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Sunday, 24 August 2014


Dishes of highly spiced meat are thought to have originated in pre-historic times among the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization. Archaeological evidence dating to 2600 BC suggests the use of mortar and pestle to pound spices including mustard, fennel, cumin, and tamarind pods with which they flavoured food.

An older word “cury” was used for any cooked food. It came from the French “cuire” meaning “to cook”. A 1390 cook book was called Form Of Cury.

The word "curry" was adopted and anglicized from the Tamil word kari meaning 'sauce', which is usually understood to mean vegetables and/or meat cooked with spices with or without a gravy. Kari was first encountered in the mid-17th century by members of the British East India Company trading with Tamil (Indian) merchants along the Coromandel Coast of southeast India.

The first curry recipe in English “To make a Currey the India way”, appeared in Hannah Glasse's The Art Of Cookery in 1747.

The Norris Street Coffee House in London’s Haymarket became the first eatery in Britain to serve curry in 1773.

Commercial curry powder first appeared in Britain in 1780 and was sold at Sorlie’s Perfumery Warehouse, No.23 Piccadilly, London.

The first specialized Indian restaurant in England was opened by Sake Dean Mahomed in 1810.

In 1846, William Makepeace Thackeray wrote A Poem To Curry, as part of his Kitchen Melodies. It is a recipe for veal curry prepared by ‘my darling girl’ described as ‘a dish for Emperors’.

The first reference to a “Curry-House” in English was in 1883.

Balti is a type of curry served in a thin, pressed-steel wok called a "balti bowl." Balti food had been unknown outside North East Pakistan until 1977 when an immigrant opened up a restaurant called Aldi's in Birmingham for the benefit of other immigrants.

Since the 1970s, the spread of Balti and other curry houses in England has been remarkable. There are about 10,000 Indian restaurants serving curry in the UK, the vast majority of which are run by people from Bangladesh, not India.

A curry weighing a record 15.34 tonnes was made in Singapore in August 2015.

There are more curry houses in London than in Mumbai.

Sources Daily Express, Wikipedia

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