Panang curry (also known as Penang or Penaeng curry) originates from Penang, Malaysia. It is a culinary delicacy that is both salty and sweet with a nutty flavor. The popular and well loved Panang curry is bold in flavour and is served in many restaurants around the world. The use of peanuts and coconut cream as core ingredients results in a less spicy and more sweet curry than red curry.
Panang Curry in Thai Cuisine
Not many cuisines are able to become popular outside of their local folk. However, Thai cuisine has become quite popular because it offers all four tastes like sweet, sour, salty, and spicy making it a very diverse cuisine. Panang curry falls perfectly in this mix. One should note that Thai curries are very different from Indian curries, which is the one that most people are familiar with. Thai curries tend to be in the form of a liquid or paste while Indian curries are more dry spice mixes. Furthermore, Thai curries rely heavily on base flavours like lemongrass and chilies. While Indian curries use spices like coriander, cumin and turmeric.
Coconuts play an important role in the Thai diet. The most notable among Thai cuisines are curries which are popular throughout the world and are part of the menu of many top of the line restaurants. Let's face it, Thai food is hot and spicy. However, it is prepared with such balance that you are able to enjoy all the flavours in harmony. Thai food typically does not involve alot of meats but instead more fish, vegetables and fresh herbs.
Battle of the curries
Panang curry, green curry and red curry, all three of these are quite popular in Thai cuisine. What separates Pananag curry from the red and green curry is the use of peanuts. It is drier than the other curries. Where red curry is the most spicy, Panang is the sweetest among the three curries. Chili powder and red curry paste make red curry spicy and give it its red colour. Lime leaf, basil and kaffir give the green curry its colour. Panang curry paste consists of ingredients like red chilli, garlic, shrimp paste, galangal and roasted peanuts. The red chilli gives it its red colour.
All in all Panang curry is a great starter to the world of curry. If you are not a fan of spicy foods, this is a perfect, well flavoured alternative.