Instead of cooking curry from scratch, curry paste is a good option to help you make a delicious homemade dish in a short time. Since there are many types of curry, you may wonder how are they different and what needs to be considered when it comes to choosing the right curry paste.
Don't worry! You'll find the answer in this article from our buying guide, reviewed by a professional chef. We've also provided you 10 recommended products you can buy online. Check and see if you're interested in any of them.
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
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Table of Contents
Beside choosing your favorite flavor, there are other important things that we suggest you to check such as type of curry flavor, storage, and cooking instructions.
You may find various types of curry paste from different countries; however, the most popular curry pastes seem to be from these three countries: Japan, Thailand, and India.
Japanese curry has a sweet taste, mild heat compared to other types of curry, and thick texture. The sweet taste usually comes from honey, sugar, or fruit like apples, and the brown color is from roux.
You can add any type of meat, seafood, and vegetable, but the usual ingredients are meats and vegetables like onions, potatoes, and carrots. Japanese curries normally come in cube or sauce form instead of paste, but we think they’re still worth a shoutout in this article!
There are three main types of Thai curry: green, red, and yellow. What makes them different in colors are the types of chili, spices, and herbs. Although these curry pastes are different in ingredients, they use the same ingredient of the soup base, coconut milk.
The most popular type of Thai curry, green curry paste, uses green chilis, cilantro root, kaffir, sweet basil, and lemongrass. If you want a typical Thai taste, add Thai eggplant, bamboo, sweet basil, and turkey berry when you cook. Green curry goes better with meat than seafood.
Red curry uses dried red chilis as one of the main ingredients. There are many types of curry that use red curry like Gang Dang and Panang. Each type of curry uses different ingredients.
For example, typical Panang usually contains simple ingredients like meat and garnishes of shredded kaffir and red peppers. Besides curry, red curry paste can also be used in many other Thai dishes, too!
The most popular yellow curry is called massaman. Yellow curry is the mildest and often made with coriander, cumin, lemongrass ginger, garlic, and yellow or red chili. It goes well with beef or chicken and vegetables like potatoes, onions, and peanuts.
However, this doesn’t mean people who dislike spicy food can’t eat green and red curry. If you want mild spice, you can reduce the amount of curry paste but it might not taste as good as spicy ones.
Indian curry has the strongest smell and taste among all types of curry. Each type of curry uses a combination of herbs and spices like coriander, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, clove, and more.
Some of the most popular types of Indian curry are butter chicken and tikka masala. Butter chicken is mild, sweet, and creamy. The main added ingredients are butter, cream, yogurt, onion, tomato, and vegetable oil.
But if you like spicy and earthy tastes, you will like Tikka Masala. The added ingredients are quite similar to butter chicken and include yogurt, fresh or canned tomatoes, onions, chopped cilantro, and vegetable oil. Both types of curry go well with chicken.
A curry paste for one-dish use usually comes in packets or cans. These types of packaging are small and light, don’t take up much space and are convenient to bring places. If you want to cook a bigger portion or plan to use it for many meals, you might want to consider glass jars or plastic containers since they usually come in bigger sizes.
Once opened, make sure you store the leftover paste in the fridge. It usually lasts for two four to 4 weeks before it goes bad.
In general, unopened curry pastes have a long shelf life for approximately three years, but each product is different, so we recommend you to always check the expiry date before buying.
To make a complete curry dish, you need other ingredients besides curry paste like vegetables, meat, and a soup base. Some just need water! Each type of curry is different, so make sure to check what other ingredients you need.
Some require more ingredients than others. For example, you can use meat, vegetables, and water as a soup base for Japanese curry, but you will need meat, vegetables, herbs, and coconut milk to make a good Thai curry.
However, some brands offer an easier alternative that can shorten cooking steps and save time, such as using a microwave instead of the stovetop. You can also find a 2-in-1 curry paste and soup base, too!
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Kitchens of India
Butter Chicken Curry Paste
A Buttery and Creamy Curry Made with Natural Ingredients
Green Curry Paste
An Authentic Thai Curry Guarantee
Golden Curry Sauce Mix Extra Hot
A Spicy Version of Japanese Curry is Worth a Try!
Panang Curry Paste
Sweet and Salty with a Scent of Kaffir Lime Leaves
Yellow Curry Paste
Quick and Easy Homemade Coconut Milk Curry
Kitchens of India
Paste for Tikka Masala
Tomato-Cream Sauce with Strong Spices
CoCo Ichibanya Curry House
Individual-Sized Curry Sauce from a Popular Japanese Curry Shop
Red Curry Paste
Traditional Thai Taste with Lemongrass, Galangal and Chilis
Mild Curry Paste
A Rich, Deep-Flavored Indian Curry with a Hint of Spice
A Simple Curry with the Sweetness from Apple and Honey
Butter chicken curry is a favorite of many because it has the right combinations of flavors: sweet, creamy, salty, a hint of hotness, and a blend of Indian herbs and spices.
It's made with 100% natural ingredients and free from preservatives. Moreover, the curry paste is made in India and the recipe was created by the master chef of ITC hotels, which can guarantee the taste and quality.
Some people claim that this curry paste is too spicy and can cause an upset stomach. There were several reviewers who said they received one pack instead of six!
On the other hand, others say it's quick and easy to prepare. It's also creamy, flavorful, and has a nice spice level. Instead of adding water, some people use heavy cream for a richer flavor while others say it tastes good with coconut milk, too! They also like that it's good for low-carb and paleo diets.
Green curry is the most popular type of Thai curry. This curry paste is a product of Thailand and made without MSG, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.
This product is certified by the "Superior Taste Award 2017", which guarantees authentic taste and high quality. If you're allergic to seafood, you should be aware that this product contains shrimp paste.
