You know curry as a dish that is made with a sauce flavored with certain spices. This "curry" that we know is popularly known as chicken curry and its sauce is a lovely yellow-hued one that is made with coconut cream, garlic, onion, and multiple herbs and spices (including the turmeric powder that colored the sauce yellow).
This local version of the curry was the best the Indians who visited the country could make with the ingredients they had access to. This meant using fresh turmeric (luyang dilaw), fresh ginger (luya), and a limited amount of dried spices with coconut milk to create the chicken curry we know.
Curry powder is made of range of herbs and spices and there are many kinds of curry powders or garam masala that can be made just by tweaking the amount and adding or omitting certain spices.
However, did you know that curry is not a dish in India? If you really want to be technical about it, "curry" actually translates to "sauce" or "gravy" which is what it is for Indians. It's not a dish per se but the sauce that the mix of spices and ingredients create that is known as "curry". The meat is optional and can be vegetarian using just potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, or other vegetables as the main ingredients.
There are several ways to use curry powder that isn't a curry dish. So, if you actually like the taste of curry but are tired of just eating it just as the typical chicken curry dish, here are some ideas on how to use it:
1 Use it as a seasoning or part of a marinade.
Who said that you have to use curry powder to create a sauce? In fact, some curry powders include salt in their ingredients so it can be used as a substitute for your usual salt and ground pepper. Even if it doesn't, it is a great mix of flavors that you can use to make meat such as chicken or fish taste better than just on its own.
Use it in dry spice rubs for barbecues with an Indian taste or add it to marinade instead of trying to figure out how to mix and match the different individual spices you have in your spice rack.
2 Make curry noodles.
Curry is a sauce or gravy that can be used as a pasta sauce! In this case, use it to make egg noodles like pancit canton or bihon even more flavorful just by using the curry sauce as the main soup to soften the noodles. This will create a fantastic tasting soup or sauce that you can pair with seafood or on its own as a leveled-up version of an otherwise boring midnight meal.
3 Add it to salads.
Curry is a spice you can add to salad dressings to give it a boost in flavor! You can use Asian salad ingredients to make it extra delicious or you can even skip the salad dressing altogether and just toss your ingredients in the curry powder. The singkamas or jicama readily absorb the curry powder. So will carrots and even cooked potatoes, and this is a great first step to making an Asian-inspired salad that will be heartier than just leaves.
4 Season fried rice.
What's more Asian than rice? Steamed rice is a great way to instantly make a dish more hearty but it's also a staple of many tables. If you want to level up your sinangag beyond the garlic fried rice we all know and love, try making it into a curry-flavored one. Make it extra appetizing with the addition of cashews or kasuy. If you're not averse to raisins, pop in a few of those dried fruits into the fried rice burst of sweetness that you might find delightful.
Do you know how else you can use curry powder beyond using it for chicken curry?