What is Curry Sauce? How to Use it and How to Make it

Chicken in curry sauce
Ramon Velasquez / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

What is Curry Sauce? 

These days, curry has become an international dish that is served up in numerous ways. If you're interested in expanding your culinary knowledge or skills, you'll definitely want to explore all the various types of curry sauces and how to use them. In our house, we make our own curry sauces, pastes, and curry dishes - at least one per week (more if we're lucky!).

Curry sauce is one of the most flavorful of all sauces in existence and forms the basis of an infinite number of deliciously complex dishes - generally known as 'curry' - across the globe.

There are an endless number of different recipes for curry or curry sauce, so perhaps the best way to narrow this broad topic down is by cuisine. Indian curry sauces are world-renown for their fiery heat and robust flavors. Thai curry is also known to be spicy but tends to have a stronger coconut flavor than Indian. In addition to Thai and Indian curry, every country in Southeast-Asia has its own type of curry, and each believes theirs to be the best - and they're right! It's hard to decide which type of curry is the best - they are all individually wonderful. In the end, it all comes down to a matter of taste.

Curry Sauces and Pastes - What's the Difference?

Thai and Indian curries are either made from a curry sauce or from what is called a curry paste. Curry paste is basically a mixture of various dry spices and fresh herbs all combined in a food processor or pestle & mortar to make a thick spice paste.

To create a curry sauce out of a paste, all you need to do is add liquid - normally a combination of chicken or vegetable stock and coconut milk are used in Thai curries, whereas Indian curries may call for cream, sour cream, yogurt or milk in addition to stock. Both Thai and Indian curry pastes are available by the jar or tub in most supermarkets, although the best-tasting ones are still made at home in your own kitchen (see recipe links below).

How to Make Curry Paste:

Most Thai curries come in three main colors: yellow, green, and red. To make your own curry paste, see the following links: yellow curry paste recipe, green curry paste recipe and red curry paste recipe (click on links for recipes). Note that Indian curry pastes and sauces tend to either be yellow in appearance or a deep red to dark brown, often depending on the type of meat or vegetable the curry contains as well as the type of curry powder/spice mix used.

How to Make a Good Curry?

The best curries are made from a combination of both dry and fresh ingredients. Some are made from a curry paste, while others call for curry powder among other ingredients. There is no right or wrong way to make curry, but it does help to have a good recipe and include all ingredients called for. Then, the best tip is to use your taste-buds and adjust the final dish according to your liking.

See this collection of tried and true Best Thai Curry Recipes, and make yourself and your family a delicious curry treat!