Curry is popular all over the world because the combinations of meats, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces are nearly endless. The dish is found in many countries, including Thailand, India, and Japan. Bangkok Chef in Honolulu, HI, prepares authentic curries using fresh ingredients that showcase the best of the region’s cuisine. Here, the restaurant’s team explains how this Thai food differs from dishes in other countries.
Thai food uses a variety of ingredients including hot chilies, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste, and dried herbs like cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric. These fresh ingredients make Thai curry spicy and flavorful.
The dish comes in three different varieties: red, yellow, and green. Red curry gets its deep, rich flavor from red chili peppers. This version is spicy but has a mild heat level, making it ideal for people who are new to Thai cuisine. Yellow is the mildest thanks to the sweet peppers and mellow turmeric they contain. Green is the hottest of the three because it contains the spiciest peppers.
Thai curries start as a paste but become more soup-like as other liquids are added. They commonly contain vegetables, chicken, or seafood, and are topped with fresh herbs like mint or cilantro. Thai food restaurants serve curry over noodles or with rice on the side.
Indian curries are made with dry spices like coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili powder to provide intense, lingering flavors. They’re mixed with dal, a puree of chickpeas or other lentils, or with oil, ghee, or yogurt.
There are many different Indian curries, but the most popular are korma, Madras, and pasanda. Korma is yellow and usually includes almond or coconut powder to keep the flavor mild. Madras is the standard hot curry you’ll find in most Indian restaurants and has sour notes. Pasanda is a popular curry in the United Kingdom that is made with coconut milk and cream.
Indian curry is often served with lentils or chicken, but never beef. Tikka masala is one of the most popular varieties, usually served over chicken, mutton, or vegetables. Because most the dishes have a soup-like consistency, they’re typically served over rice. Thicker versions are served with bread like naan or roti.
Japanese curry sauces are made with spice powders, flour, and oil to give it a distinct brown color. This base remains consistent, but the spice levels vary. Japanese curry is always hearty and a little peppery.
This style usually has a thicker gravy than Indian or Thai food. Japanese curry dishes usually include onions, carrots, and potatoes served with meats like beef, pork, or chicken, all served over a bed of white rice.
If you’re looking for a local restaurant in Honolulu that serves up the most authentic Thai food and curries, check out Bangkok Chef. You can view their menu online, or visit one of their five area restaurants. They offer dine-in, takeout, and catering service, so call (808) 585-8839 to place an order.