European Halloween traditions and festivals

Ever wonder how European Halloween is celebrated? I do! For this reason, I decided to feature quirky European Halloween traditions and festivals for this week’s Cultural Tidbits Monday post.

European Halloween poster

Halloween poster by Giovanni, Flickr

Learn more: Halloween origins, myths debunked

European Halloween traditions are not even a mix of the original neopagan, Roman and/or Celtic celebrations anymore. If any practical rites take place at all, none of them have any ties to the aforementioned backgrounds. Moreover, certain studies affirm that the holiday is simply an American import nowadays, emphasizing hyper-consumerism, particularly in middle Europe (Wikipedia). It all depends where you go, though! Some places turn spooky — while others simply get sexier. How so? Let’s take a look at some Halloween traditions in European countries I have visited:

Austrian Halloween traditions

Many European Halloween traditions involve rituals in order to call dead souls back. In Austria, a lamp is lit up, bread and water are left on the table on Halloween night to welcome these spirits. In fact, many Catholic Austrians remember the dead for an entire week period between October 30th and November 8th. This “holiday” is known as Seleenwoche (All Souls’ Week).

European Halloween traditions, Austria

Halloween flyer in Vienna (nozoomii, Flickr)

English Halloween traditions

The origin of American trick-or-treating traces back to one of the oldest English Halloween traditions. On All Saints Day eve (October 31st), small soul cakes are baked and given away. Families gather and stay up late, burning candles in all rooms of the house to guide souls and even glasses of wine to refresh them (Wiki). This tradition was called souling, and children not only went door-by-door for cakes, but they also had to sing songs and even prayers to the dead in order to receive them.

European Halloween, soul cakes

“Soul cakes for Samhain” (Samantha, Flickr)

German Halloween traditions

Some may call it a superstition, but it is a German Halloween tradition to put all knives away on the night of October 31st. It is done to prevent the living from hurting the spirits (and vice-versa!). On the other hand, while kids don’t usually go trick-or-treating, Halloween parties are common. Costumes and decorations are imported from the USA.

Now comes the real German tradition: Martinstag. While it is celebrated on November 11th instead, it was still much like Samhain: Feast marking the end of the harvest season. Nowadays though, it marks the start of Christmas shopping (and markets!) and it commemorates “Sankt Martin (c. 317-397), Bishop of Tours, one of the most revered European saints” (

Stankt Martin, German Halloween equivalent

“St. Martins Day in Halle (Saale)” (gynti_46, Flickr)

Icelandic Halloween traditions

Halloween in Iceland is not that popular (as of 2012 at least!). You may find the odd expats or locals dressing in costumes, trick-or-treating or using the day as another excuse to party. However, they do not comprise the majority.

The Icelandic do have a similar tradition, though, held on Ash Wednesday. Kids have the day off from school, go out singing and even dress up (but not like witches or vampires) in exchange of candy (Iceland Review).

Italian Halloween traditions

Interestingly, the Catholic Church was pretty successful at purging most Italian Halloween traditions and pagan feasts in the 17th century. Yet, many customs came flooding back from the USA in the 90’s. American pop culture and TV shows such as The Simpsons are to blame for the rekindling of costumes, decorations, and traditions. Personally, I think we can blame the New World for most European Halloween traditions nowadays. Just go to a US online costumes store and see how many international shoppers try to ship costumes this month!

Spanish Halloween traditions

Irish Celts migrated to Spain, taking their customs with them. For this reason, Spanish Halloween has strong Samhain roots. Celebrations in the Iberian peninsula are somewhat different from other European Halloween traditions, though.

