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Nov 5, 2007 07:50 AM

Curry and which is best?

Is it true what I heard? I spoke with a wonderful Indian woman yesterday while looking at the spices at Marshalls. I might be wrong, but not knowing how long they've been passed around, shelved and whatnot, I passed. We did get into a conversation about curry powder.

She said the best is from Sri Lanka, does anyone have any insight on this? The differences?
I was under the impression the one from Jamaica was the one to get?

I love good curry, make my own mix, but with spices I get here...

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  1. I think it probably would depend on what your cooking since I think the curry spice blends vary so much from region to region.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Ah so not one single curry. Makes sense. I am on a quest for the most flavorful, spicy and not sure how to get it.
      Also I can not find your risotto recipe! I apologize to you I thought I'd bookmarked it.
      Without you typing it do you have the link where you posted it.. I am so sorry for asking twice.

      1. re: chef chicklet

        Remind me of which risotto recipe it was?

        1. re: MMRuth

          I think it's this one - the zucchini one?

          By the way - saw a lovely recipe for a zucchini/zucchini blossom pasta dish with bottarga - thinking I'll have to try that on the risotto next time.

          By the way - I found it by searching using my user name, yours and risotto, on the Home Cooking board.

          1. re: MMRuth

            3 zuchinni risitto, you had beautiful pictures of zuchinni flowers topping the rissotto. That's it! Thanks!!!! I will bookmark this now, I have a gaggle of zuchinni, and will go looking for blossoms. Beautiful dish!

      2. there is such a range of dishes that qualify as curries that I don't think it would be easy to say any one is the "best". Thai Curry is so different from Japanese Curry, from Indian Curry... and each of these have variations (green, red, yellow, etc) and curry itself is such a variable blend of spices.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KaimukiMan

          True, and there are also Malaysian curry, and so forth. I think it's mostly a personal preference rather than a superior quality. I myself like Thai for the coconut milk fragrance, but perfer Indian because the flavor is more complex.

        2. "Curry" is, I believe, an umbrella term used by the British, who applied it to any spicy food that looked like a stew and that was eaten by "natives". Had the US remained a British colony, they would have called our chili con carne a curry and Mole Poblano would have been "Mexican curry". So there's a whole panoply of dishes in India that the English called curries, and I don't think the people cooking them view them as being of the same culinary species.(And, if they are good cooks, they don't use prepared power, they grind their own spices. If they do use prepared powder, they usually call it garam masala, at least in Hindi). And then the word came to be used for dishes in Thailand, which are wholly different animals, which have less in common with Indian curries than American chili con carne, which at least has one spice in common. To top it off, the British introduced their generic version of Anglo-Indian curry to Japan, where the people thought of it as quintessentially English and loved it.

          That being said, my favorite curry powder is Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder, made in Connecticut under license from Merwanjee Poonjiajee Company.

          1. Try making your own "curry powder" by grinding just enough whole spices for the individual dish you're cooking. An old blade coffee grinder does the trick nicely, and the whole spices keep pretty much forever. You'll be amazed at the difference.

            Here's a recipe for a Sri Lankan curry powder:


            1. If you are looking for dried curry powders, as opposed to Thai curry pastes, take a look at Penzey's spices:


              They have amazing spices and offer great service, either through the mail or in their growing number of retail stores.