However you prepare it and wherever you’re from, curry has no one definition. It can mean leaves from the curry tree, often used to flavour curry-based dishes that originated in the Indian subcontinent and South Asia, or curry powder, a mix based off Indian cuisine’s use of varied spice blends in cooking but is largely a Western invention borne of British colonialism.
Curries can differ from kitchen to kitchen and region to region: you’ll find different styles across India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Southeast Asia and more, each with their own complex flavour profiles and style. There are wet and dry curries; curries packed with heat and mild ones that verge on sweet. Here are some simple recipes that make the most out of curry powders and pastes.