Like in most of Latin America, Spanish Halloween traditions are celebrated throughout a 3-day period in October & November. It all starts with Dia De Las Brujas (Witches Day) on October 31st, followed by Dia De Los Santos (All Saints Day) on November 1st, and culminating with Dia De Los Muertos (literally meaning “Day of the Dead,” but known as All Souls Day) November 3rd. The most popular custom on Halloween Day is to drink quemada: A mixture of aguardiente, unground coffee, orange peels or lemon rind, and sugar (

European Halloween, Spanish quemada

“The original [Spanish] queimada only contained lemon rind, coffee grains and between 100 and 120 grams of sugar per litre of alcohol. In some areas of Galicia, the traditional way of preparing the queimada is within a pumpkin, which is cut at the top and the insides are scooped out. The queimada acquires the taste of the pumpkin, which can be very tasty. ” (

Switzerland Halloween traditions

As a local website accepted, Halloween has “crept” into Swiss culture. Kids dress up, go trick-or-treating, and even carve pumpkins. What many are not aware of, though, is that Switzerland has a long-time history with the fruit.

Pumpkin lanterns were “like batteries supplying energy […] So to have a pumpkin in your house gave you this energy,” says Sergius Golowin, a writer from Bern ( Also, according to folklore, the strong winds in the Swiss valleys during this season are thought to be “ghostly processions” — the traveling spirits of the dead.

Halloween in Switzerland

Halloween painting on a building in the old town of Lucerne, Switzerland (kara brugman, Flickr)

Conclusion? Even though Halloween originated in Europe (Ireland, to be exact), many of the festivities are not celebrated in most countries of the Old World. If costume parties and decorations are found, they are typically American imports. It is more likely to find an analogous festival or celebration (in which Europeans go trick-or-treating) on a different day of the year.

Know of any other quirky European Halloween traditions? Share!

Simple Venezuelan food recipes: Arepas and cachapas (videos)

Craving some Latin food? You are in for a treat! This week’s Cultural Tidbits Monday will showcase some simple Venezuelan food recipes. Learn how to cook arepas and cachapas!

Arepas and cachapas: What are they?

Arepas are like thicker tortillas, made with flour and/or ground corn dough. Sometimes even coconut is added to the mix! While they are one of the most popular Venezuelan dishes, arepas are also part of Dominican cuisine and Puerto Rican fast food.

simple Venezuelan food recipes, arepas

Venezuelan arepas stuffed with sausage chimichurri (bottom) and glorified tostones (“canoes” with cheese on top) at Caracas Arepa Bar in NYC

Another Venezuelan specialty is the cachapas. Also popular in neighboring Colombia, these are basically South American pancake tacos. That’s right: a thicker batter, but made of fresh corn dough, with the slight sweetness of a plain American pancake.

Once ready, you may stuff it with all types of meats and cheeses: Pulled pork, chicken, beef, and even shrimp! The most traditional cachapa, however, is plain cheese: made with delicious queso de mano. Meaning “handmade cheese,” it resembles mozarella in texture, although it has a milder flavor to it.

cachapa, simple Venezuelan food recipes

A Venezuelan cachapa with pulled pork, sliced tomato, avocado, side of aioli (entitee, Flickr)

Simple Venezuelan food recipes: VIDEOS and other resources

Want to see how easy it is to bake arepas? All you need:

2 cups of Harina P.A.N. flour
2 cups of water
A pinch of salt

Once baked, you pan-fry them until golden. That’s it! For the full recipe, click here. Once they are done, however, you have just created the canvas — it is time to paint on it!

Mmmm. And that’s not all: You’ll learn how to cook cachapas today as well! Go get:

Freshest corn you can find
1/2 cup of flour
1 teaspon of salt
5 tablespoons of sugar (you want tthat sweet afterbite)
1 egg
A bit of heavy cream (for density)

Enjoy! Let me know how your arepas and cachapas mixtas come out 😉

Have you ever tried any of these simple Venezuelan food recipes?

Sochi Russia weather: Subtropical Paradise and Winter Olympics Host?

As I brainstormed for a topic to write about for this week’s Cultural Tidbits Monday, I stumbled upon an article about Sochi Russia weather and its “330 days of sunshine.” I was confused. Even more confused I was as I kept on reading, learning that Sochi is also known as a city of 3 seasons. No winter? But… isn’t it RUSSIA?! That’s when I knew I had to write about it.

