I went to a Thai restaurant this afternoon and ordered Massaman curry, which I've never had before. When I make curry at home, I usually mix it with chicken and pour it over rice and eat. But this curry was served in a bowl with a serving of rice beside it. So, doing what I normally do with curry, I flattened out the rice, poured the curry over the rice and ate it.

I realized afterwards that perhaps I was supposed to put the rice in the bowl and eat it like that, but I hadn't heard of doing that before. Is it normal to serve/eat curry that way? Does it depend on the type of curry being served?

  • What made you think you were suppose to put the rice in the bowl and eat it that way?
    – Jay
    Jan 12, 2012 at 20:19
  • @Jay I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a soupy curry or a curried soup. If it was the latter, it would make sense to me add the rice to the bowl rather than empty the bowl's contents over rice. I guess an analogy would be thin chowder served with crackers. You don't pour the chowder on the crackers, you put the crackers in the chowder. Jan 12, 2012 at 21:40
  • I added a couple new sentences to my answer to address your concern of thin curry.
    – Jay
    Jan 12, 2012 at 21:47
  • Label this indian-cuisine might not be right. Thai != Indian. Jan 13, 2012 at 0:55
  • Whoops, don't know how I managed that one. Thanks Jan 13, 2012 at 13:55

3 Answers 3


There are two traditional way to eat curry. Indians typically eat their curry with a type of bread. Usually Naan or Roti and use piece of the bread as a scoop/spoon of sort.

Thai curry will tend to be eaten, as you suggested, over top of rice. Typically it is separated when it is served so the rice does not get soggy while it is waiting to be served. The rice is typically served on a plate big enough to fit both the rice and the curry.

Of course, you can eat the rice and curry however you see fit.

Also there are thin soups that is flavoured with curry but usually those aren't served with rice so there shouldn't be confusion in that category. But do note that if you think the curry is too thin, it will thicken as it mix with the starch from the rice.

  • This was a Thai curry at a Thai restaurant.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 13, 2012 at 1:20
  • This answer does not really apply to Thai style curries, it is a very valid answer for Indian style curries
    – TFD
    Aug 22, 2014 at 8:13

With Asian soupy curries, use a spoon and take a small portion of rice, then dip it into the curry and soak up some soup and pick up some solid parts as desired

Often there are things in the curry that are not very edible, just there for flavour and aroma. By dipping you can miss them out with ease, and not make a big mess


I wanted to clarify some things about curry with regard to Indian and Japanese curries, because, while I don't know much about Thai curry, Jay's answer appears to suggest it is comprehensive.

Indian Curry: It is typically served with Naan in some regions and the naan is used as a scoop for the curry. It is also served with rice only on some occasions, at which point the rice is placed into the curry, mixed with rice and placed into the mouth using a hand.

Japanese Curry: It is eaten with a spoon, specifically a western style spoon.

Sources: Lived and ate in Japan; When I came to the United States, I was invited to many private meals with my Indian employer and his family/friends.

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