Agri-Culture: Curry Red

Laura McNamara

Open fruit from red curry plantHave you ever wondered where red curry get it’s color. It comes from the chalky red seeds of what my guide called the “curry plant”. My research shows that his “curry plant” is not the same plant known as the curry plant in English. Nor is it the same as the curry tree. I couldn’t quite identify what we call this plant in English, but the guide on my mountain excursion in Vietnam says the fruit of this plant is where the Vietnamese find the red-coloring to use in their red curries.

Red curry lipstickI found out it also works great as a lipstick. Talk about long-lasting! Really, I couldn’t get that streak off my cheek for about two days. The red powder “lipstick” doesn’t have much of a curry taste, or much of any taste for that matter. When I said as much to my guide, he agreed and explained the plant is used just for the coloring.

Farming, Food, International