So today’s article won’t be so much about culture, but more so about geography. Either way, we will learn why Sochi Russia weather is quite pleasant most of the year–even as this Black Sea resort town will be the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sochi Russia weather, humid subtropical

Sochi Russia weather makes it a premier resort town in the Black Sea (Fabio – Miami, Flickr)


Located in western Russia, just north of the disputed territory Abkhazia, Sochi is one of the longest cities in the world (source). It spreads out 147 km along the Black Sea and its unique subtropical climate makes it one of the warmest cities in its latitude. To put it in perspective: Sochi’s latitude is comparable to Boston, Massachusetts in the US.

Sochi Russia weather, location

Location of Sochi, Russia (NormanEinstein, Wiki Commons)

Sochi Russia weather year-round

Sochi Russia weather is quite ideal for most vacationers in the region. Water temperatures average 76° F (24.4° C) between June and October, while air temperatures range between 79° and 81° F (26° – 27° C). Conversely, between January and April, temperatures average 52° F (11° C) during the day and 39° F (4° C) at night. To a Puerto Rican like me, those are some chilling numbers. However, to an European or fellow Russian, that’s “mild winter” weather at best.

But why IS this, though?! Sochi’s weather is mild year-round because it borders a warmer inland sea (vs a cold ocean), plus it’s very close to Turkey and the Middle East, which are warmer even in winter. Moreover, the surrounding mountains shelter the city from the freezing wind chills and temperatures of northern neighbors, making it the perfect seaside resort.

Sochi Russia weather, beach

Sochi, Russia beach (Socialism Expo., Flickr)

Sochi and the Winter Olympics

Now, how could Sochi’s humid subtropical climate allow it to clinch the XXII Olympic Winter Games host “title”? The Greater Caucasus Mountains Range is in its vicinity. Average temperatures in the mountains fluctuate between 35° – 32° F (2° – 0° C) in January and April–and we know we can get way lower than that once you go to a peak. Ah, voilá!

Sochi Russia weather, skiing

“Krasnaya Polyana: About 25 miles inland from Sochi” (RIA Novosti archive, Mikhail Mokrushin on WIki Commons)

Now that I know more about the pleasant Sochi Russia weather and its beautiful coastline, I’ll definitely add the resort town to my travel bucket list. What about you?

Have you been to Sochi, Russia? Would you plan a beach getaway there?

Puerto Rican piononos and spices: Photos and recipe inside!

Good morning! Welcome to another edition of Cultural Tidbits Monday. Today we’ll have a brief Travel Through Food post, as my freelance travel writing duties are calling loudly. Yes, I still got some deadlines to meet. In light of this, I’ll be introducing you to another dish of our cuisine: Puerto Rican piononos.

Learn more: Puerto Rican food or discover other world cuisines from Travel Through Food series

Puerto Rican pionono, beef and egg

Traditional fried beef pionono with cheese and egg (Photo: dylanheaney, Flickr, All Rights Reserved. Photo used with written authorization)

Puerto Rican piononos, crab stuffing

Puerto Rican piononos: Crab stuffing variety from New Yorican chef in Maine (Photo: Dana Moos, Flickr)

Puerto Rican piononos: What are they?

I like to call Puerto Rican piononos savory cinnamon rolls. Substitute the dough strips with sweet (ripe) plantain slices, then stuff them with marinated ground beef and cheese instead of cinnamon and sugar. Now, bake them or deep fry them. Yum! While ingredients may vary from town to town, the most common variation is the way the ground beef (or seafood) stuffing is marinated.

Puerto Rican piononos: The main spices

Typical spices in Puerto Rican piononos, and most Puerto Rican dishes, include adobo and sofrito. Both are concoctions of vegetables and spices, made differently across the island. Thus, flavor of the ground beef can vary from sweet to fiery hot. Just to give you an idea of the spice variations, I have included photos and descriptions of different Puerto Rican sofritos and adobo mixes below.

Puerto Rican piononos spices

Puerto Rican piononos: Spice blend options for the ground beef stuffing

Sofrito may be made at home or bought pre-made at the store. There are 2 kinds: Recaíto and regular sofrito. The main difference between the two? The sofrito base is typically red, made with red cubanelle and tomatoes. Conversely, regular recaíto base is made without red cubanelle and tomatoes, so it is typically green.

