When it comes to curry, there are two major schools of thought: Thai and Indian. Each approach to this beloved dish has its unique flavor profile and preparation methods. So, what are the main differences between Thai and Indian curry?
What is curry, exactly?
Curry is a type of sauce or gravy typically served with rice and meat dishes. The sauce is made from a variety of spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric, which give it its characteristic yellow color. Curry is thought to have originated in India or Pakistan.
Ingredients of Thai vs Indian Curry
The most notable difference between Thai and Indian curry is the ingredients used. Thai curry typically contains coconut milk, whereas Indian curry uses yogurt or cream. This gives Thai curry a richer, sweeter taste. Additionally, Thai curry often includes fish sauce, which gives it a salty flavor. Indian curries, on the other hand, feature tamarind paste, which lends it a sour taste.
Another key difference is the type of spice used. Thai curry usually features fresh green chilies, which give it a more subtle heat than Indian curry. Indian curry powder typically contains ground red chili peppers, resulting in a spicier dish.
Texture and Consistency
Thai and Indian curries also differ in texture and consistency. Thai curry is thinner and soup-like, while Indian curry is thicker and more stew-like. This difference is due to the different types of ingredients used. Coconut milk makes Thai curry thinner, while yogurt or cream results in a thicker consistency for Indian curry.
The preparation methods for Thai and Indian curry also differ. Thai curry is typically cooked in one pot, while Indian curry is cooked in two separate stages. First, the spices are fried in oil to release their flavor. Then, the meat and vegetables are added and cooked until tender. This two-step process results in a more complex flavor for Indian curry.
Thai curry is typically served with rice, whereas Indian curry is traditionally served with bread such as naan or roti. Additionally, Thai curry is often garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro or Thai basil, while Indian curry is typically garnished with chopped onions and tomatoes.
Types of Thai Curry
There are four main types of Thai curry: red, green, yellow, and panang. Red curry is the spiciest, while panang curry is the mildest. Green curry is made with fresh green chilies, while yellow curry gets its color from turmeric. However, our favorite Thai curry is a Northern specialty called Khao Soi.
Types of Indian Curry
There are two main types of Indian curry: dry and wet. Dry curry is cooked until all the liquid has evaporated, resulting in a thick, stew-like consistency. Wet curry contains more liquid and has a soup-like consistency.
Thai vs Indian Curry: Which is better?
There is no clear winner when it comes to Thai vs Indian curry. It all depends on your personal preferences. If you like a sweeter, richer flavor, then Thai curry is the way to go. If you prefer a spicier, more complex flavor, then Indian curry is the better choice. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you’re in the mood for!