X No Thanks

National Curry Week: Holiday Inspiration

by Travelbag on 09 October 2019, 14:10PM

Curry spices

This week is the 21st annual National Curry Week. To mark this celebration of Britain’s favourite dish, we’ve rounded up the holiday destinations where you’ll find some of the very best curries in the world. Read on for some travel – and dinner – inspiration.



India is undoubtedly the country we most associate with curry. Whether you’re a fan of rogan josh, aloo gobi, chicken korma, jalfrazi, lamb bhuna, butter chicken (the list goes on!), Indian is the go-to cuisine for complex and richly-spiced food. But, fun fact: the word curry actually doesn’t exist in any of India’s many official languages. It’s a British word coined in the 1700s to describe stews flavoured with Indian spices. There’s ongoing debate about where the name curry comes from, but a popular theory is that it’s derived from the word ‘kari’, which means ‘sauce’ in the South Indian language of Tamil.

But, regardless of the name, the food is one of the best reasons to visit India. The country’s cuisine is a smorgasbord of delectable delights, which vary greatly from region to region. In colourful Rajasthan – home to the pink city of Jaipur, the blue city of Jodhpur and, of course, the majestic Taj Mahal – the food is influenced by the harsh climate. Fruit and vegetables are scarce so many dishes use legumes and pulses instead. Meanwhile, the Chettinad cuisine in Tamil Nadu is largely vegetarian, and some of the spiciest anywhere in the country. Over in coastal Kerala – famed for its glistening backwaters and tea-covered hills – most dishes are coconut-based. Nearly everything here comes with rice, and seafood is a specialty. And if you visit the golden beaches of Goa, you’ll discover food with a strong Portuguese influence. Pork and beef stews are both common, although fish is the dominant ingredient in most Goan curries.

Want to try making your own butter chicken? Here’s Gordon Ramsey’s recipe.




This Southeast Asian tourist hotspot is an absolute foodie heaven. Relying heavily on local ingredients like chilli, lime, lemongrass and coconut, Thai curries are fresh and fragrant. And they often have quite the kick! The bustling streets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai are lined with food vendors hawking all kinds of treats, from noodles and curries to soups and salads. And if you want to try seafood in Thailand, you’ll find some of the best options in the seaside resort of Hua Hin or the fishing port of Krabi.

With so many gleaming temples, dense jungles and blissful beaches, Thailand offers plenty of ways to pass the time. But if you can find a spare moment between snorkelling and sight-seeing, why not try something different and take a cooking class? Spend some time with a local chef and learn how to make favourites such as Thai green curry, Thai red curry and tom yum. Or you just can attempt to recreate Jodie Whittaker’s massaman curry at home.



Sri Lanka

It’s no wonder this island nation is currently one of the world’s hottest holiday destinations. Sitting in the Indian Ocean, just off the southern tip of India, it’s a land of seemingly endless tea plantations, ancient ruins, and unspoilt beaches. And it also serves up some truly fantastic food. Spicy yet light, Sri Lankan cooking is the result of hundreds of years of colonisation. International traders would bring their native foods and cooking styles, and today this has resulted in a cuisine that’s unique and diverse – and more inclusive of non-native ingredients than many others in the region. Curry in Sri Lanka is incredibly aromatic, and comes in an array in vivid colours. Unsurprisingly for an island, seafood features heavily in the country’s cooking, and fish curry is one of the most popular dishes.

When you’re not busy satisfying your appetite, make sure to check out Kandy’s sacred Buddhist sites; the fortified old city of Galle; and the National Museum in Colombo. Of course the highlight, though, is the sun-kissed stretches of golden sand that line the coast. 

Struggling to decide what to make for a mid-week supper? Give this Sri Lankan veggie curry a go.

 Sri Lanka



Malaysia’s a melting pot of Indian, Chinese, Malay and Western cultures. And this multiculturalism is very much reflected in the food. Popular dishes include nasi lemak, rending (made with beef, chicken or lamb), and curry mee – also known as curry laksa. But in addition to its many street stalls and restaurants, Malaysia has no shortage of attractions.

