Biryani is famous for its simplicity and ease of cooking. It is a curry that has possibly the most variations in each Asian country. It originated in Persia (Iran) and was brought to South Asia by traders.
Rice and the rest of the dish including the sauce and meat are cooked together to create a flavour intense dish and mixed together when it comes to serving up the meal. A boiled egg can be added.
The Balti has its origins in Birmingham but it is highly disputed as to where it was actually invented. Others trace the meal to Baltistan, Pakistan where it is a local custom to eat food out of a Balti dish that looks similar to a wok; it is presumably because it shares a border with China. The name is believed to come from the name of the Baltistan area or the name of the dish that all Baltis are served in.
The curry became popular from the eighties and really became incredibly popular during the 1990’s.
It is a spice heavy dish that can feature potatoes and usually chicken or lamb as the meat.
Jalfrezi is another medium spiced dish that is cooked with marinated chicken and has a thick but dry sauce.
Main components are onions, tomatoes and green chillis is perfect cooked with meat or fish in a sort of stir-fry. Jalfrezi literally means ‘hot-fry’.
The heat of the Jalfrezi can vary wildly, from a mild flavour to a fiery hot, chilli-intense flavour. Diners usually cool it down by adding cream which is also a good way to cool down other hot dishes.
A korma is the least spicy dish of all the curry family and is a good dish to start off with if you are new to the world of Asian food.
It is a blend of spices and coconut milk which give it a sweet, creamy flavour and of course, no chillis which give it the trademark, zero spice. Usually, a Korma will come with chicken as the meat but other meats can be used and feature nuts and almonds.
A Rogan josh is a lamb curry from the Kashmir region. The name means oil cooked in very high heat.
Its iconic red colour is integral which comes from the type of pepper that is used in the cooking. Kashmiri Mirch is used and literally means, ‘pepper from Kashmir’ and is red when it is ground up.
Tikka Masala is the typical curry that everyone knows. It is always top of the list when it comes to naming Britain’s national dish. Like many other curries, its origins are also disputed. Chefs up and down the UK claim that they invented the iconic dish. The two main areas that hold claim to it are Scotland and Brimingham.
The chicken is marinated in yoghurt and baked in a tandoor oven. It is served with a mixture of spices and has a prominent tomato flavour. It is usually cooked with chicken.
It is a good meal to graduate to once the Korma has become tiresome as it can be hotter with the addition of chillis. The creamy nature of the yoghurt makes it milder so it is perfect for those who are not yet ready for a vindaloo.
Vindaloo, apart from the Tikka Masala is also one of the most iconic curries and has been the focus of multiple songs, one of which was the unofficial England football team anthem.
The Vindaloo is most notorious for the level of heat that it has. Only curry veterans dare even take a bite of the fiery beast.
It is based on a Portuguese dish including, pork, wine and vinegar and was changed in Mumbai. Today it features chicken or lamb mixed with potatoes.