There are curries on almost every continent, with a stunning diversity of flavors and textures across India alone, and many more interpretations the world over, including in Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Trinidad and the UK. But curry is difficult to define. The word has origins in ancient India, but its adoption by Portuguese and British colonizers saw curry reinterpreted in the west to encompass an entire cuisine, prompting many Indians to reject the term outright.
Sejal Sukhadwala probes the complex intersection of tradition and colonialism through the fascinating history of curry, from its association with Ayurveda – one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems to its enduring popularity in contemporary British culture. Garnishing this history is a surfeit of helpful advice on which oils to use, how to temper spices and where to find those all-important mouth-watering recipes.