20 Best Curry Recipes

Curry is one of the most versatile dishes in the world, taking on various flavor profiles. Each iteration highlights different types of proteins, spices, and adornments. In its simplest form, curry is a sauce, but many of us recognize it as being so much more than that — it can be spicy, it can be sweet, it can be loaded with meat, or it can feature plant-based ingredients like chickpeas. While most of us might recognize curry as being a part of Indian cuisine, there are actually many types of curry out there, including regional variations from Thailand, Japan, and Jamaica.

Fans of curry may avoid making it at home for fear of it not tasting quite as good as the stuff from a restaurant. We can assure you that with the right recipe, all of your homemade curry dreams can become very feasible. We've compiled a list of tried and true curry recipes that taste just as good as takeout — no matter your skill level or how much time you have.

Chicken massaman curry

This chicken Massaman curry is perfect for those who want to build an impressive Thai curry from scratch but don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. This recipe comes together in just under an hour. While the ingredients list is a bit hefty, one taste of this subtly sweet, spicy, and savory curry will make it all worthwhile.

Another perk to this recipe is that it showcases chicken thighs, a cut of poultry that often comes in second place to chicken breasts but has so much juicy flavor to offer. The chicken thighs will also pair alongside potatoes, making for a hearty dish that will satisfy the whole family.

Recipe: Chicken Massaman Curry

Spicy aloo curry

Vegetarians and vegans can get excited about this spicy aloo curry recipe, which puts potatoes to good use alongside a plethora of other plant-based ingredients. This curry is perfect for whipping up on a busy weeknight as it requires nothing but pantry staples and a few produce items. If you haven't made it to the grocery store in a few days, there's a good chance you might have all of the ingredients on hand already.

Though this is a vegan curry, anyone can and should enjoy its spicy, warming flavors. From the hearty potatoes to the kick of spice from either jalapeño or Serrano chile, this curry will warm you up and fill you up all in one go.

Recipe: Spicy Aloo Curry

Shrimp jalfrezi curry

In a world where chicken and beef seem to dominate the curry-sphere, it's nice to switch things up and allow some seafood into the mix. Take, for example, this shrimp jalfrezi curry — it features everyone's favorite little sea bug along with a homemade curry paste, a rich coconut sauce, and plenty of vegetables like onion and peppers.

Despite having quite a few ingredients and a from-scratch curry paste, this is a remarkably quick recipe to make, requiring just over 35 minutes to whip up. And, keep in mind, a chunk of that time is spent allowing the sauce to simmer and thicken up. For those who want a well-rounded meal when it comes to a bowl of curry, this shrimp jalfrezi covers all of the bases and then some.

Recipe: Shrimp Jalfrezi Curry

Vegetable Coconut Curry

Who says that a curry needs to have meat to be nourishing or satisfying? Sure, meat helps round a curry out and make it more of a meal, but you can accomplish the same level of fulfilling goodness with vegetables, which is exactly what this vegetable coconut curry does. Between the eggplant, red pepper, green beans, butternut squash, and cauliflower, this curry is an absolute medley of brightness. Paired alongside the creamy coconut sauce, even the pickiest of eaters will not only eat their vegetables but enjoy them too.

Another huge perk to this recipe is that you'll build everything in one pot. Starting with the spices and ending with the green beans, you'll gradually build this curry until you have a veggie-infused dish that's just begging to pair with a scoop of rice. And don't forget the fresh cilantro and squeeze of lime juice for a final burst of freshness.

Recipe: Vegetable Coconut Curry

Simple palak paneer

This palak paneer has a noticeably green hue to it, and it's not from a green curry paste, but instead from the addition of spinach. The greens no doubt boost the nutritional value of this dish while also providing a subtly earthy flavor that pairs oh-so-well with paneer cheese.

A simple recipe, ideal for busy weeknights, this palak paneer comes together in just 40 minutes and pairs well with rice and fresh cilantro. You may want to include a dollop of Greek yogurt to add some richness and creaminess that contrasts nicely with the green-forward curry.

Recipe: Simple Palak Paneer

Cheaters' braise baked chicken curry

Braising is a useful cooking method most commonly done with larger cuts of meat. It involves searing the meat first, then leaving it to slowly cook in a small amount of liquid. The result is a perfectly juicy piece of meat and, thanks to that initial sear, all of that flavor is locked in nice and tight. Fans of braising will attest to the tried and true method, though if there's one downfall, it's that braising can take some time in the kitchen that not all of us have.

