What’s the difference between a Bhuna and a Balti - Tiffin Spice Box

What’s the difference between a Bhuna and a Balti

Everyone here at TiffinSpiceBox finds it hard to imagine anyone who does not know what a curry is.

A saucy, seasoned dish with aromatic spices.

But there will be a sprinkling of unfortunate individuals who still need to explore the vast world of different cuisine.

We believe everybody should not only know what a curry is. But also be a curry lover. What’s not to love about a tasty curry? Hearing the name of a curry is enough to get our mouths watery.

Having said that. With all the different curries and unfamiliar names, we feel as though there may be some who are slightly confused.

Curries are very common in Asia. And Asia covers a massive area. From Thai food in the East of Asia to food from the Indian Subcontinent (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc.).

Indian cuisine has a wide variety of dishes. The North of India has its spicy style, while the South has its creamy coconut-infused curries. Not forgetting the delicacies found in the East and the West of India. It can be overwhelming. You will need time to familiarise yourself with the different curry names and what they mean.

So the team at TiffinSpice Box is on hand to hold your hand and guide you through the adventurous world of Indian curries.

Not sure what separates a Bhuna and a Balti; continue reading

What is a Bhuna
In a nutshell, Bhuna is a dish cooked with a distinct technique. A standard curry involves frying the onions to perfection then adding the spices and tomatoes, followed by the meat, chicken, or vegetables.

The Bhuna, on the other hand, starts with you frying the aromatic spices in hot oil straight away. This unleashes the intense fragrances of the spices into the air. Savour this sudden burst of aroma. Then add the meat, vegetables, or even both to your newly created paste. Now allow the meat or vegetables to simmer. Their unique flavours will be added to the dish as it bubbles.

A Bhuna is a thick sauce curry packed with intense flavour. It can be enjoyed with flat naan bread or pilau rice.

This cooking style is thought to have originated in the Bengal part of India. Now a staple part of the menu at restaurants and take-aways.

So what’s a Balti then?
Balti is another hugely popular curry at restaurants. The true origins of the famous Balti are unknown. Some say it originated in Birmingham in the 70s. While others argue it comes from Baltistan.

The Balti is not named after the cooking style. Rather, the Balti is uniquely named after the pot the curry is cooked in. Balti is cooked in a wok-style pan with 2 handles. This pan is known as ‘balti’ in Hindi, which translates as ‘bucket’ in English.

The meat/vegetables are cooked in this ‘bucket’ on high heat, similar to a stir fry. The shape of the pan helps keep the curry warm after being cooked at high heat.

So now you know the difference between these two firm takeaway favourites.

Which one is better?

Well, there are no pros and cons. Both of these curries are mouth-watering. Everybody has their tastes.

So, our suggestion is to try making both dishes and make up your mind.

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