Curries aren't Western by nature, but they've become a staple of our diets here in the UK. In fact, we love curry so much that, for a while there, our national dish was Tikka Masala - one of the many Indian food options we have come to know and love. The history of curries and the cultures that they come from are often equally as fascinating as the food itself, giving us an insight into ways of life that otherwise seem so far away. And curries aren't just an Indian speciality, also hailing from many other parts of Asia such as Thailand, Indonesia and Japan. So, from Indian takeaway to Japanese, let's take a look and the vast range of curries to be had and their origins.
1. Indian Curry
British curry lovers are affectionately known for their inability to handle heat so we recommend a classic Korma. The name comes from Urdu and it's said the dish was served to guests at the inauguration of the Taj Mahal - very special indeed! When prepared the South Indian way, Korma features coriander, cumin and often coconut and, whether with meat or just vegetables, it's simply amazing. It's hard to talk about curry without mentioning Manchester's Curry Mile. Try Ziya Asian Grill for an experience that's impossible to fault - their Saffron Chicken Korma features diced chicken marinated in saffron with almonds, coconut and heavy cream. The range of Indian sides complements the whole thing perfectly, too.
2. Thai Curry
Thai food is fresh, fragrant and full of flavour. While there's an abundance of curries available throughout the country, many UK diners will be familiar with the red, yellow or green varieties. Perhaps the most popular is the quintessential Thai Green Curry, medium-hot with a distinct coconut taste. Featuring green chillies, it's thought to have been invented during the reign of either King Rama VI or King Rama VII, around 100 years ago. To enjoy a modern British version, sample the offering at Koh Thai Tapas in Bristol. This vegetarian version features fresh veggies simmering in coconut milk and we love it.
3. Japanese Curry
When people think of Japanese food, their minds go instantly to sushi. But Japan has an array of amazing curries for you to try as well. Katsu is our absolute fave, made from breaded deep-fried cutlets of chicken or pork in a curry sauce. Interestingly, the British introduced the curry during their "Meiji" era of the late 1800s having taken the idea from India while imposing colonial rule. Today, British Katsu can be found all over the place. Wagamama in Liverpool has a great vegetarian version. The Katsu Curry (Yasai) is made from sweet potato, aubergines and butternut squash, all encased in delicate panko breadcrumbs. It's delicious!
4. Indonesian Curry
Indonesian curry is gaining popularity across the UK and we're not surprised. Beef rendang is probably the most famous dish, hailing from Minangkabau culture where this ethnic group would serve it to honour guests. We feel pretty honoured eating Clapham-based Banana Tree's version - The Legendary Beef Rendang is legendary by name and nature, offering diners an authentic experience of this almost liquid-less curry, which is slow-cooked dry to perfection.
Spice up your evening (or morning, or night) with one of the many curries available to order now from Deliveroo.