Other ingredients shared between the two varieties are olive or annatto oil, sweet ají peppers, garlic, inions, roasted red pepper, oregano and sometimes cilantro. Both recaíto and sofrito are very aromatic, concentrated, and flavorful.

Puerto Rican piononos, dry adobo varieties

Adobo dry mixes are almost always bought pre-made at the store. Nowadays, very few families still make it from scratch at home. Base typically includes dry oregano, salt, garlic and onion powder. The “flavors” described on the bottles above are ingredients that are either added or omitted to the base mix.

A sample of dry mixes is pictured on the right. In the pink cap, is adobo seasoning with saffron. To its immediate right, with burgundy cap, is a bottle of adobo with hot/chili pepper. At bottom left, adobo bottle with bitter orange. Lastly, in the blue cap, is a bottle of light adobo, which has 50% less sodium and contains no black pepper.

Puerto Rican piononos: recipe twists

Now that you know what Puerto Rican piononos are, I’ll leave you with a recipe twist video for you to try at home. Let me know how they turn out! 😉

Low-cal diet? Got a Puerto Rican piononos recipe for you, too! Click here

Have you had Puerto Rican piononos? Would you try them?

Puerto Rico driving: The locals’ perspective

Welcome to a new edition of Cultural Tidbits Monday! Last week, I introduced you to driving in Puerto Rico from a visiting gringo’s perspective. You laughed at the funny video and learned that the island is way more similar to South America, despite its status as a U.S. dependency. Now, you’ll see what the locals think about Puerto Rico driving. Tighten your seat belts!

Puerto Rico driving, bad parking

Smart car with a not-so-smart driver? Police (on left) feasting, of course

Puerto Rico driving: The locals are interviewed

Priscilla Narvarte: Puerto Rico driving? The Hooooles! Grrrrr! No one can be saved! Hahaha.

Karla Laborde: Careful when the light changes. To some boricuas, when it’s red… they see it green! […] And definitely, there are some craters on most roads!

Angela Mendez: Usually, I’m a sweet person, but when I’m driving I become another person. Specially, when they pull a “corte de pastelillo” on me (when someone speeds up and suddenly, very closely, run right in front of you from a different lane). Or when, during an infernal tapón (traffic jam), the cars behind you somehow expect you to splat the cars ahead of you, keep honking at you, among other things. I got a story for you…

One time I was coming out of the mall, in the middle of a traffic jam, and this individual wanted me to move my car so he could drive by the grass and get into the emergency lane. I mean, there was NO space and he was honking at me like an animal. So I, very happily, got closer to the car right in front of me so he would have even less space…!

I know, doing that in Puerto Rico is asking fro a shot. In summary, Puerto Rico driving takes out the worst in me :S […] By the way, I have an American friend that lived in PR for a while and during his first months here he told me: “Puerto Ricans drive like crazy!!!” Yet, after time went by, he told me: “I drive like a Puerto Rican now.” In fact, when he went back to his hometown, none of his friends wanted him to drive. I mean, it can be contagious for some people!

Puerto Rico driving, treacherous road

Puerto Rico driving: Treacherous? Maybe… (Hank Anderson, Flickr)

Marian Clementina: Almost no one is courteous. I spend more money in filling or fixing my tires than in gas because the holes f*** my rims very easily, they are enemies. Almost no one turns the signal lights to turn, so you end up braking on their ass. I don’t understand how this happens, as the signal light switch is so accessible, but oh well. People honk crazily at you even though the light just turned green. The roads or streets are usually labeled, but they could be better.

On the good side, Puerto Rico driving is panoramic. There are many roads with beautiful views that I really enjoy as a driver. Forests to discover inland. That aside, I do believe Puerto Rico is the best place to learn how to drive. One learns to make drastic route and lane changes, even “DIY parking” (create-your-own parking, as the photo above).

Helga Marie Torres: When you are in Puerto Rico, you’ll notice right away. Only look at the car beside you and, if it’s a woman, she must be putting make-up on while talking on her cellphone. If it’s a man, he will cut you off for sure.

