It is said that 23 million people consume curry on a daily basis.
The word has three different meanings λέξη:
– “Kari” In the Tamil dialect means spicy thin sauce, coming from south India, which in english becomes ”curry”
– The leaf of the tree “curry” found in South India and Sri Lanka
– It can also refer to the general term for indian type spice mixes.
The Portuguese discovered India. They were followed by the English who made this spice mix famous all arounf the world. It is worth mentioning that its use was recorded for the first time in a cooking book in 1300, during the time of Richard the III.
Even is most of us think of curry today with the strong taste of hot and spicy pepers, this ingredients was not initially included in curry as these peppers were not cultivated in Asia. Only after Colombus brought the seeds from America, and through the commerce among colonies, were the peppers introduced to the indian cuisine, resulting to the spicy curry in its current form.
But the origins of curry is lost in time. Scientists believe that they have founs an ancestor of cury, 4000 years old. That mixture contains traces of cooked ginger and turmeric (which are still the main ingredients of curry as we know it today), along with corn starch on human teeth and cooking vessels in the ancient valey of the Indian river.
This shows us that curry is the oldest cooking product that is still used today. Despite the fact that it changes and evolves, it is always connected to its long history.
There are many varieties of dishes named “curries”. For example, in local, traditional cuisines, the exact types of spices used in the mixture are a matter of national, cultural and local tradition, or even a matter of religious practice and family preference. These dishes have different names according to the ingredients used and they way they are cooked. The ingredients are used either raw or cooked.
The basis consists in most cases of, coriander, cumin, turmeric and ginger, while the most often added ingredients are garlic, onion, cinnamon, clove, cardamon, mustard seeds, mace, nutmeg, red and black pepper and chili peppers. These ingredients are not usually all found in the same mixture. but a curry can conttain up to 20 different igredients in varying ratios, according to the preferences of each chef. In South India people also add actual leaves from the curry tree. It is also quite commin that a curry contains fish, meat and vegetables.
Curries can be ”dry” or ”moist”. Dry curries are cooked with few liquids, and up to the point where all liquids evaporate, while moist curries are cooked with generous portions of sauces or broths with basis that can vary from yoghurt, heavy cream and coconut milk, up to vegetable purées or meat broths. Powdered curry isn’t but a western, commercial invention of the 18th century.
The British were introduced to curries through their relation with their Indian colonies and fell in love with them. They made them famous all around the world and still absolutely love them. In Britain there is even a National Curry Week, during which the lovers of curry can vote for the curry capital, the curry pub of the year, their favourite restaurant and signature dish.
Products with Curry: