Question 2 specific types of curry, what are they.

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Hello,

     This is my first post here so please forgive me my blunders. 

In the past i have had 2 experiences with curry, one at a restaurant, the other at a friends home.

The first I was at an Asian restaurant and the dish I ordered (I don't remember which or where) had

this really delicious flavor to it. it kinda tasted like a strong stove top stuffing season. When I asked

the waiter about it he said it was the curry. I so would love to find someplace to buy that seasoning.

   The second was at a friend's home and they had gotten a seasoning rack as a gift that already had

seasons in ti. She noticed one said curry and we all agreed that it smelled so amazing. She did note

that it had something that looked like fennel. She immediately whipped out some chicken breasts and

used the season. the chicken was so delicious.

   Now i have been looking all over for info and searching stores and web sites for these currys.

There are so many different ones and the ones i buy from stores all seem to have a spicy(heat)

to it and a strong presence of a taco/cumin taste. problem is the ones i am searching for had none

of those. it was very savery with no obvious presence of anything like cumin.

Is there anyone out there that knows of what i am talking about.

Thank you all so much for your time and patience.

p.s. I talked to the friend whom made the chicken. She said that the curry definitely had fennel

        and saffron in it and didn't have cumin. She said should do some tasting to figure out some

        more ingredients in the curry when she had the chance but has no idea where to get more.
 
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2,425
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That's a very difficult question as there are just too many types of curries!

Not all curries are hot. Not all curries are Indian.

Northern Indian curries are a lot milder than Southern Indian curries (this actually seems so in most cases, the food in the North of the country being milder than in the South of the country)

I think the only way to find out is to try and find the place back where you had your first curry and order it again (and ask the chef fot its proper name).

You have more chance harrassing your friend for what she remembers.

Next time you have a dish you really like, just make a note of the name and/or a quick picture of the spice mix.
 
2,425
1,038
Joined Jan 8, 2010
That's a very difficult question as there are just too many types of curries!

Not all curries are hot. Not all curries are Indian.

Northern Indian curries are a lot milder than Southern Indian curries (this actually seems so in most cases, the food in the North of the country being milder than in the South of the country)

I think the only way to find out is to try and find the place back where you had your first curry and order it again (and ask the chef fot its proper name).

You have more chance harrassing your friend for what she remembers.

Next time you have a dish you really like, just make a note of the name and/or a quick picture of the spice mix.
 
3
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Joined Sep 2, 2016
Thank you for your replay. You have some good points.

Its starting to feel impossible to find those flavors again.

but I haven't lost all hope.
 

pete

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Unfortunately, with the minimal amount of information that you are able to provide I doubt that anyone will be of much help.  Curry is such a huge, broad spectrum that it would be almost impossible to narrow it down with what you have provided us.  Not only do countries and regions each have their own curry specialties, but many individual families have their own mixes and blends and then when you get into purveyors, they all have their various blends that they market to different regions for different dishes so it can be difficult, to say the least.
 
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"Curry" is (I think) just an anglicized version of the East Indian word for "sauce".  As said before, there are so many, it requires years of study to understand them all.

Having said that, they do seem to have one technique unique to their preparation (imho), and that is the frying of the spices in oil, either clarified butter (ghee) or vegetable oil.  There are reactions in the spices that can only occur over 400-ish degrees that don't occur with boiling (212 degrees).

I was taught by a friend to make "murgh kari", essentially a tomato-based curry with a finish of yogurt.  It is a good simple curry for learning technique, I think.  Thai green curry is also good to start with as the paste can be made in a food processor and the preparation is pretty simple.

Good luck.
 
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267
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Joined Sep 21, 2010
What others have said here is correct -- there are many kinds of curry and families often mix their own. But I thought of your post when I was making garam masala this weekend. My version uses a lot of cumin, but you could leave that out. garam masala is from the northern Punjabi region of India and it's the basis of curries. It can also be sprinkled on vegetables or chicken.  The name means 'warm mix'.  It's isn't hot and it's very fragrant, especially when you toast the spices. It's much better to make it from whole seeds that you toast & grind yourself.

I've also seen Panch Poran mixtures from the Bengal region that looks like a mix of whole seeds. Fennel is a big part of it.

Just google Garam Masala, there are lots of mixtures to try.
 
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The (mis)use - and indeed the very existence - of the word curry is one of my pet peeves! To most people in the world, it refers to a dry spice mix, with a typical list of ingredients which vary to some degree, created by the British on their way back home from the Indian subcontinent. It was supposed to recreate the flavour of Indian cooking in one generic spice blend. Obviously, this is not something that's used in any way in traditional Indian cooking - though of course most dishes (certainly not all) are cooked with a number of different spices, but these vary from dish to dish.