In its buzzing capital Kuala Lumpur steel-clad skyscrapers and air-conditioned megamalls sit side by side with colonial-era architecture and traditional markets selling locally-made handicrafts. In Penang you’ll find the charming UNESCO heritage city of George Town, famed for its striking 3D street murals, while the Cameron Highlands offers excellent hiking and tea-tasting opportunities. And if it’s beaches you’re after, Malaysia’s got more than a few of those too. Some of the very best are in Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi and on the resort island of Pangkor. 

Fancy cooking up a feast at home? This Malaysian chicken curry is bursting with flavour.




With the Rugby World Cup happening right now and the Olympics set to take place next summer, Japan is proving more popular than ever. And rightly so. It’s a truly unique destination, where ancient customs blend seamlessly with cutting-edge technology, and the landscape ranges from sprawling metropolises and rugged mountains to elegant gardens and tropical beaches. With so much going on, it’s a country that really packs a punch – and its food is no different.

The Japanese like to cook using fresh local ingredients, so their cuisine tends to be very seasonal. And it can vary tremendously, being either light and delicate or more hearty and robust. Sushi, ramen and tempura are some of the most widely-eaten foods, but curry is common too. Katsu – made with either chicken or pork – is the most popular curry dish, and while we typically think of eating curry with rice, the Japanese also enjoy curry udon (a type of thick noodle). 

Fancy chicken katsu curry for dinner? Check out this recipe.


Have we whet your appetite and inspired you to go a foodie getaway? Take a look at our great holiday deals.

Or if you’re planning a big trip, find out how to spend 40 days in Southeast Asia.

6 Places to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Read More

A Hop Around the World’s Beers

Read More

Top 10 Things to do in Vancouver

Read More

Antigua: Paradise at the Right Price

Read More
Post of the month
by Tourism Australia More

Email sign up

Register to receive holiday offers, cheap flights deals, hotel offers and more.

Travelbag Travel/Leisure London

01 Jan 00:00 Read More
Travelbag's Twitter
Common Tags
24 Hours 48 hours in 5 Reasons Abu Dhabi Activities Adventure Holiday Africa Alaska America Antigua Argentina asia Auckland Australasia Australia bahamas Bahrain Bali Bangkok Barbados Beach Holidays Beaches beer Bolivia Bora Bora Borneo Botswana Brazil California Cambodia Campervan Canada Cancun Cape Town Caribbean Central America Chicago Chile China City Breaks Colombo Colorado Cook Islands Costa Rica Cruise Holidays Cruises Cuba culture Dining Dominican Republic Dubai Ecuador Europe Family Holidays Festivals Fiji Florida food Food Trip Gold Coast Grenada Hanoi Hawaii hiking Ho Chi Minh City Hoi An holiday reading holidays Honeymoon Hong Kong India Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Luxury Holidays Indonesia Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Koh Samui Krabi kuala lumpur Langkawi Laos las vegas Latin America Literature los angeles Luxury Holidays Macau Malaysia Maldives Mauritius Melbourne Mexico Miami Middle East Montreal motorhome holidays music Myanmar Namibia Nature New England New York New Zealand North New Zealand Northen Territory Oman Oregon Orlando Penang Perth Perth Beaches Peru Phuket Qatar Quebec Queensland Queenstown Rail Travel Ras Al Khaimah Reading on holiday Road trip Safari San Francisco Scuba Diving Self-Drive Seychelles Shanghai Sightseeing Trip Singapore snorkelling South Africa South America South Australia South Carolina South New Zealand Southeast Asia Sri Lanka St Lucia Surfing Sydney Tahiti Tasmania Tennessee Texas Thailand Things To Do Tokyo Top 5 Things to Do Toronto tour trekking UAE United States USA USA Roadtrip Utah Vancouver Vietnam Vietnam Beaches Virginia Washington DC Western Australia whale watching Wildlife Wine Winter Sun
Please Wait...

We use cookies
Read more

Cookies: We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our website, you are agreeing to use our site cookies.
See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Would you like a call back from one of our experts? X
chat with our experts
0871 703 4698
Call us until today

Schedule a call back


Please Select a Date


Please Select a Time


Please supply your First Name


Please supply your Surname

Phone Number

Please Check the Number and Try Again


Please Select a Destination


Dear , our experts will call you on , on to chat about your trip. In the meantime, feel free to explore our site for inspiration