Curries and Stews


A curry is one of many types of dishes, originating in the Indian subcontinent, that normally includes a variety of herbs and spices. In many cases, it’s used to make a curry sauce or stew. However, the word curry does not mean it’s a sauce or stew. Curry is simply a mix of spices and herbs, while a stew is a mixture of solids prepared in a sauce or some liquid. However, for the purpose of simplicity, I’ll refer to curry colloquially, as the sauce.


Curries are not only eaten in India - they are eaten in many parts of Asia, however most prominently in India and Thailand. However, the preparations differ vastly. In India, curries are made with copious amounts of spices such as chilli powder, paprika, and more. Thai curries can also be spicy, but in many cases they add coconut milk to give it a creamy texture and taste. However, meat and vegetables are used in both types; meat is somewhat less frequent in Indian curries due to widespread vegetarianism.


But how do you eat curry? The short answer is, however you like. In India, curry is often eaten along with roti, a flatbread that is used to scoop up the curry and provide welcome starch intake in contrast to the richness (and often spiciness) of the curry. However, the use of roti is mostly confined to India. Alternatively, in India itself as well as other countries, curry is often eaten with rice, again, to use the starch as a counterweight to the curry’s strong taste.


Now, let’s talk a bit about stews. The concept of a stew is an ancient one, since it’s essentially meat or vegetables cooked together in liquid. However, there are various different kinds of stew all around the world. One kind is the archetypical farmer’s stew from Europe, which is essentially chunks of meat and boiled vegetables such as carrots in a thick brown gravy. The juices are also often mopped up with chunks of bread. However, it’s important to remember that a curry can also be considered a type of stew.


However, when eating stew or curry, it’s important to remember what your meal is. Stews aren’t made in individual servings - they’re made to be enjoyed by many, preferably around a large dining table in a comfy house. So, when eating stew, get together with your friends and family, and enjoy the meal, because there’s nothing that says family like a large pot of stew or bowl of curry.