Typically though, you'll find turmeric, chilli powder, coriander, cumin and garam masala (whole or powdered) in a large number of dishes.

The word curry as it's "correctly" understood in the UK (as well as in India), with its large Indian and Pakistani diaspora, is an umbrella term for a sauce-based dish of Indian origin. Though then we also hear about "dry curries", which basically reduces its meaning to refer to ANY dish of Indian origin. And as far as I understood, it actually has no equivalent in any Indian language; it seems to be a purely British invention. You might run into the name Kari / Kadhi which is actually a specific dish made from yoghurt and chickpea flour, which obviously has no relation to the generic English term. And to add to the confusion, Southern Indian / Sri Lankan cooking makes extensive use of an ingredient called curry leaves, but again, this seems to be a pure coincidence.

Then you have various dishes from other Asian countries also referred to as curries (Thai yellow/red/green curries), Japanese and Chinese curry sauces (based on the English curry powder), and others.

Here in Belgium, "curry sauce" (as a lunchtime sandwich condiment) is mayo + curry powder! Similar to "Curry Ketchup" in Germany.

So really, the fact that the dish included the word "curry" is a long shot.. unless of course you remember specifically what cuisine it was :)
 

kuan

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First, what type of Asian restaurant?

Next, what type of protein?

Then, what color was it?
 
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"Garam Masala" is a blend, not a specific spice. It varies widely from region to region and from family to family. Indian markets sell both powdered mixes and mixes of whole spices in bags that you can roast and grind yourself. The ingredients are limited and usually lean heavily toward ground coriander and cumin seeds. Homemade garam masalas can have an almost infinite number of ingredients.

"Chili powder" is also a blend.

There is what in English is called a "curry leaf tree." It's also known in English as "sweet neem." The phonetic in Hindi is something like "karee patta ped." If you've ever been in a good S Indian restaurant and wondered what that elusive aroma is, chances are it is fresh curry leaf that has been added to a tadka at the final minute before a dish is carried out. There is nothing else that smells or tastes like it in the world. The leaves don't freeze or dry well. I understand they can be purchased dried but for all my lurking in S Asian markets, I've never seen them sold either dried or frozen. Fresh leaves are impossible to find in the States outside of good S Asian vegetable markets. I buy them every time I see them--then struggle to use the whole package up before they get nasty. Curry leaf is the flavor I crave when I crave Indian food. I keep trying to find a good source for an affordable plant to grow in my apartment.
 
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I didn't make it clear in my post but yes garam masala is a spice blend; it's either used as whole spices at the beginning of a dish, sautéed briefly to flavour the oil, or added in ground form towards the end of the dish (and not cooked earlier since the ground form is made of already roasted spices).

Chilli powder on the other hand is most certainly not a spice blend :) I believe there is a "chili powder" which is a blend of spices (one I bought years ago which I often try to recreate is chilli (red peppers), garlic, cumin, cloves, oregano; really good mixed with olive oil as a meat marinade!) but the one used in India (and many other places) is simply ground chilli, or red peppers. That's probably where the confusion comes from: what's referred to as chillies in the commonwealth countries, are known as hot peppers/chilli (chili?) peppers in the US.

Absolutely agree about curry leaves; we're lucky to have a some big Asian and specifically Indian supermarkets here, but only the Indian one has the fresh stuff. I recently discovered another small Indian grocery closer to home where I recently picked up two bags; luckily the shopkeeper made sure I was aware of the price, because I promptly returned one bag! And the quality (size in particular) is nothing like what I see in videos of South Indian cooking.

I can get dried leaves here but trust me, they are but a shadow of the real thing; they still have some flavour but lack that real characteristic aroma. And yes, even frozen, they dry out after a while and lose their flavour.

I remember the 2nd time I went to pick up a bag, it'd been a while since my first purchase, and I had such a craving that as soon as I got in the car, I opened up the bag and started chewing on the raw leaves /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 

pete

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Chilli powder on the other hand is most certainly not a spice blend :) I believe there is a "chili powder" which is a blend of spices (one I bought years ago which I often try to recreate is chilli (red peppers), garlic, cumin, cloves, oregano;
In the US, "chili powder" is almost always a spice blend, usually with ground chili peppers, black pepper, cumin, oregano, and sometimes a bit of garlic. Go to most any grocery store in the US, buy "Chili Powder" and this is what you would end up with.  If you want unadulterated ground chili then you would buy ground cayenne pepper (found in every grocery store).  If you wanted to find other chili peppers, in ground form you would need to look in ethnic stores, specialty shops or order online.
 
