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Southeast Asia’s Contribution to the Humble Curry!

What do we know about curry? Ask anyone of Western origin this question and the standard answer will be along the lines of: “It’s from India, and it’s really spicy.” While the cuisine of Southeast Asia does lend a degree of inspiration from India, their adaptation of this globally popular dish is equally breath-taking and utterly delicious. With coconut palms adorning just about every beachfront and garden from north to south, the creamy juice of coconuts has become a great part of curry preparation here. When arriving for the first time in Thailand, the incredible selection of delicious curries can very much be the portal through which the unaccustomed palate can travel to the enjoyment of the rest of Thai cuisine! So, what exactly does this mean?

To be fair, while the menu of Southeast Asia is perhaps the most interesting, complex, fresh and colourful cuisine in the world, many people from abroad struggle with the unique, and often pungent, flavours typically associated with Thai food. The widespread use of fermented fish sauce in many of the Thai dishes is one thing; the side-effects of consuming copious amounts of chilli is another! Yet, the range of curries – usually made from coconut milk or cream, fresh vegetables and a meat such as chicken, seafood or pork - is so universally delicious that tourists are at least given a few days to acclimatise to the local cuisine before starving or worse; falling back on McDonalds!

The most popular curries in Thailand – popular with tourists that is – are green, red and yellow curry. The first, Thai green curry is a classic, and extremely popular addition to the menus restaurants around the world, including Thailand.

Then of course there’s Panang curry, Massaman curry, Thai shrimp coconut curry, Jungle curry (northern), Northern Pork curry, Thai fish curry…the list goes on and on! As a result of the complex spicy flavours, creamy coconut backdrop, wholesome crunch of fresh vegetables and savoury finish of your choice in meat, the contribution of Southeast Asia to the humble curry is a bold, and widely loved, adaptation.

Why not broaden your curry horizons and check out some of our delicious recipes to bring the taste of Thai home!

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