Kurma’s Canberra Curry

cooking coordinates:

The topic of curries is on my mind, since I’ve just planned a class menu based on the topic. But in actual fact, the word ‘curry’ is a misnomer, popularised and perpetuated by the British. There is no historical precedence to that name in classic Indian culinary culture before the 18th century. There’s a great deal of speculation and guess work as to how the name ‘curry’ was first introduced.

Some sources explain: “The term curry could be possibly derived from ‘koora’ in the Telugu language, which means stew or gravy of any vegetable.”

Also: Curry leaves – (Murraya koenigii) are known as ‘Karuvapillai’, in the Tamil language, ‘karibevu’ in the Kannada, and ‘kariveppila’ in Malayalam.

Another theory: the root word for curry is ‘Kadhi’, which derives from the term ‘Kadhna’ meaning ‘to simmer’ or ‘Karahi’ denoting the cooking vessel used in Indian kitchens.


It’s my guess that definitely the Brits just Anglicized words they heard and these words ‘morphed’ into new words.

Here’s a well-known example: The British witnessed the awesomely massive wooden chariots of Jagannath rolling down the main road in the seaside Temple festival at Puri, and upon asking about them from locals, invented the word ‘Juggernaut’ to approximate how they heard the word ‘Jagannath’. (Read this fascinating disambiguation).

And another: the classic rice and lentil stew ‘Khicheri’ was enjoyed by the British during their sojourn during the Raj period. After the recipe returned to England, the Brits added fish, and it became ‘Kedgeree’. There’s many more examples.

Anyway, I’m meandering. Here’s our Curry Class menu, to be held in Canberra in September.

degustation 2:

Vegetarian Curries of the Subcontinent

“India still surpasses as the vegetarian capital of the world. Kurma Dasa is back to share some of the most inspirational ‘curries’ of the Subcontinent. His generous class includes Simple & Sublime Gujarati Pumpkin Curry, Creamy Maharashtran Mixed Vegetable Karhi with flaky Paratha Breads, Karachi Masoor & Potato Dal-fry with Fresh Lime Wedges & flame-toasted Pappadams, Cashew-Studded Sooji Upma with Sourdough Toast, Fresh Yogurt and Chutney, and Bengali Chickpea, Panir and Cauliflower Tarkari. Come hungry!”

And the class details:

Cooking Co-ordinates Cookery School
Belconnen, Canberra ACT
Morning Cookery Workshop, Saturday 13 September
Bookings call 02 6253 5133

Hope to see you there!
Posted by Kurma on 24/7/08; 12:56:41 PM

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