Moms curry dip DSC 7030

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.

Mom's curry dip | Homesick Texan

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.

Mom's curry dip | Homesick Texan

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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5 from 7 votes

Mom's curry dip

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Lisa Fain


  • 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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I thought perhaps the dip recipe might include a curry “recipe” in it! I know that curry powders can vary widely – what brand do you use?


    Laura B.

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Laura–I use Whole Foods curry powder.

  2. Texas Foodie says:

    I love this curry dip. I have made it twice in the last three weeks for crudite platters along with two other dips. The curry dip always gets the most compliments and requests for the recipe. Easy to fix… can be whipped up in about 15 minutes or less. I made a similiar recipe years ago but couldn’t remember all the ingredients so I did a quick Google search and found this one. Homesick Texan caught my attention right away as those of us from Texas have a special bond.

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Texas Foodie–We fellow Texans do indeed have a special bond! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and it reminded you of an old favorite!