There’s nothing quite like an authentic tasting curry. Eaten and enjoyed all over the world, it’s one of the most popular dishes in global cuisine. Creating the perfect curry dish is certainly an art and using high quality spices for catering can certainly help you to achieve the traditional flavours associated with this style of cooking. After all, the curry is notorious for its spicy nature! Here at World of Spice, we are experts in seasonings, herbs and spices. If you’re looking to whip up the perfect curry in your restaurant, you’ve come to the right place. Lets take a closer look at the essentials.
What Is Curry?
Contrary to belief, curry is not a flavour. In fact, curry is an Indian sauce, or gravy. It is usually cooked with vegetables and meat and served over rice. The individual spices that are then mixed into a curry determine its heat. When the term ‘curry powder’ is used, it actually means a concoction of dried spices often used in Indian cooking that are blended together. The word ‘curry’ was invented by British colonialists in the 18th century. Taken from the Indian word ‘kari’, it literally translates as relish for rice. Apt right?
Aside from the heat, curries are known for their colourful, rich and fragrant essence. Curry has a distinct flavour that is deep and earthy from the blend of savoury spices but is also lifted by the vibrant and sweet undertones that are carried throughout the dish. Easily accessible spices for catering such as cumin, coriander and turmeric are used to create the unique taste. Curry is made in many different ways across the likes of India, Thailand, Malaysia, China and South Africa to names a few.
The two most popular categories of curry are Indian and Thai. Indian curry is now largely considered a British fusion, and typically incorporates a blend of spices that are ground into a powder, called masalas. Usually, these curries are broth based and are thickened with yoghurt. Thai curry uses a wet curry paste and coconut milk or coconut cream. You’ll see herbs and spices like lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves used in these dishes.
What Spices Will I Need?
It depends on the type of curry you’re going for, but there are a few essential spices for catering that every chef should have in their pantry. Whether you’re creating a korma or a madras, many of these spices are needed to create a tasty and authentic base. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself with too much choice, especially if you’re just starting to familiarise yourself with these sorts of recipes. That’s where things can go wrong. It’s always easier to add more spice, than to take away!
- Dried Red Chilli’s: Ranging from medium to hot, red dried chillies can give your dishes a strong kick. The more you add, the hotter the curry will be. They’re milder when used whole.
- Cinnamon: Perfect to channel that sweet undertone, cinnamon adds a natural and fragrant flavour to a curry dish. Often used to marinate the curry meat, it helps to balance the hotter spices.
- Fenugreek: This spice, also known as Methi, is popular in traditional veggie or chicken based curries as its earthy and slightly bitter flavour complements these ingredients really well.
- Cayenne Pepper: Useful for curries, but also a wealth of other cuisines, cayenne pepper is a must for your spice collection. Made with chilli and paprika, with a red pepper base, it’s perfect for adding heat with a subtle smokiness to your curries.
- Coriander: This fragrant green spice adds a refreshing zest to the foundations of a curry. Ground coriander is usually preferred over coriander seeds, although you can grind the seeds yourself at home. Fresh coriander is also a really tasty garnish.
- Cumin: Warm, earthy and slightly peppery, cumin is a one of those spices for catering that can transform an authentic spicy dish. Its aromatic qualities can boost the depth of a curry. You can use ground cumin, or cumin seeds can be added throughout the cooking process to enhance flavour gradually.
- Cardamom: This whole spice comes in green or black pods, you can use both types of cardamom in a curry, but green is more commonly found. These add a wonderful fresh and fragrant element to your curry. It’s also used to give rice a subtle aromatic flavour. If your recipe calls for cardamom seeds, simply split open the pods and extract.
- Mustard Seeds: Brown mustards seeds are traditionally used to give curry a warmer depth of heat. Black or yellow (also known as white) seeds, will also do the trick!
- Turmeric: Bright and vibrant turmeric is derived from roots in the ginger family and will add a wonderful colour to curry and rice. It’s warm, yet slightly bitter taste isn’t too strong; it’s used more for its colouring properties than to add flavour.
- Black Pepper: One of the most popular spices worldwide, black pepper will add a sharpness to your curry dish, as well as many other cuisines. It’s an essential in your restaurant kitchen.
As with any seasonings, herbs and spices, be sure to store them in a cool, dry and dark room to increase their longevity.
Our Spices for Catering
At World of Spice, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine. Our spices for catering are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your food the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.
From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.