The History of Curry

May 2, 2018

Did you know that the British love curry so much they actually celebrate a National Curry Week? But in actuality, curry is a cuisine that has existed even back in the Mesopotamian civilization.

The origins of curry lie in the sub-continent region- today’s India- but it didn’t take too long for the cuisine to become one of the English’s favorite. Around the early 1300s, English began excessively devouring the dish. The proof of this can be found in the English cooking books that were published in the 14th Century.

In the present times, curry has become a global dish. Almost every country has a variety of their own curry. It was originally spelled and pronounced as ‘Kari’ which is actually a Tamil word.

Curry is a combination of different spices. So the curry powder is a grinded mixture of a vast variety of spices. This is why different countries have different curry flavours; some are hot while others are mild. However, since it is originally a South Asian, specifically an Indian cuisine, it is typically hot and spicy.

The curry consumed by Australians is much different than that devoured by Indians. The Indians prefer a dish of gravy made up of their basic ingredients such as cumin, turmeric, ginger, chilli, garlic, and coriander.

At the time of the British colonization of India, there was an inevitable exchange of cultural practices. This allowed the British to adopt curry as a national cuisine. But the British made some alterations in the dish that would fit their developed taste which is why, the curry found in the west is a little different.

Of course, the British colonialism spread their culture to all of their colonies. When they entered the Australian region, they introduced many of their own cultural practices including the curry dish. In fact, there are even proofs of curry being advertised in the early 19th century.

In particular, Australia was introduced to the classical cuisine by one British, Joseph Keen. Back in 1841, Joseph Keen moved to Australia with his newly wedded bride to settle down and start a new life in a foreign land.

With meagre resources and a zeal for culinary art, Joseph Keen developed his own curry powder that had a unique blend of Indian spices with those of the West. Together, the combination produced an exotic flavour that was a perfect balance of hot and mild. Inevitably, the Australians fell in love with this cuisine and today, is has emerged as a staple food in more Australian cities than you can count.

Curry can be cooked in different styles. The dish is wholesome on its own but you can always customize it by adding different meats to enhance its flavours. For a special night, you can always check out some beef curry recipes.

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