9780195172416

Curry A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195172416

  • ISBN10:

    0195172418

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-02-06
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Summary

Curry serves up a delectable history of Indian cuisine, ranging from the imperial kitchen of the Mughal invader Babur to the smoky cookhouse of the British Raj. In this fascinating volume, the first authoritative history of Indian food, Lizzie Collingham reveals that almost every well-known Indian dish is the product of a long history of invasion and the fusion of different food traditions. We see how, with the arrival of Portuguese explorers and the Mughal horde, the cooking styles and ingredients of central Asia, Persia, and Europe came to the subcontinent, where over the next four centuries they mixed with traditional Indian food to produce the popular cuisine that we know today. Portuguese spice merchants, for example, introduced vinegar marinades and the British contributed their passion for roast meat. When these new ingredients were mixed with native spices such as cardamom and black pepper, they gave birth to such popular dishes as biryani, jalfrezi, and vindaloo. In fact, vindaloo is an adaptation of the Portuguese dish "carne de vinho e alhos-"-the name "vindaloo" a garbled pronunciation of "vinho e alhos"--and even "curry" comes from the Portuguese pronunciation of an Indian word. Finally, Collingham describes how Indian food has spread around the world, from the curry houses of London to the railway stands of Tokyo, where "karee raisu" (curry rice) is a favorite Japanese comfort food. We even visit Madras Mahal, the first Kosher Indian restaurant, in Manhattan. Richly spiced with colorful anecdotes and curious historical facts, and attractively designed with 34 illustrations, 5 maps, and numerous recipes, Curry is vivid, entertaining, and delicious--a feast for food lovers everywhere.

Author Biography


Lizzie Collingham, a Cambridge-trained historian, is a free-lance scholar and writer. She is the author of Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj. She divides her time between the United Kingdom, France and Australia but is still looking for a place to settle.

Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS viii
LIST OF MAPS xi
LIST OF RECIPES xii
PREFACE xiv
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xvi
1. Chicken Tikka Masala: The Quest for an Authentic Indian Meal Biryani: The Great Mughals
13(34)
3. Vindaloo: The Portuguese and the Chilli Pepper
47(34)
4. Korma: East India Company Merchants, Temples, and the Nawabs of Lucknow
81(26)
5. Madras Curry: The British Invention of Curry
107(22)
6. Curry Powder: Bringing India to Britain
129(28)
7. Cold Meat Cutlets: British Food in India
157(30)
8. Chai: The Great Tea Campaign
187(28)
9. Curry and Chips: Syhleti Sailors and Indian Takeaways
215(30)
10. Curry Travels the World 245(14)
GLOSSARY 259(4)
NOTES 263(21)
BIBLIOGRAPHY 284(22)
INDEX 306

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