Little is known about the true origins of Curry, and of course that present history is much influenced by the ones that write history books, without polemic but history is always made by whoever wins the war, giving a partial, bias or simply wrong report of the actual fact.
Curry is not a spice but a mixture of several spices, apparently the term Curry derives from Malay word Kari that means sauce. As a matter of a fact, when Portuguese first arrived in India back in 1498 (Vasco da Gama), Curry simply meant soup, any kind of vegetable or meat soup made with several spices.
Curry powder mixture is composed mainly by: Coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek and red pepper in the main base and then variants made by adding: ginger, garlic, asafoetida, fennel seed, caraway, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, nutmeg, long pepper, black pepper and chilli pepper.
The chilli (one of the main ingredients used in Curry) was brought to Asia from America by the Portuguese and with the cultural exchange in the various colonies was adopted by locals and influenced for good their cooking habits.
Goa (a former Portuguese colony in India) is a wonderful melting pot. Some of the hottest curries come from this region and also one of India’s most famous recipes “Chicken Vindaloo”. Vindaloo derives from the Portuguese “Vinha de Alhos” a marinade (used for meat) made with White Wine, Sweet Paprika paste, Chilli and loads of Garlic (alhos).
If you try to research the origins of Curry, you will find that credit is given to English traders and their relations with India are in the basis of the curry. It is not the truth, but in good faith English have helped and still are, in the proliferation of curry and curry recipes throughout the all world. Because Curry was adopted as the national dish of the UK.
The English left India in 1947, Portugal lost India in 1961 (Goa, Damao and Dìu territories were invaded by India).
When the portuguese Princess Catarina de Bragança married the King of England Charles II (1662), some territories in India were offered by Portugal to England . There is a famous tale, already posted in this Blog “The true origin of Tea”, that the Queen to be, when she first arrived in Portsmouth did not feel well and she requested her favourite drink (hot tea). This event marked the introduction of Tea in England. Apparently, she was also responsible for the introduction of Orange Marmelade (Marmelada in Portuguese is a sweet jam made with Quince or in Portuguese “Marmelos”), the Tea and Cutlery at the Kings table.
So now you know the true story of how the English have came to be in India, a dowry from the Portuguese King.
Dear folks, Portuguese were in India since 1498 and started the so called “Age of Globalization” still in force now-a-days. Lisbon became the world capital of trade with the arrival of all the spices, richness from all over the world.
England arrived in India after 1662 and left in 1947. Portuguese arrived in 1498 and their territories occupied in 1961.
I hope that now you understand that many facts of the world history have mutated and change for good the cultural habits of many countries.
Today’s Post is not to arouse polemic but to celebrate diversity and how beautiful mixture is, for example the Curry Mixture.
Chef Gourmet Du Art