Thursday 25 October 2012

Curries and Curry Recipes

I love curries, they are one of my passions. I have a whole curry recipe section on my main Celtnet Recipes site that covers curries and curry recipes from all around the world. Hundreds of curries in all.

The Origins of Curry

As everyone knows, curries originate in the Indus valley of India and Pakistan. They are an ancient and now global kind of food.

Indeed, curry originates with India's original civilization, the ancient Bronze-age Indus Valley Civilizaion (also known as the Harappan civilization from their major city) which thrived along the Indus valley some 4500 to 3900 years ago. Grinding stones with traces of spices on them (notably mustard seeds, fennel, cumin and tamarind seeds) having been found in various archaeological site associated with this civilization. It's almost certain that these spices were used to flavour stews — the curry was born. About 4000 years ago the Aryan peoples came to North India from Turkmenistan, introducing horses and new spices and establishing the Vedic period. The writings of the Vedic Period (1700 to 500 BCE) also indicate that these dishes continued to be prepared.

Se we can trace the origins of curry back at least 4000 years. But for their early history they remained on the Indian sub-Continent. It wasn't until the 7th century that Buddhist monks took the spiced dishes of India eastwards to Burma, Thailand and as far as China. At about the same period, coastal traders (particularly those plying the spice trade) carried the style of cooking eastwards to Indonesia and the Philippines and westwards to East Africa.

During the 16th century, the Mughal Empire was established in northern India and the Muslim rulers brought with them Persian spices and Islamic cooking practices that transformed the earlier Indian styles of cookery.

The Portuguese established a trading post in Goa in the early 16th century and they brought with them their own cooking practices (particularly pork dishes) and, more importantly, they introduced chillies to the Indian sub-continent.

Curries began to establish themselves as part of British cuisine from the mix 18th century, with the establishment of the Raj. This Indian cooking style became popular in Britain and by now has established itself as a staple of British cookery. Indeed, curry styles invented in Britain are now making their way to India.

Conquest, movement of people and the adoption of new cooking techniques led to curries becoming a true global food.

What is a Curry?

At its simplest, a curry is a dish of meat, vegetables and/or pulses cooked in a sauce base with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs. Typically the spices include coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, turmeric, fenugreek, fennel seeds and an acid base that can be tamarind, sour fruit or vinegar (as in Goan cuisine). Herbs include coriander leaves, curry leaves, Indian bay leaves and pandan leaves. There is no mention of the hot chilli pepper on this list as it's a recent addition to Indian curries brought by the Portuguese and though they are commonly added to curries these days they were not in the original curries and they are still not necessary to make a curry.

Below you will find links to all the curries and curry-associated recipes added to this blog.

Curry Recipes

Restaurant-style Tuna Korma Recipe

Fish Meatball and Coconut Milk Curry Recipe

Crockpot Beef Curry Recipe

Ethiopian Chicken Wot, adapted for the Slow Cooker (Crockpot)

Fruity Chicken Curry

Crayfish Curry

Restaurant-style Lamb Korma

Pressure Cooker Chicken Korma

Classic Vindaloo Spice Blend


Imli Chatni (Tamarind Chutney)

Anglo-Indian and Other Dishes

Devilled Kidneys

Simple African Pepper Soup

If you would like to learn more about the origins of curries, and get curry recipes form all around the world, then why not consider my ebook: The Big Book of Curry Recipes. There you will get almost 1000 recipes for curries and associated dishes both traditional and moder. The book also gives you a global view of curries and well as presenting the secrets of how to make restaurant and takeaway style curries at home.

The book is sold via Amazon so you know that you are getting a proper book and for around $5 it's  real bargain.

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