Gardening

What properties does curry have? We tell you the benefits of this popular spice

Curry has become very popular, especially in recent years. And as we find it very interesting, in this post we are going to tell you everything you need to know about curry, so that you get to know it and take advantage of its benefits.

What is curry?

The word curry derives from “kari”, with which it refers to stewed dishes that are made by adding different spices and aromatic herbs prepared from different processes.

Curry is a mixture of spices and seasonings, and this mixture can include different seasonings.

The distinctive flavor of traditional Indian cuisine requires a variety of spices to be processed including one or more operations such as roasting, frying and pulverizing to obtain an appropriate flavor profile through seasoning.

That is why commercial curry can be defined as a stable mix of spices that are already processed and ready to use in a variety that usually includes:

green chili, galangal rhizome, shallot, lemongrass, kaffir lime, garlic , cumin and black pepper , as well as turmeric (which gives it its yellow color) or ginger .

Of course, these ingredients vary from one home and one region to another, and that is why there are many varieties of curries obtained from different combinations and processes that spices and aromatics are subjected to to make the seasoning.

The most popular types of commercially prepared ready-made curries also include cinnamon , nutmeg , cloves , coriander , mustard and poppy seeds , tamarind , cardamom , saffron and cayenne pepper.

The varieties are as many as the places where it is prepared, corresponding to the diversity of species in the region, however, a simple classification is based on the colors:

  • Red curry : includes red chili peppers and pepper, as well as other roasted and ground spices, generally used with meats.
  • Green curry : made with fresh spices, cumin, coriander and lime skin, generally used with fish.
  • Yellow curry : in which turmeric predominates, which gives it the yellow tone, and is usually used with rice , but also with meat and fish.

curry recipes

What is curry good for

As it is a preparation that can be made with multiple and diverse plant species, the benefits may vary depending on its components, but it is usually a supplement rich in vitamins and minerals and other interesting components for health.

Being a mixture originally from India, the most used spices in curry are the species traditionally used in Indian cuisine such as:

  • Black pepper ( Piper nigrum ): mainly responsible for the intense and spicy flavor, which contains essential oil with terpenes, piperine, chavicine and bisabolenes, with antipyretic, toning and antiseptic effect.
  • Turmeric ( Curcuma longa ): used as a food coloring and one of the most relevant in yellow curry, being the one that gives it that color, as well as a somewhat spicy flavor. Its most important active principles are curcuminoids and phenolic compounds, with therapeutic properties and effects that stimulate respiration and blood circulation, reduce fat levels and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Ginger ( Zingiber officinale Roscoe): with an intense and slightly spicy citrus aroma, composed of zingiberene, responsible for the aroma, arylalkanes and gingerdiol, which stimulate the secretion of saliva and gastric juices, with carminative, mucolytic and antibacterial effects, in addition to strengthening the system immune and digestion.

Other important elements in curry are:

  • Chile or Peppers (of the genus Capsicum ): the fruit of different species and varieties with more or less capsaicinoids to which the itching or purgence is attributed, with anesthetic effect and that increases the production of saliva and gastric juices promoting digestion.
  • Cumin ( Cuminun cyminum ): which provides a bitter and aromatic flavor, with an astringent, spasmodic, calming and antibacterial effect.
  • Clove ( Syzygium aromaticum ): contains mainly eugenol, with antiseptic, analgesic and slightly anesthetic effect.

The benefits of using curry in your dishes

The characteristics and health effects of all these spices are multiple to contribute to the prevention of diseases and the improvement in various pathologies. As we have already indicated of the aforementioned spices.

The truth is that, all of them and others that are used in different mixtures for the preparation of curry, whether homemade or previously prepared for marketing, have the quality of enhancing the flavor and reducing the amounts of sugars and salt in meals, with the benefits that this entails for health.

On the other hand, there is the organoleptic contribution of curry, perceived by the senses in terms of unctuousness, flavor and shine, as well as the chemical properties of the mixture of spices itself.

For example, turmeric, softens the irritating effect of chilli or hot peppers; peppers stimulate the appetite and the secretion of gastric juices, facilitating digestion; and the carminative effect of ginger, which favors the expulsion of gases from the digestive tract.

In which recipes to use Curry

From the gastronomy of South Asia, curry has made its way into world cuisine, first in English cuisine, until later occupying an important place in dishes around the world, seasoning meats, fish, seafood, legumes and stews.

Chicken curry

Undoubtedly the most recognized, economical and easy to prepare dish. The recipes and garnishes can vary as much as families prepare it, but the basic ingredients are:

  • Skinless chicken cut into small cubes
  • Onions cut into small pieces
  • Curry powder or paste
  • Water or, preferably, broth .

The chicken is sautéed with the onions and, once it is golden brown, add the broth and curry (2 tablespoons per liter of broth), stir to dissolve and mix the ingredients well, and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

curry properties

Salad dressing or sauce

Salads of all kinds, especially green leafy salads with meat or fish, can be dressed with this simple recipe with an exotic aroma:

  • A cup of plain yogurt (conventional or vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoons Curry
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • Juice of 1 lemon

It is prepared directly in the blender, incorporating the other ingredients into the yogurt and mixing until it results in a homogeneous sauce.

It can also be used to flavor and color rice, incorporating the curry into the cooking water, making sure that it dissolves well before cooking the rice.

For vegetables and soups, curry can be added like any other seasoning, over the end of cooking to enjoy a more intense flavor.

Moderate Curry Consumption If …

Curry, used in moderation, would not have side effects except in cases of allergy to any of the spices used to make it.

It is also important to consider the maximum dose in cases of gallbladder disorders and gastric diseases, as well as during pregnancy, lactation, interaction with medications and in case of surgeries, since turmeric, in particular, can slow blood clotting. the blood.

It is not recommended to prepare it at home, since the amount of each of the spices according to its preparation process must have a specific dosage so that a stable mixture results. But when you buy a curry, make sure it is made with organic spices, grown without synthetic pesticides, choose the Organic Curry .

Consulted bibliography

  • “Determination of physical, chemical and sensory characteristics of instant curry mix for vegetarian recipies”, SV Karadbhajne, Neha A Saraf. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 2 issue 6. 2017
  • “Traditional curry pastes during Sukhothai to Ratthanakosin: the subjective experience of the past and present”, Taddara Kanchanakunjara, Songkoon Chantacon, Marisa Koseyayothin and Tiwatt Kuljanabhagavad. Asian Culture and History, vol. 7 no. 1. 2015
  • “Indian spices for use in Spanish cuisine and their health benefits”, Carmen Wilson Peña. Graduate work, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University.
  • “Chemistry and the culinary art”, Ma. Graciela Coello Domínguez. 2014
  • “Madrileño Recipe Book for Housewives”, recipe by Manuela Carmena. Madrid market. 2019

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