Mom’s curry dip
A couple of years ago, a friend asked me to suggest an appetizer to bring to a party. After reminding me that she had all my books and that she was a subscriber to the blog, she was curious if I had anything that she hadn’t seen before. Indeed, I did. I sent her a recipe for Mom’s curry dip. A few days later, my friend replied that it had been a hit. I was pleased.
Now, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the curry dip was popular with my friend’s fellow party-goers, since for all the years that my family has made it, it’s always one of the first items to go on the snack table, as well.
For instance, my grandma recalled that she once took it to a gathering in Oak Cliff, along with a tray filled with broccoli, carrots, and celery. While that may not sound like the most exciting appetizer, she said that in little time, there was nothing left on the platter. Not a drop of dip or a vegetable.
Despite the name, however, curry dip doesn’t hail from India (or any other country that serves curries such as Thailand or Japan). Instead, its roots are American, with its first appearance in a 1954 California Kraft ad for mayonnaise, as that’s the standard base for the dip.
Soon after, recipes soon began appearing in Texas Gulf Coast newspapers, suggesting it be served with cold shrimp. Though typically, crudites were the vehicle of choice.
Besides mayonnaise, the main ingredient is curry powder, which lends the dip its name. Much like chili powder, the combination of spices included varies, but typically it’s a blend of turmeric, cumin, cayenne, garlic, cayenne, and herbs. Its vibrant color and flavor bring a welcome kick to anything that it’s added, too. And as Texans have long had a love affair with spicy, bold flavors, it’s a natural fit with Texan cuisine.
Here’s is my mom’s rendition, which she got at a faculty gathering at Carrollton’s June Thompson Elementary (at the time, known as Woodlake) in the early 1970s. Her colleague gave her the recipe and my mom loved it so much she started bringing it to all her events.
It takes very little time to make and goes well with an assortment of raw vegetables. I haven’t tried it with cold shrimp, as Coastal Bend Texans used to enjoy it, though I believe that would be satisfying, too.
You could also serve with chips or crackers, but indeed as my grandma discovered, it especially shines with crudites and in a season filled with heavy foods and drink, a refreshing snack of creamy, spicy dip and crunchy vegetables is a welcome change.
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Mom's curry dip
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Crudites, for serving
- Stir together the mayonnaise, grated onion, curry powder, lemon juice, and salt. Taste and make any adjustments if desired. You can either serve immediately or chilled with crudites for dipping.
Sounds delicious! Thank you. 🙂
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many raw veggies in one sitting as I did with this dip 🙂 Definitely a new favorite! Thank you!
Yes, that happens to me, too! Ha! Glad you enjoyed it!
I have this recipe for 50 years and it is a winner every time. I did stop telling people it was curry dip, tho, and just let them fall in love with it!
Peg–Isn’t it fun to see people enjoy it?
Love all your recipes — and your cookbooks. I’m now a returned Texan (about 50 miles west of Dallas) after a 45 year hiatus. Do you ever review Mexican restaurants? There are so many in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. Might be something to add to your subscription service. Joe T Garcia’s is definitely the place to take out-of-state visitors — for the ambiance, but definitely not for the food! I’d love to have your recommendations for 1. Hole-in-the walls, 2. Old fashioned Tex Mex (like we got at El Chico’s when I was growing up), and 3. High end.
Leslie–While I’ve never thought about doing reviews, that’s an interesting idea! DFW does indeed have a rich array of Tex-Mex and Mexican spots! For now, my favorite old-school is Herrera’s on Sylvan. They use good ingredients and the food is extremely soulful and satisfying.
Thanks for the Herrera’s tip. Haven’t been there.
This is very similar to my mother’s. It’s my go to addition for deviled eggs and potato salad.
Liz–I love these ideas and will be trying them! Thank you for sharing!