If you're looking for a little shortcut when it comes to braising, then this cheaters' braise-baked chicken curry is just the answer. You'll start by cooking whole chicken thighs in the oven at high heat for about 30 minutes, then you'll reduce the heat and cook for about 15 minutes more. Along the way, you'll also incorporate other curry components during the cooking process, leaving you with an impressive meal that is actually the result of a nifty shortcut.

Recipe: Cheaters' Braise Baked Chicken Curry

Thai chicken curry

There are few curries more classic than a Thai one featuring chicken, and this recipe highlights such a dish in a beginner-friendly way. You'll start with a store-bought green curry paste and add in some expected players like garlic, ginger, chicken broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Some more unexpected additions like eggplant and snow peas will help bulk up the dish, along with some juicy, pre-cut chicken thighs that will cook in just a few minutes.

This Thai curry is perfect for those weeknights when you need a well-rounded meal but don't have much time to cook. In fact, the cook time for this recipe is only 20 minutes, so before you know it, dinner will be on the table and you can kick back and relax.

Recipe: Thai Chicken Curry

Veggie-packed Japanese curry

While most of us are plenty familiar with Indian and Thai curry, Japanese curry is a variation that deserves some serious recognition. Unlike other types of curry, this veggie-packed Japanese curry is sort of like a stew, featuring an absolute plethora of vegetables in a sweet and savory sauce. How does this sauce get its sweetness, you may ask? Well, thanks to the clever inclusion of a grated apple, this sauce gets a nice burst of freshness and sweetness without being overbearing.

Like so many types of curry, this one is best served alongside some rice and with some chopped herbs as a finishing garnish. The rice does a good job of sopping up all of that sauce. Along with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and edamame, this Japanese curry really does live up to its veggie-packed name.

Recipe: Veggie-Packed Japanese Curry

Thai red curry chicken

While it's name may have you envisioning a bright red curry, this Thai red curry chicken is actually named for the fact that it features red curry paste. So, yes, there is a slightly reddish hue to this curry, but it mostly just looks creamy and delicious thanks to other additions including coconut milk, chicken, and spinach.

Fans of chicken breast will especially love this recipe, as it puts the lean cut to good use — somewhat of a rare find amongst so many recipes that feature chicken thighs. This is a quick and easy curry recipe that features pantry staples and comes together in just 30 minutes.

Recipe: Thai Red Curry Chicken

Coconut curry mussels

Most of us only enjoy mussels when we dine out at a restaurant, but that's about to change thanks to this coconut curry mussels recipe. While it may seem intimidating to cook with mussels, it's actually quite easy to cook the bivalves, as they'll open up and make it quite apparent when they're ready to go. 

Of course, the mussels aren't the only star of the show here, and the coconut curry sauce perfectly complements the seafood with its rich, spicy, and savory flavor profile. Ideal for an appetizer or main course, these mussels will be the talk of the dinner party.

Recipe: Coconut Curry Mussels

Paneer tikka masala

There's no denying the ubiquitous popularity of tikka masala. Though most of us are used to seeing the curry paired with chicken, this recipe opts for a vegetarian approach by featuring paneer cheese instead. You'll marinate the paneer in a spiced Greek yogurt mixture as you would with a chicken recipe, so you can still count on those creamy, earthy flavors, with the added bonus of cheesy goodness.

Before you add the paneer or vegetables to the pot, you'll first put them on a skewer and bake them, which results in a nice browning that you wouldn't otherwise achieve. Once baked, you'll add the paneer, onion, and pepper to a soup pot along with the tomatoey sauce. In a matter of minutes, your paneer tikka masala will be ready to go.

Recipe: Paneer Tikka Masala

Kabocha squash curry

Kabocha squash is a neat little gourd in that it looks somewhat like a pumpkin and tastes somewhat like a sweet potato. Those qualities work beautifully in this kabocha squash curry recipe, with the squash's vibrant orange hue and mildly sweet flavor pairing well with a coconut milk sauce. 

This vegan dish may feel very fall-inspired thanks to the squash, but you can (and should) enjoy this curry year-round. While many vegetarian or vegan curries might highlight potatoes, this one offers a welcome switch-up and provides a good way to use squash that doesn't involve stuffing it or transforming it into pasta.

Recipe: Kabocha Squash Recipe

Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry

Russet or Yukon potatoes are pretty common curry additions, but what about sweet potatoes? Commonly overlooked, sweet potatoes work incredibly well in a curry, with their naturally sweet and earthy flavor profile complementing a rich and savory curry sauce. 

