Asian food

Get different kinds of curry from this Manila home kitchen

Steph Arnaldo
Get different kinds of curry from this Manila home kitchen

Hari Curry's Instagram

Which curry is your favorite?

Are you a fan of curries? Whether you’re into sweet Japanese curry, creamy chicken masala, or Malaysia’s spicy Nyonya Curry, home-based kitchen Hari Curry can bring you across the continent, one bowl at a time.

Local business Hari Curry specializes in a variety of curries, inspired by owner Harry Atondo’s own travels and a desire to introduce the many different flavors of Asian cuisine, through his own homemade curries.

Behind the curry

Before delving into home cooking, Harry, a nurse by training, was an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) based in Singapore, working in investment, business development and retail sales at the busy Changi airport.

Harry returned to the Philippines in 2015 to launch his own travel and tours start-up, opening branches in Manila, Samar, and Coron. When the pandemic happened, his business was hit badly.

After closing shop, he spent months deciding on what type of work he could pursue in lockdown that was still related to travel.

“In the end, I was drawn to go back to the first intention of real world travelers, which is to look for spices. I think no other spice has transcended traditions, cultures and tastes more than curry has,” Harry told Rappler.

Originating in India, curry is a variety of dishes that combine different spices and herbs, and is usually prepared as a sauce. Depending on which region it is from, curry can consist of different meats, ingredients, side dishes, and its own specific concoction of spices and powders.

Choose your curry

“My curry dishes are made from freshly-picked spices and are slowly-cooked, keeping it loyal to the taste of its origin to bring an authentic flavor and aroma to every table,” Harry said.

Each curry dish is distinct in taste and texture, making for a fun sampler feast at home. Hari Curry also provides filling options for pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans alike.

Among Hari’s best-selling “curry trinity” is the Nyonya Curry (P380), a staple curry of Malaysia and Singapore. This creamy and spicy chicken dish is Indo-China’s version of a complex and tasty curry, and a staple in Peranakan cooking.

This saucy and aromatic dish is perfect with a cup of rice (or two) and will really get your tastebuds tingling, especially if you get it at medium spice level. You can also opt for mild or hot levels (this applies to all of their curries).

This curry is also available for vegans, composed of eight well-cooked, crisp vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, French beans, sweet peas, young corn, and golden mushroom. The vegan version costs P400 per 750ml tub, good for sharing among two-three people. Vegetarians can opt for their tofu-based “fish cakes.”

Hari Curry’s Buttered Chicken Masala (P380), a take on the Indian masala curry, is made creamier with butter, and is savory, tangy, and packed with heat. It’s made with tender chicken breasts and a tomato-based curry, and is great paired with Hari Curry’s fresh soft roti.

If you’re a fan of the sweet-spicy Thai Green Curry (P380), Hari Curry can gladly accommodate with their creamy, aromatic take on the saucy, mildly spicy curry, made with fragrant Thai spices, fresh herbs, and rich coconut milk. You can get it with chicken, fish cakes, or just with veggies.

Hari Curry uses high-quality, fresh produce and offers generous servings, which makes even their vegan variants easily filling and satisfying.

Hari Curry also offers the Baked Katsukare Japanese curry, made with Hari’s homemade sweet curry roux that’s sweetened by apple, and comes with carrots and potatoes. The sweet, thick, and slightly spicy curry comes with golden-brown, crunchy pork cutlets, which are baked instead of fried. It’s also available with their vegetarian fish cakes; both cost P400.

They also have Indonesian’s famous dry Beef Rendang, which is slow-cooked for three hours using methods and techniques also used in Nyonya curry cooking.

For pescatarians who are into savory and spicy dishes with a hint of sweetness, Hari’s Curry Prawn (P400) is a must-try – it’s made using medium-sized, well-cooked, freshly-caught prawns doused in an addictive, buttery, tomato-based curry with mild spice, inspired by Sri Lankan cuisine.

“Being a cloud kitchen, we offer restaurant-quality food prepared with care, possible only when you cook for family at home. Each order is prepared fresh everyday. Some dishes need to be marinated and slowly cooked for three hours or more,” Harry said.

Sidekicks to Hari’s curries

Although curry is already a flavorful dish on its own, it definitely won’t hurt to enjoy it with side dishes, like Hari Curry’s vegetarian-friendly Baked Curry and Cheese Puff – a flaky, non-fried, sweet-savory puff pastry inspired by India’s samosas, Malaysia’s karipap, and Japan’s kare-pan. It costs P400 for six pieces.

Biryani rice (P150) is also available, as well as plain basmati rice (P100), nasi lemak rice (P100), and roti pratha (P80).

Combine any of Hari’s sides to any of their curries, or have the curries solo. Whichever curry you pick, you’re guaranteed complex flavors, distinct aromas, as well as quality meats and produce reminscent of some of your favorite comfort curries from abroad.

Hari Curry is located in Casanas Street, Sampaloc, Manila. Orders can be made via their website, with a lead time of at least one day for bulk orders. You can also check them out on Instagram. – Rappler.com

Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.