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Thai Curry vs Indian Curry: Who’s Better Than Who?

Last updated: September 3, 2020

The bar has been raised.

Curries are no longer a food that only Indians enjoy. 

And to keep up with its hype, many others have come up with either little moderations to the traditional recipe or a completely new innovation. 

While Indian curries have been a front runner, there is one other cuisine that gained quite the popularity when it comes to curries. That one is…

Thai curry! 

You might think that they are all the same but, trust the curry lovers, they are not. 

Today, I talk about the topic of Thai curry vs Indian curry and fill you in on their differences. What you want to make is up to you but it is a bliss trying out both of them! 

Ready to find out?

Keep reading! 

What is Thai Curry?

Thai curry is generally a soup-like dish made of curry paste and a main ingredient like fish, meat, or shellfish. However, they make something for the vegetarians as well by adding in different fruits, veggies, and even edible flowers! 

Being the funky people Thais are, their curries often have varieties of other animals that most of us would not think of having. Their traditional main ingredients consist of  frogs, snakes, snails, wild birds and game such as Sambar deer and wild boar

What are the ingredients in their paste?

With all those unconventional animals in Thai curry, you might be wondering if their curry paste contains out-of-the-box ingredients too? But do not worry because it is all the basics in one! 

The Thai curry paste contains shrimp paste, lemongrass, chillies, onions, garlic, galangal, and coriander. The type of chilli red, green, or yellow depends on the type of Thai curry that is being made. I will get to the types in a while! 

What is Indian Curry?

Now let us talk about the one curry that started it all for the curry fandom…

Indian curry! 

More like a stew rather than a soup, Indian curries have all the comfort ingredients that most brown people look for. The gravy is made from sauteed tomatoes and onions and seasoned with the best dry spices to give it that oomph of curry! 

Indian curries, like Thai curries, can be both veg and non-veg. They use the basic meat like chicken, fish, or mutton for all the non-veg curry lovers! To make the gravy thick and tastier, buttermilk, butter or cream is often used. 

Types of Thai and Indian Curry

Thai and Indian curry are not only of one type. The everlasting Thai curry vs Indian curry is only the tip of the iceberg, while there many other aspects to know about within them. 

Types of Thai Curry: For the Different Taste Palettes

Whether you like your curry super spicy or more on the milder side, Thais have got you covered! 

  • Green Thai Curry: Made for the spice lovers, green Thai curry gives you a blast of the green chilli taste. To give it that vibrant color, chefs often use fresh coriander (cilantro), makrut lime leaf and peel, and basil. 

If you want a full recipe of the most common Thai curry then click on here.

  • Red Thai Curry: Infused with a lot of red chillies, chilli powder, and tomato paste, red Thai curries also have a spicy flavor but give you a rich flavor profile as well. Along with the red chillies, the basic Thai paste is also used with it. 

Click here to make your own Red Thai curry. 

  • Yellow Thai Curry: Last, but not the least, is the yellow Thai curry that is specially made for the people who cannot tolerate the heat. This one is more on the sweeter side but still has very mild spices in it. 

Along with the other ingredients, turmeric is the main attraction to it that gives it the yellow color. To find out all the items in it, head on here.

Types of Indian Curry: Something for Everyone

Indians are a diverse group of people, from veg to non-veg, and so their curries are also made to suit each one of them. 

There is not much to discuss about them because they are pretty self-explanatory. The main curries that come from Indian cuisines are: fish curry, lamb curry, chicken curry, veg curry, and egg curry. 

However, the main difference lies in how each one is made. Let’s take a look at those: 

  • Achari Curry: Rooted from Punjab, this one has all the typical Indian ingredients like turmeric, black onion seeds, etc. What makes achari curries extra special is the addition of pickles and mustard seed oil. 
  • Bombay Curry: For people who would rather make Indian curries have a subtle spicy flavor, Bombay curry is the way to go. The main ingredients of this dish are coconut, vinegar, and chicken broth to give it a flavorful but not spicy taste.
  • Do Piyaz Curry: If you are a diehard onion lover, this double onion curry might be your go-to. Onion are fried in the curry along with the other spices and lastly, more fried onions are sprinkled over the top! 

