A bit of chilli heat can be a good thing, but it isn’t always to everyone’s taste. Does that mean you can’t enjoy a delicious Indian curry? Hell no! One thing waiters in my restaurant used to get asked was, “what is the mildest curry”? Today, I will give you a great list of curry dishes you can try next time you are out or even try to make at home. Read on to find out more…
Looking for a Quick Answer to What is the Mildest Curry?
There are plenty of mild curries to choose from. Once you reach a certain level of mildness, it becomes all about what flavour you want your curry to be instead of how hot it is.
Some great suggestions for the mildest curry include; a Korma, which is entirely chilli free and made with cream and subtle spices. A Makhani, which is very similar to a Korma but made with slightly different ingredients or even try a Pasanda, a mild and creamy curry usually made with cubes of lamb.
You may have heard of all of the above, or none… If you want to read all about them and how these curries are made, read on.
Is There a Non-Spicy Curry?
Of course, there is!
In fact, there isn’t just one nice mild curry. There are loads of them. They are all really tasty, and the best bit is, you won’t regret it the next day!
People often mistake the term ‘spicy’ for hot. There is only one thing that causes a curry to be hot.
You guessed it… Chilli. As long as the chilli is absent, you’ll find that most curry dishes aren’t that hot.
All curries are made with ‘spices’. This might be something as benign as cumin or turmeric. Just because they have spices in doesn’t mean that they are going to burn your mouth.
Here’s my list of some really mild curry dishes.
The Top 6 Mildest Curries
Korma sauce has to be one of my favourites. I normally love a bit of chilli heat in my dishes. But what it lacks in heat, it more than makes up for in flavour. You’ll find plenty of lovely flavours in this dish.
The word ‘qorma’ means ‘braise’ or perhaps ‘slow cook’ in Urdu. Granted, you won’t find much slow cooking going on in an Indian restaurant. However, it still gives the nod to traditional ingredients.
In this instance, the meat in the dish is cooked with a large helping of cream alongside other ingredients, none of which are hot. This includes:
- Garlic and Ginger
All of those sound pretty delicious, right?
Pasanda is a really rich and creamy curry. It is pretty similar to korma in many ways.
And it is really mild.
‘Pasande’ in Urdu actually means ‘favourites’. So, unlike korma isn’t really any kind of translation about how the dish is traditionally cooked.
Certain curries are made with specific types of meat… In the case of Pasanda, it is traditionally made with chunks of lamb.
You’ll find that Pasanda features many of the same ingredients as korma. I found the main difference to be that almonds and raisins are also added to the recipe, along with tasty coconut cream.
The ingredients in a pasanda include:
- Ghee (clarified butter)
- Coconut cream and flour
- Garam Masala
- Almond flakes
This has to be one of the tastiest on my list.
Ever heard of Murgh Makhani before?
I bet you have… You’ll just know it by a different name… It is also translated to ‘Butter Chicken’. This was a mild curry dish that is slightly unusual compared to the rest.
If you’ve spent any time reading my blog, you’ll know that most curries we consider as ‘traditional’ are actually adaptations that arrived from India into Britain in the ’60s.
How’s this one different?
Well, butter chicken first appeared on a menu in the United States in the ‘70s!
Contrary to popular belief, Butter chicken is not the same as Pasanda or Korma. The confusion arises because it is a mild curry.
It contains the following tastes and ingredients:
- Garam Masala
- Methi leaves
Check the ingredients for the other mild curries above… All a bit different?
If you ever get anyone telling you that tikka masala ‘is not a real curry’, here’s an interesting fact for you.
It definitely is! In fact, it is the national dish of Great Britain!
It is thought that Tikka Masala was actually invented in Scotland after a disgruntled customer kept sending their curry back to the kitchen, saying it was ‘too spicy’. The Chef, in a fit of rage (or desperation), poured a can of tomato sauce into the curry. Only to find the customer wolfed it down.
I’m not sure whether I believe this story or not… It was covered a while back on a TV programme… In fact, here’s a five-minute video of the restaurant in question: -
This dish is normally prepared with marinated chicken or tikka. Masala simply means spices.
This dish is a lot brighter in colour than Pasanda or korma. Although it often gets confused with both.
You’ll often find it confused with Butter chicken too. This is because they both have a similar colour and taste profile.
What we do know is that this curry is pretty tasty and, as a mild curry, is free of hot chilli. Here are some of the other flavours you’ll find inside:
- Almonds and coconut
- Garlic and Ginger
- Tomato paste
- Tandoori masala
- Mild curry powder
Tikka masala is a bright orange-red colour, whereas korma is traditionally a pale yellow colour. So if you are ever in doubt, now you’ll know!
Looking for a mild vegetarian curry?
Here’s the answer.
Dal makhani contains similar flavours to butter chicken… But there is a slight change. Dal is the Indian word for lentils, and this forms the basis of this delicious curry.
Don’t think for one second that this dish is boring or flavourless. It is one of the few that is pretty close to its traditional Indian roots. Large swathes of the Indian population are vegetarian. As a result, you can find some amazingly tasty (and non-spicy) curries.
The last mild dish on my menu isn’t strictly a curry. But if you are looking for some mild Indian food that is really tasty, this is a pretty good one to go for.
Biryani is a rice-based dish that is flavoured with a subtle blend of spices. Consider it a sort of Indian fried rice. This dish can also be made with chicken or as a meat-free version.
Biryani is full of savoury flavour without heat. Here are some of the flavours you should find inside:
- Garam Masala
- Lemon juice
- Garlic and Ginger
And here’s a little warning for you… Some places (and some recipes) include chilli powder as part of their recipe! That’s no good for us if we are looking for mild Indian dishes. It’s worth checking before you make or order!
What is the Nicest Indian Curry?
I’m going to have a hard time picking from the above list of the mildest curries.
I find that if you are looking for flavour, you can’t get better than a pasanda. It is full of fragrant Indian spices with a hint of sweetness. I also like the juicy raisins. If you are trying to imagine the flavour, think of a large portion of coronation chicken, and you’ll be in the right area.
Just to warn you, it is really, really rich.
For something slightly less rich, I’d heartily recommend (and eat) a korma. This is your go-to ‘safe’ option and definitely won’t blow your head off with chilli!
For a vegetarian option, dal makhana really shines too
What is the Mildest Indian Dish?
Boiled white rice.
Nah, just kidding…
Tikka masala is pretty mild. After all, it was invented to appease someone who didn’t want spicy food allegedly.
How Do I Cool Down a Hot Curry?
If you’ve ordered too hot or been a bit overzealous on the spice, then all is not lost. There are plenty of ways to cool down a hot curry. This can include adding yoghurt or a few other ingredients to take the heat down.
Check out my article here. I’ve got lots of ideas.
What is the Mildest Curry? | Final Thoughts…
There are probably a few in the list above that you recognize and one or two that you may not. The key to avoiding a spicy curry is to make sure that it doesn’t contain chilli. If you are making a curry yourself, then this is pretty easy to do. In fact, any curry can be made mild by skipping the chilli! If you are ordering, just be sure to ask first, but be aware, one man’s mild is another man’s hot! Do you like sweet curries? Be sure to check out this guide for the sweetest curries out there.