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What Are The Alternatives To Curry Paste?

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With the increasing popularity of curries, people are coming up with new and innovative ways of making and using curry paste. Therefore, knowing what are the alternatives to curry paste is quite useful. The word “curry” is the anglicized version of the Tamil word “kari”, which literally means “gravy” or “sauce”. Though of a typical Indian origin, curry today has a more Pan-Asian dimension and is referred to as a mix of any hot and sour spices – either in the powder form or in the form of a paste.


The best alternatives to curry paste are also mostly Indian in origin too. Few of the curry paste alternatives are listed below:

•    Turmeric: One of the most important Indian spices that is used in almost all curries is turmeric. Thus, turmeric acts as a good alternative to curry paste as well. Add three tablespoons of turmeric powder to three cups of water and boil the mixture for some time. The vibrant yellow paste that is formed out of it not only adds a touch of vivacity to your dishes, but is also quite good for your health.

•    Garam Masala: Garam Masala is typically a blend of Indian spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander and pepper. However, there are variations to these as well. Adding small amounts of garam masala to your dishes is also a good alternative to curry paste. The complex flavor that garam masala adds to your cooked dishes gives a different dimension to them, greatly enhancing the flavor and aroma of the dish.

•    Mustard Seeds: Using mustard seeds in various dishes as an alternative to curry paste is another typical trait of Indian cuisine. A mustard paste is typically made by grinding the mustard seeds with a little water and then adding it directly to your dish. This imparts a spicy, pungent flavor, which goes very well with both vegetable and fish recipes, especially, when topped with a few sprigs of coriander. The color combination of green coriander leaves set against the backdrop of the yellow mustards is a treat to the eyes as well.

•    Tom Yum: The alternatives to curry paste are not just limited to Indian spices. You can also substitute curry paste with tom yum, a Thai condiment paste to use it in your curried dishes.


Thus, there are quite a few innovative alternatives to curry paste. Depending on your taste and choice, and also the kind of recipe you have in mind, replace the traditional curry paste with any one of these alternatives and give a totally different life to your recipes.

Photo Courtesy: static.howstuffworks.com

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