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!

47 thoughts on “Asian curries list: Traveling through my favorites (photo essay)

    • there are SO many Thai and Indian curry varieties though, Lily! which are your favorites? I must agree though, you can’t go wrong with any Indian or Thai 😀

    • lucky you! I’m seriously considering going to India to kidnap a chef… So I can bring him back to Puerto Rico to cook me curry anytime I want! They are quite hard to come by around here… 🙁

  1. I am not a big fan of spicy food, but I just came back from Sri Lanka and I must admit the spiciest curry is served there. I nearly burnt my mouth. I think my favourite one would be… hmmmm…. I would go for Lamb pasanda curry as it’s is mild and made with coconut milk, cream, and almonds- my favourite ingredients.

    • spicy food really kicks my butt (particularly MY EARS)! but I’m training hard in order to get used to it, as I love curries sooooo much and would love to eat the most authentic ones once I finally make it to Asia.

      That lamb pasanda curry sounds glorious, by the way. I’ll have to look up a recipe and try it at home

  2. You should taste the yoghurt based kadhi, the coriander based undhiyu(mixed veggies in a coriander-fresh garlic-coconut) sauce.
    The simple curries had in Indian homes are also noteworthy,they use lesser amounts of spices-unlike the ones on the list.
    Then one has to taste sambhar- a lentil based curry prepared with tamarind and “sambhar powder”.

    • whaaa?! You worked for an INDIAN chef?! I’m so jealous! Where was that? Anyway, curries are addictive to pretty much anyone who loves food (I think)!

  3. I love curries so much! As I backpack through Asia I’ve tried quite a few of these. Khao soi is probably the one I’m most fond of, though, besides a proper Indian one. It’s so cheap and delicious!

  4. Yum! But I’m a wimp about spicy. Some is ok but I don’t do well with anything hotter than about medium. I like that you broke it down into all the types. Interesting!

    • Like you, I can only stand medium spicy t the moment (working on my tolerance!). I figured breaking the types down would help me remember most of my favorite curries–there are so many, I had to! Thanks for commenting

  5. I LOVE curries, particularly Indian and Thai. Incidentally, we got our curries from India — we have a large Indian population that came over to work in sugarcane — but it’s been so watered down now. When I discovered the real Indian curries, I couldn’t go back to what we call curry. Also love making it from scratch — the spices are so flavorful. Yuuum!

  6. Try indian.. varieties, Gobi Manchuiran (cauliflower fry, marinated with spicy masala)

    Panner , butter masala, bhindhi fry (okra fry),

    • I have! You can see a list of Indian curries in the post above. Due to lack of space though, I couldn’t include paneer and butter masala, which happen to be some of my favorites as well!

  7. WOW! Now, I’m starving for curry; any kind of curry!

    I love Thai curries, and I also have a favorite curry restaurant in Chiang Mai. I always order the vindaloo curry with beef or pork and it is HOT!

    Give me spicy and can you add a little spice to my spicy 🙂

    • Haha, WOW to you!! You’re just like my gringo: He says he likes to “be raped in the mouth” when he eats curry XD lol! I’m the Latina and can’t stand that much spice/heat! Haha. I need for my tongue *not* to be numb in order to be able to taste the dish 😀

    • it’s around dinnertime here in Puerto Rico and there’s nothing I want more than a hot Asian curry… Too bad the only decent curry you can get is from a so-so (and quite pricey!) restaurant in the capital… 🙁

  8. Ok, drooling now, thanks a lot! 🙂 LOVE curries of all kinds, and the hotter the better. I make some type of Indian curry almost every day (husband is Indian), and Thai curries are also favorites, especially the gang dang and masaman varieties. I’ll have to give Malaysian curry a try!

  9. My mouth is seriously watering after reading this post and looking at the photos. I love a good Thai green curry – and spicy is fine but my husband is getting wimpy about the heat. Makes me think about making one this weekend.

    • I’m a little wimpy too… But I somehow still suck it up. LOL! I love the spices in curries way too much, can’t pass them up

  10. Heaven in one blog post. It’s currently quarter to eight in the morning here in Belize, my last morning here before I have to fly home. Thankfully home is London, where I will be able to top up my curry fix pronto! That selection got me super-salivating. I’m not averse to having curry for breakfast either, could do with some now…

    • I know that a REAL authentic curry, with every ingredient made from scratch, is very labor-intensive. Using a pestle for hours to simply prepare the ingredients for the BASE of the sauce…!

      Still, I’m hoping that, when I finally visit Thailand, I take a cooking class and learn how to cook curry the proper way — even if it takes half a day!

    • is it really? don’t know why I find that hard to believe. I would think it would be easy to find curries in Canada. I currently live in Florida and has Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asian restaurants everywhere. I don’t know why I would think Canada would be a bit more multicultural as well? But hey, I’ve never been to Canada either 😉

  11. The spicier, the better! 🙂 Thai and Indian curries are fighting for the first place on my list. I have been to Thailand, but not to India yet (the most authentic Indian curries so far were in Kuala Lumpur). Perhaps after the Indian trip, I’ll have more clarity 🙂

  12. All of these curries look finger licking delicious! I can’t wait to travel to Asia because I too loooove curries and am excited to be able to eat them everyday!

  13. I am a complete wimp when it comes to spicy curries or anything else spicy for that matter. So, I have to always ask them to make it between mild and medium :(. But, I do love when they use coconut milk!

    • I use to “be a wimp” but slowly worked on my “tolerance” as I plan to travel throughout Asia indefinitely in the near future. I really want to be able to enjoy their cuisine as much as I can, so I gotta train! 😉

      As far as coconut milk, oh yes, those are the best curries (IMO)! 😀 thanks for commenting

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