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Transform Canned Curry Paste Into A Flavorful Salad Dressing

Kale and chickpea salad in white bowl
Kale and chickpea salad in white bowl - Vaaseenaa/Getty Images

Curries are rich dishes that bring joy that transcends country lines and cultural boundaries. Without the addition of the vital ingredient of curry paste, curries would merely consist of coconut milk or broth. Curry paste is a wet ingredient made with a mixture of ground spices, herbs, and seasonings. Usually mixed with other key ingredients to transform it from a paste into a sauce, it's often been regarded as a single-use ingredient. But this is about to change. Let's start with salad dressing.

Curries are typically served with meats, rice, or bread but imagine bringing all those deep, savory flavors to your salad. To transform curry paste into a salad dressing, combine the paste with yogurt or vinegar. While this sounds simple, it's important to consider what flavors the curry paste will complement and whether including a sweeter ingredient, like honey, is also necessary in the dressing. If you're picturing your delicate salad vegetables drowning in a heavy sauce, rid yourself of hesitation and instead imagine those spiced flavors delightfully calling from the salad bowl and balancing out all those ingredients. Enough with the excuses; this is the best way to use those remaining spoonfuls in your paste jar.

Read more: 14 Homemade Salad Dressing Mistakes You're Making

Not Just For Curries

Curry paste in a pestle and mortar
Curry paste in a pestle and mortar - Floortje/Getty Images

Before you throw curry paste and vinegar over your salad, consider what other ingredients will complement the paste you're using. With Thai red curry paste, for example, you get those wonderful notes from lemongrass, saltiness from shrimp paste, and heat from ginger and chilies, but you want to subdue these fiery flavors. Let's be honest; no one wants a mouthful of curry paste.

This type of curry paste would blend well into a dressing with lime, apple cider vinegar, and a little sugar to balance those spicy notes. It would also be best poured over a salad that incorporates Asian greens, or veggies like eggplant and zucchini. If you plan on coating the salad with the dressing, mix the dressing in the salad bowl first to give you the best-tasting results and easily coat your greens.

While this type of dressing works well, as previously mentioned, curry paste also mixes well with yogurt or coconut milk. Picture those robust red curry flavors soothed by cooling coconut milk, the slight sourness of lime, a peck of sweet maple syrup, and a touch of tamari to taste. Your salad would surely shine with those vibrant curry flavors without delivering too much of a spicy punch to your palate.

No Curry Paste? No Problem

jar of dressing with spoon over salad bowl
jar of dressing with spoon over salad bowl - Azmanjaka/Getty Images

You might be intrigued by the curry and salad combination, but what happens if you don't have any curry paste on hand? No issue -- there are simple dressings you can make with curry powder to achieve a similar outcome. Curry powder is also less spicy as it lacks those fresh chilies that turn up the heat in curry paste.

Mixing curry powder into mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, and lemon will relieve that musky, spiced taste and deliver a remarkable dressing of intrigue. Curry powder is an exceptional ingredient to elevate a chicken salad, too, especially when you can turn those flavors into a creamy curry dressing reminiscent of coronation chicken. Curry powder can also be mixed with balsamic vinegar, a few cloves of pressed garlic, finely chopped onion, brown sugar, and olive oil. This would create a dressing that resonates with those classic balsamic notes while adding a slightly spiced undertone.

Get inventive and use the remnants from your canned curry paste or curry powder jar to create a salad dressing that pulls out all the stops. Let's face it: Ranch and Caesar dressing have had their time in the spotlight -- it's time for curry paste salad dressing to take center stage.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.