The Origin, Definition & History of Curry

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the origin of the word curry

Is the word "curry" derived from the Tamil word kari or is it taken from the Indian name for a cooking pot or does it perhaps come from the Middle English word cury?


definition of curry

Ask a dozen different people to define curry and you'll get a dozen different answers. We consider the definitions offered by some of the curry cognoscenti before settling on our own.


a short history of curry

It is beyond the scope of this website to chart the complete history of cooking in the Asian sub-continent. Besides, it would be a formidable task which would have to be undertaken region by region. You could not study the history of Punjab in the north and assume it was the same for Kerala in the south. It would be like trying to follow the history of Italian cuisine by studying the development of cooking in Finland (which is as distant from Italy as Punjab is from Kerala).

The history of curry, on the other hand, is more concise and we follow its progress from a generic name coined by 17th century English traders to the supermarket shelves of the 21st century.


curry myths

In all the years I have been writing The Curry House certain misconceptions turn up time and time again. Here we debunk the myths.


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The Cooking Colonel of Madras by David Smith