong flavor.


GARAM MASALA · is one of the typical Indian spice blends, along with curry powder, and like curry, there are countless recipes. Typically, it contains cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.


CLOVES · are the dried flower buds of the tropical clove tree. In our culture, we know them for mulled wine and gingerbread spices, but in Indian cuisine, they use them for their spicy-sharp taste in various spice blends.


TURMERIC · also known as yellow root, is a relative of ginger and is mainly used ground. It adds its yellow color to foods as the powder, which contains the active ingredient curcumin, is added to curry powder or used for coloring. It tastes spicy and slightly bitter.


SAFFRON · The most expensive spice in the world. You buy as powder or threads. Used in tiny amounts. Its delicately bitter taste and bright yellow colour are ideal for refining rice dishes and sweets.


MUSTARD SEEDS · are part of many spice blends and give dishes a pleasant sharpness. In Indian curries, the black seeds are usually used. As a result, they are spicier than the yellow ones.