Why The Base Of Your Curry Is So Important

If you didn't grow up eating curry, it can seem like a complex dish. It comes in different colors, consistencies, and features a variety of ingredients. The only constant seems to be the rice that it's served alongside.

Well, that's actually one of the best definitions of a curry there is. It's a dish that is incredibly old, and varies wildly between different regions and cultures (via Sukhi's). The term was originally coined by the British explorers who first visited India. There's evidence that Indian cooks had been using a spice laden sauce to flavor meats for 4,500 years, per Smithsonian Magazine. According to Slate, the word curry comes from the tamil word kari, meaning sauce, and it's believed that the British used the word as a catch all term to describe the different dishes made with this method that they encountered in their travels.

Curry has maintained much of its variety within today's culinary landscape. The base chosen for a curry is what makes it an expression of place, identity, culture, and tastes. The mixture of vegetables, spices, herbs, and other ingredients that make up this base will have a huge influence on your final dish.

The base is the central flavor of the curry

According to the chefs at Dabba Drop via Reader's Digest, the key to a good curry base is balance. While curries are thought of as very spicy dishes, they can actually have a lot of different flavors thanks to different bases. Whether you use tomatoes, coconut milk, spinach, or onions as the base of the curry, the important thing to remember is how it will interact with other parts of the dish.

According to the Dabba Drop experts, tomato bases pair great with chillies and spicier palettes, while those looking for something a little more mild should reach for coconut milk or onions. The most important thing is that these elements balance well together, and form a complex sauce to cook your meat in.

Dabba Drop also recommends using a tadka to add even more flavor, and to make sure you have plenty of sides to go with your curry. Don't be afraid to go beyond just adding some jasmine rice. Cauldron Foods recommends adding flatbreads like naan or chapati, samosas, or different salads and chutneys to complete the spread for your curry dinner.