What You Need to Know About Thai Curries

When it comes to adding something special to your dishes, there are few flavors as distinctive and delectable as curry. However, the sheer number of curries can seem overwhelming for people who are just beginning to experiment. Here’s what you need to know about a few of the different curries and how to use them in your dishes.

Green curry: Green curry is the most popular curry used in Thai dishes.  Chances are, when you think of the taste and smell of curry, green curry is what comes to mind. The Thai name for it is “gaeng kiow wahn.” It’s made with green chillies and coconut milk and tends to have a spicier, stronger flavor than other varieties of Thai curries. Other ingredients may include shallots, garlic, cumin seeds and lemongrass.

Yellow curry: Yellow curry is similar to red, but a bit richer. It’s made up of ingredients like turmeric, yellow mustard seed, nutmeg and lime. It’s savory and mild, making it a good curry for beginners. Many simple chicken curry dishes are made with a yellow curry.

Red curry: Instead of green chillies, red curry is made with dried red chillies. Red curry also typically consists of shrimp paste, coconut milk, kaffir lime peel, and galangal, in addition to other spices. Red curry is usually used in meat-based dishes, like chicken or beef, or seafood like shrimp and has a savory flavor.

Orange curry: Also known as sour curry, orange curry is usually used in fish or pork dishes. According to Temple of Thai, only five ingredients are used in most orange curries: dried red chillies, shallots, sea salt, turmeric and shrimp paste. However, many people add a sour ingredient to it, like pineapple, which is how it gets its alternative name. Pork is a popular ingredient for orange curry dishes.

The spiciness of curry is slightly mellowed by the coconut milk base.

Massaman curry: Masaman curry is one of the sweetest styles of curry. It’s a Thai style, but is also influenced by many varieties of Indian curry. Rather than spices, most of masaman curry’s flavor comes from cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, according to Traveling 9 to 5. It has a very versatile flavor and is served alongside a variety of meats, including chicken and beef, but also makes for a hearty and flavorful vegetarian dish.

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