Spice Lounge Kitchen | Where Does Curry Come From?
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November 22, 2017
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Where Does Curry Come From?

From a Bangladeshi take-away in East London to an Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, curry and all its wonderful variations have been adopted as a national British dish, such is our affection for the different meats and sauces that accompany them. But curry is far from British in its origins, and in this blog we look at where it came from.

The word ‘curry’ itself is understood to come from the word ‘kari’ in Tamil, a language which is spoken by people in Sri Lanka and south India. Evidence from a medieval book on English cooking suggests that, although it is likely to have originated in India over 2,000 years ago, curry might have been used in Britain as far back as the 1300s.

What Does Curry Mean?

Today in the UK, we are likely to readily associate curry with all manner of dishes that can be found in an Indian restaurant or takeaway, or perhaps with curry powder, which is a specific mix of spices that are ground and blended together in a yellow substance.

Colonial Curry

Curry powder is said to have first been made when a British colonial official was returning home to the UK and was concerned that he would not be able to enjoy his favourite Indian dishes while at home. The story goes that the official asked his cook to prepare a mix of spices that he could take home with him, and thus the special powder was born.

What Do Indians Think Of Curry?

Indians are actually more likely to associate curry with a specific type of meat with gravy, which is devoid of many of the other ingredients that we include in curries in the UK. Traditionally, curry would not contain bell peppers, as they are not native to India.

These kinds of dishes are also found throughout South and South East Asia. While they may not carry the ‘curry’ moniker, the meat with gravy dishes are enjoyed in countries such as Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Curry means different things to different people, but one thing is for sure – there are few places where it is loved as much as it is in the UK! If you want to enjoy the best curry in Edinburgh, contact us to book a table at Spice Lounge today.