What to Know About Curry Sauce

Chicken in curry sauce

Ramon Velasquez/Wikimedia Commons

These days, curry has become an international dish that is served up in numerous ways. If you're interested in expanding your culinary knowledge or skills, you'll definitely want to explore all the various types of curry sauces and how to use them.

Curry sauce is one of the most flavorful of all sauces in existence and forms the basis of an infinite number of deliciously complex dishes across the globe.

Indian curry sauces are world-renown for their fiery heat and robust flavors. Thai curry is also known to be spicy but tends to have a stronger coconut flavor than Indian. Every country in Southeast-Asia has its own type of curry.

Curry Sauces vs. Pastes

Thai and Indian curries are either made from a curry sauce or from what is called a curry paste. Curry paste is basically a mixture of various dry spices and fresh herbs all combined in a food processor or pestle & mortar to make a thick spice paste.

To create a curry sauce out of a paste, all you need to do is add liquid; normally a combination of chicken or vegetable stock and coconut milk are used in Thai curries, whereas Indian curries may call for cream, sour cream, yogurt, or milk in addition to stock. Both Thai and Indian curry pastes are available by the jar or tub in most supermarkets, although the best-tasting ones are still made at home in your own kitchen.

How to Make Curry Paste

Most Thai curries come in three main colors: yellow, green, and red, each with their own recipes and processes. Note that Indian curry pastes and sauces tend to either be yellow in appearance or a deep red to dark brown, often depending on the type of meat or vegetable the curry contains as well as the type of curry powder/spice mix used.

How to Make Good Curry

The best curries are made from a combination of both dry and fresh ingredients. Some are made from a curry paste, while others call for curry powder among other ingredients. There is no right or wrong way to make curry, but it does help to have a good recipe and include all ingredients called for. Use your taste buds and adjust the final dish according to your liking.