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Curry has its roots in the Indian subcontinent, and the dish is one of the most varied and versatile in the world. The word curry is a derivative of the Tamil word “Kari”, which means “to bite”. There are enough different styles and types of curry that it can be almost overwhelming. Each different curry has a unique spice and heat, and many can be made with a variety of proteins. With so much regional influence and variation, there are plenty of options to try. Here are some of the most popular types of curries you’ll find at most good Indian restaurants.
The next time you have a hankering for a good curry and visit one of the excellent Indian restaurants in Bristol, look for the korma on their menu. It’s a great option if you prefer flavour over heat, as that’s what the korma spice profile aims for. Expect deep cardamom and cinnamon flavours in a traditional korma, which features a creamy sauce with a generous helping of butter. The meat is usually marinated in yoghurt and slow-cooked, so there’s plenty of flavour depth on offer. Order the korma with chicken for an authentic experience.
This is the Indian curry you’ll find on almost every Indian restaurant menu in the country. What makes the tikka masala such a tasty dish is the way the protein is prepared. This is usually chicken, but other meat may be used too. It’s skewered and cooked in a tandoor, which is a traditional Indian clay oven. This meat is then smothered in a creamy, deeply aromatic sauce that once again aims for zest and not the burn to be the desired heat level.
Rogan Josh is a curry of Kashmiri origin and is one of the most popular Indian curries around. It’s a very aromatic curry made with red meat with a flavour profile that is predominantly derived from alkanet flowers and Kashmiri chillies. Traditionally it’s made with lamb or mutton that is braised in a brine before being cooked slowly using a cooking method known as the dampokhtak technique. Other spices include bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. If you haven’t experienced a good Rogan Josh, now is the time.
If you want to work up a good sweat from the heat of your curry, then look no further than a vindaloo. It’s a curry that finds its origins in Goa and is based on a Portuguese dish called ‘carne da vinha d’alhos’. A good vindaloo uses very different spices, but more of the few that it does use to create a fiery dish with a lot of burn. The most traditional of Vindaloo curries are made with pork, marinated in vinegar and garlic before being added to the curry. If pork isn’t your protein of choice, lamb vindaloo is very popular too.
Don’t stick to the same order every time you visit an Indian restaurant. Your new favourite curry dish is waiting for you to find, so try a few different ones and you might be surprised what you discover.