What is the basic difference between beef stew, braised beef and beef curry?
Is there really any difference other than the combination of spices?
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Stew and curry both describe broad types of food, that typically contain meat and/or vegetables in a flavorful liquid that may be more or less thick. As you have noted, the difference is one of typical flavours because they are terms associated with different food traditions. They are vague terms that both cover a very diverse range of dishes, so it's not worth trying to define them more than that.
Braising is a cooking method where the food is lightly fried before being cooked slowly in some liquid (generally not fully immersed, and generally in a closed container to retain moisture). Braising could be used to make a stew or curry, and it could also be used for other dishes.
As a dish, 'braised beef' (on a Western, English-language menu) would be associated with a typical presentation, generally with a thick beefy sauce and served alongside vegetables, which some would call a stew. But this isn't inherent to the meaning of braising.