I have always held India in my travel future, but thus far have only tasted her riches from afar. I’ve explored her diversity in steaming bowls from Santa Cruz to New York City. But my true fascination—nay obsession— for curry was cultivated in Dubai, where many Indian and Pakistani people live, work, and cook.
It is said that humans trekked from the cradle of Africa to the Indian subcontinent some 55,000 years ago—well before we fiddled with agriculture. That long excursion of time produced a vast array of peoples and genetic diversity, second only to Africa.
Once they settled near the Indus River basin, about 9000 years ago, they took up farming, and this diversity translated to language, religion, and, of course, food.
Indian “Curry” is a saucy concoction that’s as diverse as food can get, with hundreds or even thousands of variations. Its very definition is debated by food critics, chefs, and curious linguists. Ubiquitous on menus across the world; what does the word curry really mean? Sometimes it’s a verb when you rub down or “curry” your horse.
But the curry we focus on here my friend is one hot dish!
According to Wikipedia, curry is simply a dish with a sauce that is seasoned with spices.
That’s an extremely vague definition but likely why it’s been lovingly adopted by so many cultures around the world.
Inspire yourself with curries from around the world
Call it Vindaloo, dal, korma saag, rogan josh, tikka masala, green, red, or yellow curry—each curry has its own origin and personality. Some are laden with hot chiles—others swim in sweet coconut milk or yogurt. But the spices are the key—turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, pepper, and cloves.
Garam masala (from garam “hot”) and masala (a mixture of spices) is a blend of ground spices, common in Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi cuisines.
The composition of garam masala differs widely according to regional and personal tastes.
It’s easy to make your own spice mix
Buy the basic ingredients and let your imagination run wild. By making your own, you can save money when buying bulk spices, you can adjust the flavor as you want, and you can even make it in large batches so that you can replicate the same flavor later in the future.
Spices don’t expire if they’re stored properly in a cool, dry place out of direct light and never near the oven. Their flavor will entice and excite your imagination for months to come.
Organic ingredients will whip up your bowl
There is often a bit of debate about whether organic ingredients actually make a difference.
The debate ends when you understand that organic herbs and spices aren’t irradiated or grown with pesticides or genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs) and contain no synthetic caking agents or chemical additives.
Love and Food are all about spice.
An old Tunisian tale says a husband can judge his wife’s affections by the amount of hotness in the dish she serves forth. If the food becomes bland, then he can believe their love is cooling as well.
Make it a curry night and see what favors may come your way.
A Frank Hebert once said, He who controls the spice controls the universe.