15 Vibrant Curry Recipes

Pork-and-Pineapple Coconut Curry
Photo: © Chris Court

Curries are as complex and varied as the many countries they hail from. Here are some of our favorites, from Swahili vegetable curry to Indian-spiced halibut, with flavors from Kenya, Malaysia, New Orleans, and India.

01 of 15

Pork-and-Pineapple Coconut Curry

Pork-and-Pineapple Coconut Curry
© Chris Court

Star blogger David Lebovitz smartly stirs a little peanut butter into his coconut pork curry to cut the sweetness of the coconut milk. He likes making big batches of curry so he can eat leftovers the next day.

02 of 15

Shrimp Curry with Coconut, Mustard Seeds and Chiles

Shrimp Curry with Coconut, Mustard Seeds and Chiles
David Cicconi

Not to be confused with curry powder (the premixed spice blend dating back to the British colonists), the dish curry originated on the Indian subcontinent. Most recipes feature copious individual spices, herbs and chiles, and many (but not all) are saucy. This variation from the state of Kerala in southwest India isn't simmered with the north's rich dairy (no yogurt or cream). It's lighter but deeply flavored with the hallmarks of the region's coastal cooking: shredded coconut, fresh curry leaves, mustard seeds, and raw rice toasted and used like a spice.

03 of 15

Curried Vegetable Roti

Curried Vegetable Roti

This multiculti recipe is a cross between doubles (a Trinidadian sandwich of fried bread and curried chickpeas) and a kathi roll (essentially an Indian wrap). Grace Parisi folds Indian roti bread around a filling of zucchini, okra, chickpeas, tomato and spinach in a creamy, tangy, curried yogurt sauce.

04 of 15

Beef Keema

Beef Keema
© Andrew Purcell

Although this ground-meat curry is often made with lamb, we've found that the distinctive combination of spices tastes just as good with beef. Serve the thick, chili-like keema with warm naan (Indian flatbread), if available, or pita.

05 of 15

Mahimahi Coconut Curry Stew with Carrots and Fennel

Mahimahi Coconut Curry Stew with Carrots and Fennel

Padma Lakshmi always makes extra portions of this excellent coconut-curried mahimahi so she can reheat it the next day and eat it over noodles, like an Asian laksa.

06 of 15

Goan Shrimp Curry

Goan Shrimp Curry
© David Malosh

Sanjeev Kapoor and his wife, Alyona, love beach vacations in Goa. Kapoor prepares this shrimp curry in typical Goan style, so it's tangy, spicy and vibrant.

07 of 15

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Curry

Sweet-and-Spicy Chicken Curry

This is Neil Perry's riff on a rich, nuanced Malaysian curry that he calls Chicken Kapitan. Because he makes the recipe with plenty of fresh and dried chiles and coconut milk, it's sweet, spicy and altogether sublime, especially when topped with a mound of crispy fried shallots.

08 of 15

Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Vegetable Curry

Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Vegetable Curry
© John Kernick

Instead of using high-calorie coconut milk, New Orleans chef Sue Zemanick substitutes coconut water (the clear liquid inside young coconuts) and a touch of full-fat sour cream to add richness to this curry sauce. Lime juice and red curry paste contribute superb tanginess and flavor, too.

09 of 15

Swahili Vegetable Curry

Swahili Vegetable Curry

The South Asian spices in this vegetarian stew reflect the influence of Kenya's generations-old Indian community on the national cuisine. Feel free to substitute other vegetables based on seasonal availability.

10 of 15

Eggplant, Chickpea and Tomato Curry

Eggplant, Chickpea and Tomato Curry
© James Baigrie

Madras curry powder is a blend of many spices, including cardamom, chiles, coriander and cumin. Since it is hotter than regular curry powder, it adds a delicious kick to this Indian-style, late-summer vegetable stew of eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas in a sublime coconut-ginger broth. Prepare the recipe with vegetable stock for an excellent vegetarian main course.

11 of 15

Green Curry Chicken

Green Curry Chicken

Chef Nigel Slater says, "The first recipe I cooked on television was this green curry. I presented it in a beautiful brass bowl I bought in Thailand. And I was so pleased with it. But my dishwasher, who is Thai, looked at it and said, 'Why did you put the food in that brass bowl? That's a bowl we use for bathing.'"

12 of 15

Curry Crab Rundown

Curry Crab Rundown

Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking foods like crab, mackerel, or lobster in coconut milk. (The word rundown refers to the simmering down of the coconut milk.)

13 of 15

Creamy Indian-Spiced Halibut Curry

Creamy Indian-Spiced Halibut Curry

Vikram Sunderam makes his own spice blend with six ingredients, including green and black cardamom, cloves, and mace. At home, substitute garam masala, the Indian spice blend that includes many of the spices Sunderam uses, to season this rich, creamy, deeply flavored dish.

14 of 15

Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower Curry

Adventurous home cooks are looking to South Asia for inspiration. One fantastic guide is Indian-cooking expert Raghavan lyer, the author of 660 Curries. This curry draws its lively flavors from cumin, coriander and hot green chile.

15 of 15

Curried Rice Krispies Squares

Curried Rice Krispies Squares

Chef Justin Large created these ingenious and addictive squares, an Indian-spiced variation on the all-American classic.

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