Give Your Tuna Salad A Burst Of Flavor With A Dash Of Curry Powder

Tuna salad for lunch? Yes, please. However, making the same-old traditional tuna salad recipe day after day can quickly become routine and even boring. Luckily there are plenty of ways to spice up a basic version with a touch of extra zing — simple ingredient swaps or additions work like a charm from using avocado or hummus as a mayo alternative to adding a splash of something like pickle juice or olive brine for salt and tartness.

Spices can also work wonders for adding flavor to this style of dish, but one that truly clicks with the flavor of tuna and mayo is curry powder. Much like with curried chicken salad, tuna salad carries the rich and warm flavors of curry well, and the creamy mayo mixes nicely with the spices to form a sweet, savory, and smooth dressing with a vibrant yellow appearance. Just a teaspoon is enough to add a healthy punch of curry seasoning to your meal.

What does curry powder bring to the table?

Curry powder is not just a single dried spice, but a combination of a number of unique dried and ground varieties. These often include cumin, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, and an additional mix of spices known as garam masala — which contains items like coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon. The blend of all of these produces an extremely deep, rich, warming, and complex flavor that is potent even in small amounts. Curry varieties can be hot or mild, depending on whether or how much chili has been added to the mix.

This spice medley works brilliantly when combined with basic recipes like a simple tuna salad, which has a fairly straightforward flavor profile to begin with and which the curry powder can then build upon. While store-bought powders will certainly work well, making your own version at home lets you have more granular control over exactly what your blend tastes like, how spicy it is, and what flavors come to the forefront.

What to add to curry tuna salad

You can certainly mix a teaspoon of curry powder into your tuna salad and call it a day and the medley of spices will provide you with a perfectly wonderful pop of flavor. But adding additional accouterments to your tuna salad will enhance those curry flavors even more, leading to a more delicious outcome.

Adding some fresh herbs is one way to impart extra brightness that offsets the richness of the mixture of mayo and curry. Cilantro, especially, is a great addition since it's a natural pairing with curry flavors and provides a leafy, herby boost that lightens up what can become a heavy salad.

Another add-in that provides a unique flavor and accents the sweetness of the curry powder is fresh or dried fruit, such as sliced red grapes or dried raisins. These sweet treats not only add a little sugary tang but also provide much-appreciated textural variation. Mix it together and serve it on bread, with crackers, or in a pita, and enjoy the unique and delicious taste of curried tuna salad.