Curry is a dish including meat or tofu, vegetables, rice and a heavily-spiced sauce. This dish originated in India and is a staple in Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern cuisine. It's commonly referred to as one of the most flavorful dishes in the world and comes in a wide variety of spiciness and tastes. Here are some popular types of curry commonly found in Indian cuisine:


rust colored plate with red dhansak in it

Dhansak is one of the most popular curry dishes. It is made from vegetables such as pumpkins and tomatoes, lentils, spices and seasonings and, traditionally, cubes of lamb meat, though goat meat, chicken or vegetarian substitutes are acceptable. The array of flavors in this dish make it mouth-wateringly delicious, and it can be sweet, sour or hot based on the ingredients and spices used.


overhead shot of korma in a pot next to tortillas and rice

While other curry dishes bring the heat, korma is popular for its rich and savory flavoring. This Indian curry is unique due to its yogurt base, which gives it a creamier texture and taste than typical curries that have a coconut milk base. Korma gets its flavor from a variety of vegetables, sauces, and seasonings, though it is best prepared with strong, savory flavors such as onions, beets, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric. It is perfect for those looking for a milder spice when it comes to their curry. Korma dishes can contain meat as well, including chicken, lamb, goat or beef.

Tikka Masala

pan of tikka masala on black and white striped napkin
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It is nearly impossible to dislike this creamy curry, which is packed rich with flavor without exceeding normal levels of spice -- and you can find this dish in nearly any Indian restaurant. The most popular meat used in this dish is chicken, which is cooked until tender and either skewered or served over a base of rice. The chicken is covered in the thick, savory, mildly spicy sauce that turns it from cubes of meat into a tasty curry.


pork vindaloo on a plate next to a plate of rice
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If you don't have a high tolerance for spicy food, don't even think about chowing down on vindaloo. Vindaloo is one of the hottest curry dishes, purposely seasoned to evoke an incredibly spicy flavor. It is also one of the most popular Indian dishes in countries outside of India, and is especially prominent in the Indian food culture of England. This curry is traditionally created with a pork or chicken base and is spiced with cayenne peppers, paprika, mustard seeds, cumin and other flavorings that give the dish its blast of flavor.


bhuna lamb chops on woven mat

This curry dish is prepared by frying spices, meat and vegetables into hot oil until a pasty, savory mixture is formed. The mixture is then added to or mixed with the meat or vegetable base and often crowned with onions, bell peppers or both. Adding the meat to the pre-cooked spices is what gives this curry such a bold taste, because the spices in the paste have the chance to soak in their own juices and intensify their own savory flavor from the inside out. Bhuna doesn't boast a strong heat like other curry mixes -- instead, it is on the mild end of the spiciness scale and is rich and savory in flavor.


madras curry in a black bowl on wooden surface
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Madras is also hotter than many other types of curry, but the punch of heat makes this dish even more delish. Chili peppers and spices are vital ingredients in this spicy curry, giving it its dark reddish-brown color and its rich, warm flavor. However, while it relies on these chilies, this curry is flexible when it comes to other ingredients, namely the vegetables and meats. Spices that are found in this dish include turmeric, cumin, black pepper and curry leaves. Lemon or lime juice for zest is also commonly added to Madras.

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