Deliana Pagán: Puerto Rico driving is terrible! I only go on vacation now, but from what I’ve seen, not good. They drive without seatbelts. After midnight, they run all red lights, as if it’s an unwritten law. They drag race on the highway. I cant think of the good things lol. I get scared when I get in a car over there. Been closed to too many car accidents.

You must be wondering: Is Puerto Rico a driving hell?! Some locals disagree:

Jaime Gordon: Best place to learn how to drive. One may think it’s crazy, but compared to other countries it is not too bad. Check out how they drive in Middle Eastern countries or South American or Asian provinces. Now that’s some crazy driving.

Laura Santiago: Miami is much worse!

Thoughts on Puerto Rico driving? How is the driving in your country?

Driving in Puerto Rico: The gringo perspective (interview & video)

Following up on one of the Puerto Rico random facts we mentioned last week, I caught up with my partner Blaine to talk more about his experiences on this trip. My typing could barely keep up with him. He had so many things to say about driving in Puerto Rico that I had to publish a post just about that gringo’s perspective. Here it is!

Driving in Puerto Rico: The gringo perspective

* The roads? Uneven. What we went through to go zip lining in Puerto Rico:

* It’s how you’d imagine driving in South America would be like.

* The cars are fast, due to men acting all macho, trying to impress the homies.

* Your own personal breaking has to be judged by the car in front of you and its family chemistry: Are they all getting along? Is there a giant secret being told right before your eyes, causing the woman to slap the man?  This all needs to be taken into consideration. All of a sudden, you become very in-tune with shadows.

* After 2 days of driving, you come to a realization: The signs are built by men in the local towns. Meaning, they look at them and say: “C’mon, you know where you are! You don’t need this sign any higher.” This, in turn, makes you start driving in Puerto Rico like everyone else: Suddenly cutting people off, changing lanes without signaling, making turns in areas you should not been turning in, etc.

* I was comforted to know that at police blockades, they mostly check for paperwork and not automotive safety standards such as working break lights.

Driving in Puerto Rico, Orocovis

Driving in Puerto Rico: Dirt road at Toro Verde Adventure Park, Orocovis

* After 2 days driving in Puerto Rico, I realized that I had broken break lights in the middle of a rural town. In the states, this would cost me a hefty fine. But in the island, after seeing broken break lights in 1 out of every 5 cars, I realized I was among amigos.

* After driving in Puerto Rico for a few hours, you’ll suddenly start speaking (I mean cursing) in Spanish.

* If you are following a Puerto Rican, you must stay on their ass. Otherwise, you’ll be panicking at a red light as you see your Boricua girlfriend’s mother stop in the middle of a 4-lane road after running the yellow-to-red light.

TLTR – Puerto Rico: You’re in South America, so drive like it.

Stay tuned as I interview locals for their take on driving in Puerto Rico next week!

Have you ever gone driving in Puerto Rico? What was it like?

Puerto Rico random facts: On food, the people, and motels (photo essay)

Welcome to Cultural Tidbits Monday! I’m back from my press trip/family vacay. While I have shared the political & cultural background of PR with you, today I’m sharing some Puerto Rico random facts.

Post co-authored by my partner Blaine, a gringo who visited La Isla Del Encanto for the first time last week. The following are observations made by him, confirmed by me (a local).

Puerto Rico random facts about food, the people, and culture

DonQ rum, Puerto Rico random facts

DonQ Cristal: Best Puerto Rican rum (Photo: Juliflex, Flickr)

F**k Bacardi–DonQ Cristal is the best rum of all time.

Road signs? Optional! Maybe this explains the reckless driving. People are just lost! No…?

Police blockades, just to check for the license/registration of every single passing vehicle, are commonplace. Yes, even on busy highways. Yes, they are the royal traffic jam that you imagine.

Tripleta sandwich, Puerto Rico random facts

A sumptuous example of what a Puerto Rican tripleta sandwich can look like. This joint by my rents’ house included pernil (pork), ham, and steak smothered in a honey mayo-ketchup sauce between a soft, chewy Puerto Rican bread called “pan sobao”

Get a tripleta everywhere you go. The best Puerto Rican food staple you will find, it is made very differently from spot to spot.

