Perhaps one of the most popular dishes in the world, curry is not only a delicious, but easy to make and carries an interesting history. I ended up spending more time reading what I could find about it than preparing the dish itself.
Curry has an amazing history, but before discussing that (or the recipe) a couple of things should be made clear. Firstly, that curry simply means “a spiced meat or vegetable stew” and it is unrelated to the curry tree (although its leaves are used in some recipes). Now that this is clear, can we move on to the history of curry itself.
According to Colleen Taylor’s book Feasts and Fasts : A History of Food in India “Analysis of the residue in cooking pots and human and bovine teeth at Farmana, 60 km from New Delhi, confirms that between 2500 and 2000 BCE cooks in the Indus Valley were using turmeric, ginger and garlic as flavourings – the ingredients for a 4,000-year-old north Indian curry.”  This makes curry older than the Indo-European Migrations. The history of curry continues undisturbed until the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa and the Columbian Exchange. It is in Goa that the Indians learn of the use of chili as an element of cooking (which up until then had been used as dyes in the subcontinent). Kashmiri Chili became the predilect element of spiciness in the dish, and Cayenne pepper in the Caribbean recipes. With the expansion of the British East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries came the worldwide expansion of curry. Not only was it introduced by British officers to Japan, but it became popular in the Caribbean by Indian laborers, and of course became a de rigueur dish of London coffee houses.
With such a rich history, you might start to wonder what the recipe is. Here it goes:
*Here is where what was said earlier comes into play; I used cayenne pepper instead of Kashmiri Chili as per the Caribbean recipes.
- Chop onions and garlic and toss them in a pot along with some olive oil.
- Add tomato paste and chicken broth
- Mix until desired amount is reached, and sauce is sufficiently hot
- Add all the spices you have to the mix.
- Bring to a boil, then add the chicken.
- Let it boil for a while, and add corn starch at the last minute (so as to thicken the sauce)
- Add heavy cream to the pot
- Your chicken curry is ready, serve on a bed of Basmati rice and add a couple of coriander leaves on top for presentation.
Serve along Naan bread if desired (which I highly recommend)
The whole process including prep time should take no more than 40 minutes
 Sen, Colleen Taylor. Feasts and Fasts : A History of Food in India, Reaktion Books, Limited, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/southernmethodist/detail.action?docID=1864179.
Created from southernmethodist on 2020-06-29 11:30:11.