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In the US, "chili powder" is almost always a spice blend, usually with ground chili peppers, black pepper, cumin, oregano, and sometimes a bit of garlic. Go to most any grocery store in the US, buy "Chili Powder" and this is what you would end up with.  If you want unadulterated ground chili then you would buy ground cayenne pepper (found in every grocery store).  If you wanted to find other chili peppers, in ground form you would need to look in ethnic stores, specialty shops or order online.
Chilies are a "new-world" food that have traveled all over the world over the past 500 years and there are 100s of varieties. In the States and in most ethnic markets chili "powders" are specific to the type of chili.

At the Mexican markets in my neighborhood there are ancho, cayenne, de arbol, guajillo, chipotle, mulatto, and morito powders--and that's just for starters. At the Middle-Eastern market there are Aleppo pepper and Urfa Biber (Turkish) chili flakes. A flight attendant friend who flies to Europe often sometimes brings me back pimente d'espelette powder from a variety grown in the Basque country. My family is Hungarian on one side. There are sweet and hot paprika powders. Spain also has paprika powders--sweet, hot, and smoked. The Indian markets here do sell "red chili powder" which seems somewhat generic but they also sell Kashmiri chili powder, which is made from a specific chili. Then there is gochugaru from Korea...and on and on.

I can't help but think of the term "chili powder" as a generic one for a mixed up, bastardized blend. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the idea. I have a "chili powder" blend I sometimes make to have on hand. It has various kinds of roasted chilies but also roasted cumin seeds and Mexican oregano in it.  
 
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That's probably where the confusion comes from: what's referred to as chillies in the commonwealth countries, are known as hot peppers/chilli (chili?) peppers in the US.
In Canada, a commonwealth country, we agree with the US when it comes to 'chili powder', which is a blend.

I have a few different kinds of ground chilies  in my pantry, ranging from French Esplette to ground Mexican, Korean, Szechuan and more - along with whole dried chilis that I sometimes toast & grind myself.  I also have a ground red chili from the local Indian grocery. It packs quite a punch!

Curry leaves - I've seen plants in the local nurseries, but haven't tried growing one. I have a Kaffir Lime tree and wondered about growing a curry leaf plant.
 
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kuan

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In Canada, a commonwealth country, we agree with the US when it comes to 'chili powder', which is a blend.

I have a few different kinds of ground chilies  in my pantry, ranging from French Esplette to ground Mexican, Korean, Szechuan and more - along with whole dried chilis that I sometimes toast & grind myself.  I also have a ground red chili from the local Indian grocery. It packs quite a punch!

Curry leaves - I've seen plants in the local nurseries, but haven't tried growing one. I have a Kaffir Lime tree and wondered about growing a curry leaf plant.
Kaffir Lime indoors?
 
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 Kaffir Lime indoors?
Outdoors, when I'm confident the temp won't drop below 10C at night. It's been outside since early April. I'll bring it in next month. It drops leaves during the winter but they're still ok for cooking. It picks up very quickly once it goes outside again. This is the first time I've let it set fruit. Tiny limes but pungent!

 
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kuan

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Do you think it will survive the winter?  I plan to transfer some of my herbs indoors and plant some microgreens but this may be an option for me next year.
 
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Overwintering the Kaffir lime? Yes! I've had it for 3 or 4 years now. It was one stem when I brought it home. For a while, I kept it next to our reef aquarium because of the special lights and extra humidity but it was too big for that last year. It was fine on the floor near a window, though it dropped a lot of leaves. Always bounces back in the summer!
 
965
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There are a couple of Vietnamese gift/plant shops right where I get off the train every day and occasionally one of them will have kaffir lime trees out on the sidewalk for sale. I always balk because they are expensive--$40 - $60 and I understand overwintering them in a dry apartment with poor air circulation is often the kiss of death. I'd hate to spend that kind of money on a plant only to kill it the first winter.
 
2,425
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Ah, but those kaffir lime  leaves are just awesome, especially fresh.

I got 2 trees in my garden.

Luckily, I don't have the temperature problem as the coldest it gets here is about 7 oC for a short period, and then only between first light and sunrise.

But those leaves just perk up any sort of meal!

And now you guys have convinced me to start looking for a curry leaf tree !
 

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