The better food, better women, and better beaches are outside tourist areas (or hard spots to get to)

El Morro view, Puerto Rico random facts

A few more steps and I would have been SPLAT (Photo: Me and views of Old San Juan from El Morro fort)

At El Morro Fort in Old San Juan, you can play anywhere you want. As of, climb any wall and you are free to fall, as you wish!

Be nice to most — everyone is related in some way.

Motels in Puerto Rico are fun–and they are not used for sleeping. Google them (or wait ’til I write about them later this month).

Hotel OK motel, Puerto Rico random facts

View from the bed at a Puerto Rican motel. Hmmm…

If you speak Spanish, people will treat you better and be less defensive. No real racism–it’s a simple truth. They are nice to tourists, but nicer to those who speak their language.

100% Puerto Ricans come in all colors, shapes, sizes, and beliefs (red heads included).

There’s a badass German bar & rest. in the middle of nowhere, by the central mountains. Waaay high up. And it is awesome (Casa Bavaria, video below)

Got more Puerto Rico random facts? Share them on a comment below!

Hurricane Season: Happy birthday to me! Tropical Storm Debby came to party

Hiii! I know, was supposed to write a brilliant Cultural Tidbits Monday post. However, I went to bed at 3 AM last night (yes, work) to wake up at 6:40 AM to Tropical Storm Debby and still be required to work from home (yes, on my birthday). So! I’m pretty exhausted and have a minor case of cabin fever. My roommates went for supplies as I worked and looked at flooded neighborhoods nearby on the news. Is it that time of the year for Hurricane Season Florida, Gulf region and the Caribbean…? Yup:

Welcome to the Hurricane Season! June – November 30th every year

Oh: We had tornadoes because of it, too!

Those are your tidbits for today 😉 I’m safe, don’t worry, I’m just exhausted and have not much to do on my birthday other than, well, keep working. Bah Hurricane Season…

Orrrr…maybe a bubble bath will be welcomed as a birthday gift by my yearning body?

Have you experienced Hurricane Season? What’s your story?

Asian curries list: Traveling through my favorites (photo essay)

Travel Through Food series is back this week and today’s feature is an Asian curries list. That’s right: A deliciously spicy photo essay, showcasing the different types of Asian curries that I love, descriptions included! Hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed eating many of them last week 😉

types of Asian curries photo

Photo: Sandy Austin, Flickr

Asian curries list: Vietnamese

Vietnamese curry is considered a “Southern dish” and it is the more soup-like of all types of curry I’ve tried. I love thick curries (specially Indian!), not going to lie. However, there is something about a vibrant orange cà ri gà made with big chunks of taro roots, sweet potato, carrots, rice vermicelli, coconut milk and big amounts of crispy fried onions and cilantro garnish that make me melt!

The Vietnamese also serve goat curry, but its strong taste must be acquired in order to really enjoy it.

Another interesting fact? The only reason Vietnamese have any type of curry in their cuisine is because of contact with the Siam from India back in the 17th century.

Aha! It all makes sense now 🙂

Asian curries list, Vietnamese curry soup

Mmm, look at that glorious Cà Ri Gà (Vietnamese curry soup)! I could eat this every day

Vietnamese goat curry

Vietnamese goat curry with coconut cream – less common, but served in some areas (Photo: lensfodder)

Asian curries list: Malaysian

Malaysian curries can also be attributed to Indian immigrants. Thanks to them, curries have become a staple in Malaysian cuisine as well. Common ingredients in Malaysian curry mixes are turmeric, chili peppers, garlic, coconut milk, shallots, ginger, and belacan (shrimp paste).

I had this type of curry for the first time during my first visit to London. I was Couchsurfing with many travelers from all over the world, including a sweet Asian girl named Hyejin.

On our last afternoon in town, I expressed how I was dying to have a new type of Asian curry. So, she excitedly took me to a popular Malaysian joint where we ordered “mild curry” or else I would die.

How does this story end? Well, I died anyway.

