An Indian Spice

What is Curry?

The word curry refers to any dish that is served with a sauce. There are thousands of curry blends. The most commonly sold type is curry powder. Any type of curry can contain up to 30 or more different types of spices. Different types of curries vary in flavor. There are mild curries, and spicy ones.

The History of Curry:

The word curry was created by the British, from the word kari which relates to a specific dish. This dish is a fish stew prepared with tamarind and curry leaves. The word kari comes from the Tamil language in South India.

Curry Powder

Curry powder is an Indian spice; a blend of ground herbs and spices. The basic ingredients in curry include turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Other ingredients might include chilies, cloves, cinnamon, fenugreek, nutmeg, ginger, mace, mustard seed, fennel, poppy seed, allspice, anise, bay leaf, and black or white pepper.The British settlers in India inquired the curry spice. The spicier curries of Southern India are often used in vegetarian dishes. In contrast, the milder spices of Northern India are most commonly used in poultry type foods. Most curry powders are yellow due to the added turmeric; the more turmeric added, the more yellow the curry will be.
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As shown in the image above, curry powders come in different colors depending on the spiciness. The spiciness depends on the kinds ingredients added to the mix.

Did You Know?

Another spice blend commonly confused with curry powder is garam masala. Garam masala is blend spices such that usually include black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, mace and or nutmeg. It's less common to use things such as bay leaf and coriander, however they may show up as a ingredient in a specific dish. Garam masala is usually used in soups and salads; especially meat dishes. It is originally from Northern India; used amongst the Moghul people.

Curry Powder vs. Curry Leaves

Despite the similarity in name, both products are immensely different. Curry leaves are very popular in Southern India, where as the North usually relies on mint. Curry leaves are mostly used to flavor food. If a bright green color, curry leaves may be chopped and added to a curry dish only if it is to be eaten immediately. Curry leaves grow on a 3 feet shrub or 20 foot trees. Curry leaves are bitter tasting. It comes from India and Sri Lanka.
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These curry leaves are mostly used to flavor dishes with their citrus taste.

Did You Know?

Curry powder is made by grinding and mixing from 2-20 or more different types of spices.


"All About Curry." All About Curry. N.p., 2 Apr. 2009. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <>.

"What Is the Difference Between Curry Powder & Garam Masala?" LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 26 May 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2013. <>.