We’ve braved hunger pangs, extreme cravings, wander lust, and impassioned debates over the origin of the balti in order to bring you the most tantalizing selection of curries from around the world. Some of the destinations will be expected and some of them are a surprise but they’re all truly delicious.
Blissful biryani in Bangladesh
Biryani in Dhaka, Bangladesh
A layered mixed rice curry, the origins of the biryani are hotly debated but the effect it’s had on international cuisine is indisputable. Especially popular with South Asian diasporas, today biryani can be eaten all over the world and for many people Dhaka biryani is the best. From the traditional, cheap, Bangladeshi biryani available in the Old Dhaka through to the gourmet versions in Gulshan and Banani, there’s a curry for every budget and palate. For curry lovers planning to eat out Hotel 71 is a great location for venturing into Dhaka’s foodie quarter. Or if you’re planning to adapt your own biryani check out the self-catered apartments at Lakeshore Banani.
Spoilt for choice in Kingston
Curry goat in Kingston, Jamaica
Curry goat used to be a special occasion meal, served at parties and every “big dance” in Jamaica. It also pops up in Caribbean areas and events all over the world (it’s especially popular at the UK’s Notting Hill Carnival). Visitors to Kingston are spoilt for choice with award-winning restaurants, cosy eateries, and street food vendors all competing to produce the best curry goat. Spanish Court Hotel is popular with our foodie bookers and has an onsite cafe offering local delicacies. Travellers planning on a longer stay or to attempt their own variation of curry goat are recommended to try The Strathairn self-catered apartments.
Controversial curries in Birmingham
Balti, Birmingham, UK
Balti gosht is (probably) named after the thin steel dishes it’s cooked in and it (possibly) originates from northern Pakistan. Although there’s also a chance it was developed in a Birmingham curry house in the 1970s. Whatever its origin, the one everyone can agree on is that baltis, whether lamb, beef, prawn, or veggie, are delicious. Saint Paul’s House is praised by bookers for it’s excellent location and the surrounding restaurants. Meanwhile the SACO Birmingham - Brindleyplace has great city views and is self-catered for aspiring curry chefs.
Scrumptious seafood in Goa
Samarachi kodi, Goa, India
This seafood curry was popular in Goa during monsoon season, when families were reliant on dried prawns and shrimps, rock salt, tamarind, and whatever else they had in the pantry before the storms hit. The result was samarachi kodi and it can still be found everywhere from street food stalls to celebrated restaurants. Treebo Vila de Goa is praised for its culinary options while the Pinnacle Holiday Homes are close to the Arpora Saturday Night Market, which features a mouthwatering selection of local food.
Join the locals in a tasty Thai curry
Kaeng phet, Bangkok, Thailand
Composed of a dry red spur chili paste, cooked in coconut milk and combined with meat, seafood, or protein; kaeng phet, aka Thai red curry, is extremely popular in Thailand. Our bookers recommend visitors to Bangkok check out where the locals go for their kaeng phet for a plate of authentic spicy goodness. Q Space Residence is a short drive from Bangkok’s famous Chatuchak Weekend Market or travellers planning a longer trip are recommended the quirky Sunset Residence Pinklao.
Cravings for kare pan in Japan
Kare pan, Tokyo, Japan
Kare pan (curry bread) is Japanese curry, wrapped in dough, coated in breadcrumbs, and then deep fried. In Tokyo the streets are lined with places serving kare pan and this delicacy even pops up in manga artist Takashi Yanase’s work. Staying in the Asakusa district will give travellers easy access to the kare pan specialists Toyofuku, who’ve been making this delicious snack for over a century. Try the B:CONTE Asakusa or COTO Tokyo Yui Asakura.
Guzzle gulai in Indonesia
Gulai ayam, West Sumatra, Indonesia
Gulai ayam (the Indonesian for gulai chicken) is the most popular variety of gulai and is served with either steamed rice or roti canai. The thickness of the gravy, spice mix, and accompanying vegetables change dramatically, depending on which part of Indonesia you’re visiting. Gulai ayam originated from West Sumatra and today the region has a wide selection of both traditional dishes and milder varieties for cautious tourists. The Treeli Boutique Hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Gadang Clock Tower in Bukittinggi and has a rooftop restaurant. Guests in search of a luxury experience are recommended the Mercure Padang.
Sample fantastic faratas in Flic-en-Flac
Farata, Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius
The coastal town of Flic-en-Flac has ample food kiosks catering for both the tourists and the locals. Smart travellers will notice that Mauritians head straight for the brightly-coloured, slightly dilapidated roti cafes. The influence of the island’s Indian population is clear here as white bean curry, rougaille sauce, and chutneys are served on either roti or dal puris to create the traditional farata. If you’re going to be mainlining farata morning, noon, and night (which is the official, Booking.com recommendation) then accommodation overlooking the beach is a must. Try West Terraces Penthouse or Anaya Résidence.