My new Asian friend and cute waiter could not understand how “a curry so mild!” could have left me with this face:

Asian curries list, me after eating Malaysian curry

My dazed and confused face after having a fiery Malaysian curry in London

Asian curries list, Malaysian curry soup

The apparently-mild Malaysian curry that killed me–EVEN MY CAMERA SHAKED!

Asian curries list, Malaysian shrimp curry

Malaysian shrimp curry (Photo: beavela, Flickr)

Asian curries list: Chinese

Chinese curries tend to be much milder in comparison to other Asian types. Also, Chinese curry sauce is typically yellow and the dish consists of onions, potatoes, green peppers and either chicken, lamb, fish, or beef.

I had Chinese yellow curry chicken for the first time in Dahab, Egypt (from all places!) at the only Chinese restaurant in the area. Unlike how it is typically described (watery), the Chinese curry I had was a thicker sauce with chicken that seemed to have been marinated with a dry rub beforehand.

It was delicious, but I wonder if it was the real thing?! All my servers, and the chef, looked Chinese…in Egypt…so maybe?

The mystery remains.

Chinese curry

Chinese curry at Seven Heaven restaurant in Dahab, Egypt

Chinese yellow curry noodles

Chinese yellow curry noodles with chicken (Photo: whity, Flickr)

Asian curries list: Indian

This is, by far, the longest Asian curry affair I’ve had! Indian curries are the first type of Asian curries list I ever tasted.

I’m not sure why I never tried any other types of Asian curries for a while...

I guess I was unsure whether Eastern spices could live up to the Indian spices I had fallen in love with?

I know, newbie mistake.

Anyway! Below are my favorite types of Indian curries.

Indian goat vindaloo curry

“Goat Vindaloo, Butter Chicken, Spinach and Black Eye Beans with half rice and roti” (avlxyz, Flickr)

Indian chicken korma curry

Chicken korma: Yellow mild curry made with almond and coconut powder. I usually like to kick it up a little and add some chili powder to it (Photo: hisc1ay, Flickr)

Indian lamb pasanda curry

Lamb pasanda curry (bottom of plate) is mild and made with coconut milk, cream, and almonds. Other items on this plate: “Red lentil dhal, rice, cabbage and potato curry” (Denni Schnapp, Flickr)

Indian bhuna curry

Look at that gorgeous bhuna curry: Medium spicy and a thick sauce, my favorite mix! Common ingredients include fresh coriander, cumin, chili, cardamom, paprika, turmeric, garlic, lemon, yoghurt, oil, and garam masala (Photo: kiyanwang, Flickr)

Asian curries list: Thai

Yet another long list of my favorite Asian curries comes from Thailand. From Panang to Massaman curry, to the red, yellow, and green-colored sauces…from khao soi to kaeng som!

Oh, I could just write about them all day as well…!

But instead, I’ll sign off with some delicious photos:

Asian curries list, Thai panang curry beef

Panang curry “traditionally includes dried chili peppers, galangal, lemongrass, coriander root, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, and salt, and sometimes also shallots, peanuts, and shrimp paste” (Wikipedia. Photo by Ariane Colenbrander, Flickr)

Asian curries list, Thai Massaman curry

Massaman curry: My favorite Thai dish! Originally from central Thailand, it came to existence thanks to a Persian trader in the 16th century CE. Typically, it is made with coconut milk, roasted peanuts/cashews, potatoes, chili, cardamom pods, star anise, palm sugar, fish sauce, bay leaves, cinnamon and tamarind sauce (Wikipedia. Photo by Pabo76, Flickr)

chicken Thai green curry

This Thai green curry, served with roti on the side, was made with “shredded kaffir lime leaves, yardlong beans, makhuea pro Thai eggplant, makhuea phuang pea-sized eggplant. For garnish: Holy basil (bai kraphao) and sliced large red chillies for color” (Takeaway, Wiki Commons)

Thai khao soi curry

Northern Thai khao soi, which means “cut rice,” is a soupy coconut milk curry made with deep fried egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, ground chillies fried in oil, and meat (Takeaway, Wiki Commons)

Asian curries list, Thai pumpkin curry

Thai pumpkin curry: Not in the list, but delicious regardless!

What are your favorite types of Asian curries? Comment below!