Honestly, Indian curries are all about experimenting with the spices and flavors till you get the right kick that your tastebuds need. 

Differences between Thai and Indian Curry

Now that you know what each of the dishes have to offer, you might as well have a look at the differences between the two. 

Flavor Profile:

Thai curry has a thinner and more hearty flavor to it. On the first sip, you will get a burst of fresh herbs and hints of citrus flavor from lemongrass and lime leaves. Also, Thai curries will remind you of a day out in the beach with their amazing looking subtle colors! 

On the other hand, Indian curries are thick and have a mouthful of spice kicks for you. With an Indian curry, you will taste lots of cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and cumin. 

You know what they say: “It’s not Indian until you have loads of spices in it!”

Well, that might just be me, but you get the drill. 

Ingredients:

The difference in flavor profile obviously comes from the distinct ingredients in them and here is a quick look of that. 

Coconut milk is a common ingredient in Thai curries, whereas in Indian curries dairy products like buttermilk, butter, cream, or yoghurt is mostly used. This one item can alter the taste to a great extent! 

Indian curries are cooked by adding dry spices to the pan at first to make them have a flavor kick. Contrarily, like I mentioned before, Thai curry is all about that curry paste

Consistency:

Because a Thai curry is made from large chunks of vegetables, there is little to no scope of the broth being thick. Moreover, coconut milk and chicken broth add to the light nature of Thai curries, making them a delightful dish to have at any time!

Contrarily, an Indian curry is infused with very small or blended tomatoes, onions, and other veggies. They do not make their curry thin and even add heavy cream or butter to make it even thicker. For a creamy and thick taste, Indian curries are the best way to go! 

Side Dishes:

Thai curry is often paired with jasmine rice that tends to be short and sticky. My guess is that since the curry is very thin, a clumpier rice dish compliments it well.

Apart from that, adding the Thai curry to noodles like ramen or simple egg noodles is also a great way to have a wholesome meal! 

On the other side, Indian curry goes well with the thin and lean basmati rice. I love pairing it up with naan and paratha as well! These are basically types of bread made in brown households and Thai curry might not be the best choice of bread.

Where to Buy Thai and Indian Curry Paste

Since you know pretty much everything about Thai curry vs Indian curry, you might want to get started on cooking it on your own! 

Click on the links below and get cooking! 

Top Picks for Thai Curry Paste

To Make the Gravy Tastier:

Top Picks for Indian Curry Paste

Frequently Asked Questions

Curries can be quite confusing when compared with each other and here are the top three questions I picked out to answer for you:

What is a Curry?

Curry is referred to as anything that either has a soup or stew-like consistency. Made with a variant mixture of herbs and spices, curries are the heart of the meal for many people! 

Unlike popular belief, curries do not always have to be spicy and can actually be made according to one’s preference. Curry can be made with chicken, fish, pork or be suited to impress the vegetarians.

Are Curry Leaves Used in Curries?

From what the name suggests, most of us would think that curry leaves are used in all curries. Nevertheless, more often than not, curry leaves are hardly used in a curry.

There are rare times when you might find a leaf or two in an Indian curry, but never in a Thai curry. Instead Thai curries use lemon grass that gives it the citrus flavor. 

Is Indian Curry Spicier Than Thai Curry?

Absolutely not! 

We all have a preconceived notion that all Indian foods are spicy. But, believe it or not, not every Indian has a kick for spices! 

In fact, the Green Thai Curry is much spicier than most Indian curries you will taste. In the end, both Thai and Indian curries have a scale for spices that people adjust according to their needs. 

Keep Calm and Curry On! 

I like to believe that, in the case of food, you would not know what you like unless you try it yourself. We all have different tastes and no one else can tell us what to like.

That being said, I personally prefer the Indian curry over Thai curry. The blast of spices and herbs it gives makes me feel more at home than the citrus and light flavor that Thai curry has. Pairing it up with a naan or a bowl of rice is enough to keep my stomach happy! 

Albeit, I will still go for Thai curry when I want something that has a lighter and more earthy flavor. And if I need heap loads of spice, green Thai curry is my go-to! 

Let’s Hear from You Now

Which one is your favorite from Thai and Indian curry?

Or are you yet to try them both?

Whatever it is, make sure to let me know in the comments below! 

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