There is a lot of confusion about whether or not curry is spicy. In fact, there are people who believe that curry cannot be spicy because of its main ingredient — the yellow spice called ‘curry’. But the truth is that there are many different kinds of curries and not all of them are spicy. However, most curry dishes can be made spicy by adding chili peppers in one way or another. Curry was originally an Indian dish, specifically from the northern regions. As time passed, this dish became very popular in many other countries, such as Japan and China as well. Even today, it remains a very popular dish with various variations. So let’s see if we can find out if curry is spicy or not!
Is Curry Spicy?
It depends on the perspective, but I would argue yes. While it’s not the hottest on the Scoville scale, curry powder has a unique chemical makeup that is intended to induce sweating and irritation in your sinuses.
Why Is Curry Spicy?
1. Curry Powder
Curry powder is a mixture of different spices that are ground up and mixed together. It’s a very common spice ingredient that you can find in most Indian restaurants. It’s also used as a seasoning in many dishes, such as chicken curry, vegetarian curry, and even lamb curry.
2. Curry Leaves
Curry leaves are the main ingredient in this dish. They are often used as a garnish or added to other dishes to add their unique flavor and aroma. You can find these leaves in various shapes and sizes, but most commonly they are dried and sold in bags or boxes. There is no real difference between the dried ones and fresh leaves, except for their size and shape — fresh leaves are usually larger than the dried ones. You can use either one for cooking curry though it’s recommended to use fresh leaves whenever possible because they retain their flavor better than the dried ones do.
3. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a thick liquid made from the flesh of coconuts. It’s usually sold in cans, but you can also find it in bottles or cartons at most grocery stores. Coconut milk is used as an ingredient in many curries, such as chicken curry and fish curry.
4. Other Ingredients
Other ingredients are used to give the curry its unique flavor and aroma, such as fresh ginger, garlic, onions, tomatoes, etc.
Spices are often added to enhance the flavor of the dish. Common spices used for curry include cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander seeds or seedpods (cilantro), cumin seeds or seedpods (cumin), turmeric powder (Curcuma), mustard seed (mustard), fenugreek seeds (methi) and black pepper corns (kali mirch).
6. Cooking Methods
Cooking methods can replicate the same effect by making it yourself. To make coconut milk, you need to soak a can of coconut meat in water overnight and then drain the water out of the can. The next morning, you need to open the can and scrape off all the meat that is still inside. Then you need to add some water and bring it to a boil. When it comes to a boil, you need to turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until it’s thickened.
Other Kinds Of Curries Can Be Very Spicy
1. Cumin Curries
Cumin is a spice that originated in Southwest Asia. It is made from the seed of the cumin plant, which is a small shrub that grows to about two feet tall. The cumin plant, when dried and powdered, has a mild, earthy flavor of its own. The seeds are then mixed with other ingredients before being ground into a fine powder. It takes about 100 pounds of cumin seeds to make one pound of ground cumin.
2. Piquant Curries
A piquant curry is made by using ingredients such as chilies and vinegar to add some heat and sourness to the dish. This dish can be used as an appetizer or even eaten as part of a meal with rice or bread. A piquant curry can be served with plain rice or rice with some fried egg on top, which makes it more filling than just plain rice alone would be. Some popular kinds of piquant curries are:
3. Spicy Curries
A spicy curry can be made with ingredients such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, and other spices. The spice mixture is often added to a sauce that is already cooked with other ingredients such as meat or vegetables. A spicy curry can be eaten with plain rice or rice with some fried egg on top, which makes it more filling than just plain rice alone would be. Some popular kinds of spicy curries are:
4. Hot And Sour Curries
A hot and sour curry is usually made with chicken or pork, which is cooked with other ingredients such as mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes even peanuts. The ingredients are cooked in a sauce that contains vinegar. This dish can be served as an appetizer or with plain rice or rice with some fried egg on top, which makes it more filling than just plain rice alone would be. Some popular kinds of hot and sour curries are:
5. Sweet Curry
A sweet curry is usually made with meat or fish that has been marinated in a sauce made from sugar, vinegar, and sometimes even honey or molasses. Some sweet curries are very sweet and this dish can be eaten by itself without any other dishes to accompany it. A sweet curry can also be used to accompany other dishes such as rice or bread that may not be very spicy but still have a lot of flavors. Some popular kinds of sweet curries. Some popular kinds of sweet curries are:
6. Curry Paste
A curry paste is a combination of spices that have been ground into a fine powder. A curry paste can be used to flavor many different kinds of dishes and it can also be used as an ingredient in other kinds of curries. One common way to use curry paste is to add it to a dish before serving it along with some plain rice or rice with some fried egg on top, which makes it more filling than just plain rice alone would be. Some popular kinds of curry pastes are:
How To Find Out Whether Curry Is Spicy?
1. Know The Type Of Curry
There are many types of curries available such as South Indian masala, a Goan fish curry, or Kashmiri chicken curry. Each one of them has a different recipe and, hence, is likely to have a different level of spiciness. So, first of all, you should know the type of curry you are going to have. This will help you know whether it is spicy or not. But there is one catch with this. You can’t really tell by the name of the curry whether it is spicy or not. You can only know this by reading the ingredients listed in it. So, you should know the ingredients that are generally used for making a certain type of curry and then find them in the curry you are about to eat.
2. Check The Color Of The Curry
The color of the curry can also tell you whether it is spicy or not. However, you need to keep in mind that the color of the curry can vary from person to person, depending on the amount of spice used and their tolerance for it. But, generally, if a curry is red in color, it means that it is spicy. And, if the curry is yellow in color, it means that it is not spicy at all. So, next time you order a curry or try one at a friend’s place, you can check the color of the curry to find out if it is spicy or not. But, as we have already mentioned above, the color of the curry can vary from person to person. So, it is better to check the ingredients listed in it before coming to a conclusion.
3. Read The Ingredients Listed In It
As we have mentioned above, you can only find out whether an Indian curry is spicy or not by checking the ingredients listed in it. So, let’s take an example of a classic chicken curry: The ingredients of a classic chicken curry are a few onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, pepper, salt, and garam masala. All these ingredients add a certain degree of spiciness to the curry and make it spicy. So, if you are about to order a chicken curry at a restaurant or plan to make it at home, it would be great if you find out beforehand whether it is spicy or not. This way, you can take an informed decision.
4. Ask Your Server
At times, you may come across a curry that you aren’t sure whether it is spicy or not. In such a case, you can always ask your server or the person serving you. They are sure to know what every individual dish is that they are serving you and will be able to let you know whether it is spicy or not. However, keep in mind that the person serving you may not be the cook behind the dish. So, they may not be able to tell you how spicy the dish actually is. But they can definitely let you know if the dish is spicy or not.
We have seen that there is a difference between curries and curry and that not all Indian curries are spicy. We have also discussed various ways to find out whether curry is spicy or not, and some ways to make a mild curry spicier. All in all, it is true that not all curries are spicy. In fact, most curries are not spicy. However, you should know the type of curry that you are eating, as well as its ingredients, to find out whether it is spicy or not.