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Appetites and Afterthoughts

What makes curry, curry

Curry is a sauce served over meat, fish or vegetables, and usually with steamed rice. Curry powder is ground from a wide variety of dried leaves, roots, twigs, berries, seeds, and such, such as these:

  • Asafetida: A smelly resin found in Kashmir. An acquired taste.
  • Cardamom: In pods or seeds, it is highly aromatic.
  • Cayenne: Made from dried red chilies and is frequently called red chili powder.
  • Chilies: Fresh green chilies and very hot.
  • Cinnamon: Comes in sticks of bark, or in powder form.
  • Cloves: Used either as whole cloves or in powder form.
  • Coconut: Fresh or grated dry.
  • Coriander: An herb whose leaves are used for intense flavor.
  • Cumin: A spicy seed, sometimes ground to a powder.
  • Curry leaves: Yes, there is a curry tree. It grows in India and Sri Lanka. No, it does not taste or smell like curry, more like sage, some say like mugwort.
  • Garam Masala: Usually a mixture of spices, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, peppercorns, and nutmeg.
  • Ginger: The spicy root is used fresh, slivered, or mashed, and in powder form.
  • Mustard: This pungent seed is also used as an oil in Bengal and Kashmir.
  • Nigella: A spicy seed with an earthy aroma, good with vegetable and fish dishes.
  • Nutmeg: Adds a mild, spicy flavor to many curries.
  • Saffron: These threads are the stigma of crocuses that grow in India. They add a distinctive yellow color to Indian food.
  • Sesame: Seeds that add a nutty component to many Indian foods.
  • Turmeric: A spice that, along with saffron, adds a yellow color to curries and other food.
  • Vark: This is real silver tissue paper, used as an attractive garnish for elaborate Indian dishes.
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