The ingredients in curry powder vary depending on the region the curry is made. The main ingredient in one Thai curry is turmeric, followed by coriander, cumin, cloves and chillies.
Other common Thai curry ingredients include bay leaves, ground ginger, white pepper, chili flakes and ground cloves. Traditionally, these are made into a paste rather than a powder. Variations of curry include the addition of spices such as ground mustard, black pepper, cinnamon, and various hot peppers for a spice blend with more heat.
Curry is traditionally considered an Indian spice. However, it is used in many countries around the world, including Thailand, Malaysia, England and Sri Lanka, among others. Each region adds its own variations to the spices, such as coconut for a sweet taste.
Across the globe, curry flavors are always evolving. For instance, originally, Thai curry was not as spicy as it is today. Black and white peppercorns once provided the heat for the spice, not chili peppers.
Curry does not refer to any one specific recipe. The term has come to encompass dishes that are richly spiced with a blend of ingredients giving heat and served with rice and meat. The level of heat and sweet vary from one dish to another. Apart from regional distinctions, curries are often categorized by their colors. Red, yellow and green curries feature unique ingredients and flavor profiles.