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Is The Curry Used In Food Very Strong Tasting?

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by LMackey, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. LMackey

    LMackey New Member

    I'm excited to try the different foods when I'm in India. I love eating foods from different cultures and seeing how it differs from my own. My question is whether the curry used in Indian dishes is really strong tasting or just a mild taste mixed in with other spices? My partner will eat curry as long as it is not too strong.

  2. The taste of the "curry" as a lot of foreigners seem to call it is different in different parts of the country. In the south parts it is more likely the curry would be more spicy. In Maharashtra the curry is less spicy but has a local flavor. The North Indian curries are the most popular ones and they are heavy and calorie intensive. Most of the time the taste will be mild and not too spicy; I find Mexican food far more spicy than Indian. But maybe that's because I am indian and used to it.
    Elizabetonth likes this.

  3. Elizabetonth

    Elizabetonth Member

    It also depends entirely on what sort of curry you get. Even within the different curry regions, there are choices that are more or less spicy. The best thing to do is just to ask when you're ordering, and take the advice given. Bear in mind, too, that your tastebuds and your body will get used to the spice the longer you're there. The first time I went, I went to Sri Lanka with a friend of mine after having had about six weeks in India and Pakistan, and I was SO glad I did it like that! The food in Sri Lanka was delicious, but much spicier than it was in India, so I wouldn't have been able to cope with it had I started there.
  4. integrity101

    integrity101 Member

    From a non-Indian point of view (or taste), Indian food is too spicy. In fact be warned: Never try to be a tough macho man or woman and ask a waiter to make your food more spicy. They'll make it even hotter than they can personally handle just to get a good laugh at your futile struggle to eat the unpalatable meal.
  5. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    First, Indian food is generally spicy. That is not to say it is all spicy, or that it is too spicy. But to answer about curry, as others have said, there is no one curry. It is even debatable on what curry is, to begin with, and who invented it. Think of curry as a selection of spices used to flavor either meat dishes or vegetable dishes. Most of those spices are very earthy, like turmeric and cumin. They are not hot, and actually basic. The heat comes from peppers which are added, and are by no means a requirement for the thousands of curry dishes you will come across. Also, since most restaurants have some experience with foreign tourists, they are well aware of the spicy issue, and will probably have warning on menus of what is too hot for your tastes.
  6. Bayleaf

    Bayleaf New Member

    I think many foreigners are really only familiar with vindaloo (hot) and then masalas or tandoori dishes which tend to be more palatable by the average person. I have eaten sag dishes with very little spice to them, and of course biriyani. Perhaps these are all westernized dishes, and nothing like those found in India?

    Perhaps it is worth looking for a restaurant in your home area that is popular with local Indian visitors or those of Indian descent, as the food there may be more authentic, and your partner can try things to see what they like.
  7. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Yes, people in the West tend to only have one idea of what a curry is. But that is partly because a curry is not even a true Indian dish. It is something that came out of native dishes made to the specifications and tastes of the English soldiers, and what they liked is what the West got. More or less, we say curry to express all of Indian cuisine, which is wrong. You don't say tacos when you think of enchiladas. Curry dishes can be hot, spicy, or anything, as I said previously.
  8. integrity101

    integrity101 Member

    Thanks for clarifying this. History has taught us that colonialists in almost every part of the world had serious misconceptions about the culture of the people they colonized and left erroneous records about some cultural aspects such as native cuisines and other culinary habits.
  9. martinearletara

    martinearletara New Member

    @jnorth you said it best. Curry is no different than Americanize Chinese food. They basically took one ingredient and turned it into a cultural phenomenon. In actuality, curry is an awesome dish that's made best in India or at least by someone's who knows exactly what they are doing when it comes to using herbs and spices.
  10. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

    I freakin' love curry! So spicy, and it leaves a taste in the mouth after eating. Lots of people can't handle it, but for those who can, it really is a very good dish in every meal. Indians really love their spicy food, but I have to say, if you eat spicy food a lot, the taste and sensation kinda gets lost eventually, so just eat them every once in a while, and enjoy the explosion of taste in your tongue!
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Curry, like others have said is different depending in where you'll go in India, as each region I believe will use different spices to make a dish.

    It's also a lot different to what you'll find in the UK aswell, and while curry in India is still strong tasting, it's not all about how hot the dish is, whereas in the UK it is.
  12. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    We are probably talking about the dish rather than a curry powder. I don't know if that mix of spices is called curry in India at all. I know that I love the taste of it and I love curry as a meal. I kind of think the point to feel the real deal is to eat it as it is. If they make it spicy well, we should eat it like that. I made Jamie Oliver recipe from Naked Lunch and it was pretty good actually. Recently I made one only with veggies and it was also very nice.
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    There a different ways to make curry, and when you are making it yourself, you're obviously going to make it to suit your own tastes.

    Having a dish prepared for you though is a totally different matter, so it might be best to just sample a dish first just to make sure you are going to like it. Ordering a meal and then sending it back untouched can be classed as offensive to the chef in some countries.
  14. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    It is important to understand why they have strong flavors. Spices help preserve meat, and cover the flavor of meats which have sunspoiled. The meat is still good, and won't make you sick, but is not tasty for human consumption. The spices cover that flavor and keep bacteria from growing. Super spicy food developed as a necessity, but has gone beyond what is strictly required as the locals developed a taste for hot foods. Still, I think most menus show what is hot and mild. Follow those rules, as everywhere is pretty much used to people liking mild cuisine.
  15. Elaine Lat

    Elaine Lat Member

    The only kind of curry I get to have on a regular basis is the usual chicken curry that Filipino households occasionally cook. It's not as spicy but I do like the flavor. Sometimes there's even pineapple added to it. Perhaps there are a couple of Indian restaurants in the Philippines where I can sample a few dishes that I will actually like. Maybe I can also try to replicate the dishes since they tend to have all sort of spices and consuming spices is known to benefit the body's metabolism.
  16. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    There's a wide variety of curries, and like you mentioned about the one with pineapple, there's also the Korma which is made with Coconut aswell, so they don't always have to be spicy.

    I'm sure that no matter what everyone's tastes are, there's bound to be a curry out there that suits what a person likes.
  17. gamer2x

    gamer2x New Member

    Unfortunately, if you have just had curry outside of India, till now, you would indeed Find curry in India which is pretty strong. The food is riddled with spices which are good, but its always on the spicier side.

    If you are going to any gourmet restaurant which is having good reviews, you can sure request them to make it less spicy.

    On the other hand, if you are going to a five star hotel, you can be sure that it would be still spicy there as they often cater to foreign guests. So a lot also depends on the type of restaurant you are going to.