Indian Curry Recipe

When you hear the word “curry” – do not believe your ears! By this word, a speaker may mean at least ten completely different dishes and even their ingredients. What is Indian curry and how to cook it?

The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Indian Curry

Indian Curry

In general, the term “curry” is used in Asian cuisine widely. It can mean at least three things:

  1. Concrete spice – namely, curry leaves;
  2. Spice blend – curry powder, which contains a whole bunch of different seasonings, including garlic, fenugreek, coriander and others;
  3. Curry dish is a thick sauce that can be prepared using completely different ingredients (spices) and bases (meat, fish, poultry, seafood or vegetables).

Curry is one of the most popular main dishes of Indian, Nepalese, Ceylon, Thai, South and Southeast Asia. Curry sauce is usually served with rice or tortillas (depending on the region). However, the main principle remains the same everywhere.

Let’s talk about curry sauces that form the basis of Indian cuisine. They are distinguished by several types – depending on the spice and ingredients included in its composition, as well as the region of origin.


Balti is a medium spicy curry sauce. Homeland Balts are the north-western provinces of India on the border with Pakistan. The word “balti” means a cooking capacity of a certain shape, which is very similar to a Chinese wok. The basis for Balti is most often meat or vegetables. They eat Balti from the pan, dipping chapati, naan or paratha into the sauce. In modern Indian restaurants, Balti is most often called “curry”, served on the table right in the pan, cooked using a large amount of roasted green pepper and fresh coriander.


Bhuna is a medium spicy curry sauce. This is a special type of curry, which is cooked according to a certain technology. To make bhunas, spices should first be fried in a large amount of oil, until they begin to emit a strong aroma. Then add meat, chicken or seafood to the spices – it will be stewed in spices and in its own juice for a while, thereby giving the dish a very lasting and strong flavor. The liquid in a bhuna is usually quite small, or it turns out to be very thick — much thicker than in other types of Indian curry. Bhunu is usually served with vegetables – plenty of fresh onions, tomatoes and chili peppers.


Dhansak is a sweet-hot curry, which is considered the birthplace of Iran. In India, it is cooked in the Parsi community (people from Iran), but due to its original, incomparable taste, Dhansak has become very popular among ordinary Indians. Dhansak is always served with rice, therefore it is actually not only curry but also one of the varieties of pilau. According to the original recipe, dhansak is always cooked on the basis of lamb with the addition of vegetables and red lentils or vats. Modern Indians also cook vegetarian dhansak. The spice of the dish may vary due to a change in the amount of chili pepper.


Dopiaza is a medium spicy curry sauce, which is distinguished by a very large number of onions used in cooking. Traditional recipes recommend taking 2 measures of onion in relation to one measure of meat or chicken, but in modern conditions, this proportion is rarely observed: curry is usually cooked in a 1:1 ratio of meat and onion.

Madras curry

Madras Curry is a South Indian version of curry, which is distinguished by its spiciness and a large number of tomatoes used in the preparation of this dish. In fact, the options for making Madras curry are numerous. Any type of Indian curry can be turned into Madras only by adding more spices and tomatoes. Because of this, the Madras curry turns out to be darker, more saturated in color, with a sharper taste.


Pasanda is a soft (non-sharp) variety of Indian curry, which is made from small pieces of lamb, pre-pickled in a sauce or yogurt. Also, nuts (almonds) are often added to the dish, which is why this variant of curry can be found under the name badam pasanda in restaurants (i.e. pasanda with almonds). The restaurant version of pasanda is relatively mild, with a small amount of chili, as well as the addition of cream to soften the taste.


Saag is not a very spicy variety of Indian curry, which involves the mandatory use of spinach leaves, mustard and/or fenugreek. If only spinach is used in cooking (without fenugreek), then the dish is called Palak. The most popular version of this curry is Saag gosht (with meat) and Palak Paneer (with cheese).


Sambar is a type of Indian curry, which has a spicy taste. It is cooked on the basis of legumes, like Dhansak. The main difference between these two dishes is that Sambar is never cooked with adding sugar. The rest of the recipes and a cooking technology of these dishes are about the same.


Tikka is not a very spicy variety of Indian curry, which has a rich, complex flavor with the addition of sour and sweet notes due to the use of tamarind and sugar. Also, meat or chicken serves as its basis. However, when cooking tikka masala curry at home, this rule is rather rarely observed even by Indians.


Vindaloo is a very spicy type of Indian curry, which is especially popular in South India. Vindaloo is cooked with a lot of black pepper, lemon, garlic and chili. The original recipe of cooking Vindaloo was brought to India by the Portuguese and they cooked it on the basis of red wine and garlic. However, over time, the Indians adapted the dish for themselves, adding chili, pepper and other spices, and replaced the wine with lemon juice. The basis for Vindaloo can be both chicken and lamb.

So, choose the curry that you like best and go! Meet the new horizons of taste!

Category: General Issues

Tags: cuisine, india, indian