Love Curry? These Are The Types Of Curry Powders + Where To Get Them

There's more than just one kind of curry powder now available in your local supermarket!

IMAGE Keith Sigua

The Spaniards and Americans may have left their mark on Pinoy culture when they colonized our country, but the influx of Indians did, too. One of India’s major contributions is the curry dish, and this happened even before Thailand’s Phad Thai and the Korean fried chicken phenomena took over our palates in recent years. A look at the contents of supermarket shelves over the years will tell you just how much.


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Until the early 2000s, the most common form of curry powder available in supermarkets was the yellow kind. That’s the most popular variant of the curry dish we know: it was a chicken dish doused in a gorgeous creamy yellow-hued sauce that was an explosion of flavors in every bite. It tasted of salt, coconut cream, garlic, onion, and twelve herbs and spices (including the turmeric powder that colored the sauce yellow). 


This yellow chicken curry was common and even affordable enough that carinderias could serve it.


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Tasty and aromatic, this chicken curry is the fast and easy version of the classic Indian meal.


Unless we sought out the specialty markets and were willing to spend on the unique spices to make our own curry powder, this yellow curry powder that the only widely available curry in supermarkets and was the closest dish to India’s curry that we could make at home.


Fast forward to the present time and you can see more varieties of curry powders and pastes available to us now than ever before. It began with the emergence of more specialty stores and groceries specializing in or carrying Indian and Thai goods, including food items. Then slowly, supermarkets began carrying more Asian food items, including the formerly hard-to-find red curry paste.


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Curry is a complicated mix of spices, but cooking with it doesn't have to be.


In fact, there are more Indian spices and ingredients—from different dal (mostly made of dried lentils) and variants to pre-ground mixes of garam masala and whole spices you can toast and grind at your leisure—now available in your neighborhood supermarkets than in previous years.



Now, you can try the yellow as well as the herby green curry of Thailand and the spicier red curry. Chicken is no longer the only meat you can pair with curry either. Beef is fantastic in the spicy red curry as do prawns. The green curry variation is also a good choice for using for a chicken curry but with its kaffir lime and lemongrass flavor, it’s a great base for a vegetable curry.


You can find a great list of Indian grocery stores or visit your local supermarket to look for your choice of curry powders and pastes. 


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Serve this curry over rice or pasta.

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