This Jamaican chicken and sweet potato curry is a great example of how well sweet potatoes work in curry, adding some robustness and warmth to the dish without overpowering the other components. You may be wondering, what makes this a Jamaican curry? The inclusions of Jamaican curry powder, allspice, and a Scotch bonnet chile all work together to set this curry apart from the rest.

Recipe: Jamaican Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry

Spicy egg curry

Eggs are incredibly versatile. You can fry them, scramble them, bake them, poach them, and the list goes on and on. As this spicy egg curry recipe proves, you can also hard-boil eggs and then feature them in a tomatoey concoction that doesn't skimp on the heat.

While hard-boiled eggs make for a protein-packed breakfast or snack all on their own, this curry recipe is a great way to make creative use of them. Best of all, you can whip up this curry in record time — in just 26 minutes, to be precise — so if you forgot to hit the grocery store and are in need of a protein come dinner time, bust out that carton of eggs and get to cooking.

Recipe: Spicy Egg Curry

Beef panang curry

Panang curry is one of the most popular types out there. While you could enjoy just about any type of protein with the rich, coconut-infused sauce, this recipe features beef at its best. You'll also make your own curry paste with this recipe, so this one is especially ideal for those who want to make a truly spectacular, dish from scratch.

Since you'll whip up a fresh curry paste as the base of this recipe, the ingredients list may look a bit intimidating in length. Fortunately, the actual process of making the paste is as simple as blending ingredients in a food processor. 

Recipe: Beef Panang Curry

Lamb saag

Saag is a type of curry that involves leafy greens, and in the case of this lamb saag recipe, the green in question is spinach. Of course, we can't overlook the star protein of this dish — lamb shoulder — which really takes this saag from a tasty but otherwise run-of-the-mill curry to something truly special and comforting.

This recipe does require a bit of a time commitment, seeing as you'll have to let the curry simmer for a solid hour. Luckily, that cooking time is purely passive, so you can relax as stovetop does all of the work. Once it's complete, every bite of this curry will offer some impressive flavor complexity, from the tender lamb to the abundance of spices to the green chiles. 

Recipe: Comforting Lamb Saag

Veggie-packed navratan korma

Fans of nutty curries will love this veggie-packed Navratan korma, which incorporates both cashew and almond powder in the curry paste as well as whole cashews as garnish. This korma is incredibly warming thanks to inclusions like cinnamon bark and cardamom pods, and as the name suggests, it's also packed to the brim with various vegetables. 

So, what vegetables are we talking about exactly? You'll find potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, green beans, and peas in this hearty dish, so no need to worry about whether or not you got your daily dose of veggies in with this recipe. As a finishing garnish, you'll even top this curry off with some dried pineapple, which not only supplies a pop of sweetness but also provides a unique textural contrast to the soft and tender vegetables. 

Recipe: Veggie-Packed Navratan Korma

Instant Pot chana masala

Chana masala is arguably one of the most popular types of vegetarian curries out there, with chickpeas making up the bulk of the dish. Even non-vegetarians can get behind a dish this tasty, especially since the Instant Pot allows you to whip up this curry in record time.

Anyone who has made chana masala at home before knows that, while it's typically a pretty easy recipe, it can take time to cook everything on the stovetop. Thanks to the Instant Pot, you'll pressure cook this curry in 8 minutes flat. You will also have to give the device about 15 minutes to release the built-up steam, but that time frame is a small price to pay for such a delicious dish that is so incredibly easy to make.

Recipe: Instant Pot Chana Masala

Butter chicken

Butter chicken may have originated in India, but the popular curry has become a worldwide sensation. How could it not be? From the tender chicken to the creamy, spiced yogurt sauce, this dish pleases just about any palate and is incredibly filling and nourishing while doing so. 

This recipe is not just for butter chicken but for slow-cooker butter chicken. The only step is to load all ingredients into the appliance and then let it do its thing. Because a slow cooker does cook things, well, slowly, you'll have to wait a couple of hours before the curry is ready to go, but the sheer ease of this recipe makes up for the test of patience.

Recipe: Butter Chicken

Matar paneer

Any dish that showcases cheese is a winner in our book, so naturally, this matar paneer curry is one of the tastiest things you could make for dinner. Paneer is a mild cheese that takes on the flavor of curry quite nicely. The matar part of this recipe refers to the peas, which add some savory earthiness and a refreshing pop of green.

One of the best aspects of this matar paneer curry is its sheer savoriness. From the heavy cream-infused curry itself to the chunks of paneer, this is the type of curry that you'll go back to for seconds and thirds. Also, while the curry is delicious enough on its own, naan is an ideal side dish to help sop up all of that sauce.

Recipe: Matar Paneer