Many people can't handle the spice level of this product. Although they can reduce the heat by reducing the amount of curry paste, it also reduces the intensity of flavor! Also, some people say it's very salty and contains a high amount of sodium.
On the other hand, others claim that it's full of flavor and tastes like restaurant-quality curry. Some people also say it tastes like traditional Thai curry. It's a big container, but reviewers say they freeze small amounts to use as they need.
A typical Japanese curry has a sweet taste with a hint of hotness or none at all. With uniquely sweet undertones, some people think it's quite different compared to other types of curry. However, adding more spices can help to avoid the greasy taste.
You'll get two cubes in one pack and five packs in total. It comes in lightweight packaging and doesn't need to be refrigerated before opening. This curry goes well with beef, chicken, lamb, and shrimp.
Some reviewers claim that this is not really extra hot, but it's very delicious and easy to make. Some people say it tastes similar to the curry from CoCo Ichibanya, the popular Japanese curry shop.
Unlike other extra hot curries where you won't taste anything excepts chilis, the spice level of this curry is just perfect and can bring out the sweetness and savory taste of other ingredients without the greasy taste.
If you like a smell of kaffir lime leaf, you must try Panang curry. This curry paste has a perfect combination of sweet and salty tastes with a light scent of kaffir lime leaves. But if you want a stronger taste, you can add shredded kaffir lime leaves on top.
It suits someone who is looking to make a simple curry that doesn't require many steps and a lot of added ingredients. It comes with four cans and each can is a one-time use, so it's easy to store and use.
Reviewers say these cans arrived dented and they can't return them. However, others say it's easy to use and has a savory and sweet flavor. The spice level is perfect and not too spicy, so most people enjoy it.
It's a good curry paste for vegetarians since the paste doesn't contain any meat or seafood. Some people say it goes well with peanuts, too!
When we talk about Thai curry, we usually have the impression that they're all spicy! But not with this type of curry. This yellow curry paste has a mild spice that anyone can eat, even kids! You only require five ingredients: yellow curry paste, onions, potatoes, coconut milk, and chicken, to make this delicious curry dish.
Some reviewers say that it contains too much salt and doesn't have a strong taste compared with the ones they have at restaurants. However, most people say it's tasty and not spicy.
It comes in a big container but requires only a small amount of paste each time. So, one container can last for a long time. Some reviewers suggest to strictly follow the cooking instruction for a perfect taste. Although it tastes best with chicken, it also tastes good with beef or even meatless, too!
If you like tomato cream sauce with a spicy taste, you will like tikka masala. Sometimes cream sauce can leave an oily and greasy feeling in your mouth, but a spicy taste can help to avoid a greasy feeling.
Tikka Masala doesn't require many ingredients, so it's easy to prepare and make. You can use a microwave or a pan to cook, but make sure to follow instructions because each method requires different lengths of time needed to cook.
Reviewers say it's high in sodium and has a salty and bitter taste. They wish it tasted a little bit sweeter. Others say that it's simple, tasty, and convenient. They also say it's spicier than they expected! Many cook it with chicken and lamb and say it tastes so much better with coconut milk.
This curry mix is the ultimate choice for convenience. It's a product from CoCo Ichibanya Curry House, one of the most popular curry shops in Japan.
This is the easiest way to enjoy a typical Japanese curry at home. All you need to do is just put it in the microwave and serve over warm cooked rice. However, you can add extra meat or vegetables if you'd like also. You'll get to try different flavors including beef, pork, mild pork, and vegetable!
Most reviewers love this set of curry sauces not only because they get to try a variety of flavors, but also they say it tastes exactly like curry that they have in Japan. It has perfectly balanced tastes between sweet, salty, and spicy. Also, it's quick and easy to prepare.
This red curry paste is free from artificial colors and flavors, MSG, and gluten. In addition to curry, you can use it to make stir-fry or soups, too!
Some reviewers claim that they only received one jar even though the product page says the price is for six. We recommend contacting the seller before buying to confirm.
However, others say they got six jars as advertised. Reviewers mention it's good for paleo diets, delicious, and has a moderate amount of spice. Most say they use a whole jar per dish and it comes out just perfect!
Indian curries usually have a strong smell and deep flavor and are too spicy for some people. If you like Indian curry but you can't handle much heat, you may want to consider this product.
This thick Indian curry paste contains coriander and cumin as the main ingredients. It comes with a mild spice and can be used in a wide variety of Indian dishes.
Some people doubt this curry is originally from India because it has a different smell and taste from authentic Indian curry.
But most people say it has a great flavor and is good for a quick easy meal. It's not spicy as claimed and goes well with any type of meat. Because the herb and spice flavor is not as strong, this curry paste is a great choice for the whole family!
It's true that Japanese curry requires minimal additional ingredients like meats and several types of vegetables. But if you want to make a good Japanese curry, there are some extra ingredients to make a better taste.
Instead of adding pure white sugar, these curry cubes use apple and honey as sweeteners, so the dish has a soft and smooth taste that makes it easy to eat.
Reviewers support the claim that it has a sweet and smooth taste. Although it claims to have a medium spice, it tastes like mild spice. Since it's not spicy, it's a good curry that can be eaten by anyone. Some people say it tastes great with beef and if you want a stronger flavor, they also suggest adding less water.
Since there is more than one ingredient required to make a dish of curry, you might want to check out our suggestions for other ingredients as well.
No. 1: Kitchens of India | Butter Chicken Curry Paste | 6 pack
No. 2: Mae Ploy | Green Curry Paste
No. 3: S&B | Golden Curry Sauce Mix Extra Hot | 5-pack
No. 4: Maesri | Panang Curry Paste | 4-pack
No. 5: Mae Ploy | Yellow Curry Paste
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