Is Curry Powder From India?
Whether it’s for your biriyani, curried mince or chicken vindaloo bunny chow, curry powder is the key ingredient that infuses your dishes with rich flavour and tantalising heat. With its delicious blend of aromatic spices, curry powder has become a staple companion in kitchens around the world. However, when you think of curry powder, if all that comes to mind is delicious dishes from India, you may be surprised to learn that the roots of this spice mix don’t originate in this region.
If you’d like to uncover the delicious origins of this spicy ingredient, join us as we dive into the rich history of curry powder and explore the role of Rajah in bringing robust, quality curry powders to the world.
Uncovering the Origins of Curry Powder
There’s no doubt that India played a significant role in shaping the concept of curry and curry powder as we know it today. However, the history of this term is more complex and international than you might have thought. The terms curry or curry powder do not exist in Indian cooking or any of their local languages. Instead, what they would commonly use to flavour certain meals which some believe inspired the invention of the curry dish, is a traditional spice blend called garam masala.
It’s important to note that curry powder and garam masala are not the same. Garam Masala is a traditional spice blend often used in Indian cooking, while curry powder encompasses the varying spice blends that are used to create a curry dish. Learn more about curry powder here.
So, you still may be wondering, how did this tasty spice mix come about? Well, to understand the roots of curry powder, we need to explore the origins of the curry dish itself. So let’s unpack where curry originally comes from to help us uncover the history of this flavourful dish’s spice mix companion.
The British Influence
The word curry is believed to be adapted from the Indian word khari or kari. Locally, the term khari was used to refer to a type of dish, usually made up of a rich sauce or gravy and often accompanied by vegetables or meat. These authentic Indian dishes were usually prepared using the rich garam masala blend or a different mix of spices, carefully selected to create rich, warm flavours.
As European traders arrived in India and were exposed to this hearty, spicy dish, they loved the exotic and robust flavours.
Having encountered the dish and discovered the diverse flavours and spices Indian cuisine had to offer, upon returning to their homelands the British traders sought to recreate the rich and complex flavours of this Indian dish. However, they found it challenging to replicate these dishes back in England due to the scarcity of fresh Indian spices.
To bridge this gap, some creative cooks began creating a pre-mixed spice blend that could mimic the flavours they had come to love in India.
This blend was then named curry powder, offering a convenient solution to capture the essence of Indian cuisine without the need for an extensive spice rack. Over time, as curry powder spread beyond British borders, it underwent further transformation as different countries and regions adapted the blend to their tastes and preferences, resulting in a multitude of curry powder variations. In South Africa, for instance, curry powder plays a significant role in various dishes like bunny chow and bobotie, infusing them with a unique and delicious spicy flavour profile.
Unlocking The Richness of Curry Powder
To enable you to enjoy the captivating flavours of this Indian spice-inspired dish at home, Rajah created a mouth-watering selection of fine-quality curry powders that infuse any dish with a delicious aroma and incredible spicy flavour. Let’s explore the world of exotic, fiery flavours these premium curry powders can deliver to your plate.
Renowned as the curry powder specialist, Rajah is a name that for decades has been synonymous with quality and authenticity in the world of spices.
That’s why the Rajah range offers a selection of 6 delectable curry powder flavours that deliver layers of generous flavour, satisfying heat and aroma so irresistible you could eat! With any one of Rajah’s rich curry powders as your kitchen companion, elevating your meals with mouth-watering, bold, spicy flavour is easier than ever. Here are 2 Rajah recipes to show you just how easy it can be.
Grilled Hake with Coconut Curry Sauce, Coconut Rice & Broccoli - Beef, chicken, fish or chickpeas, no matter your source of protein, Rajah has a curry powder to transform it with tantalising heat. Try this rich and hearty hake curry, perfectly spiced with Rajah's Medium Curry Powder, to create a harmonious dance of flavours that transports you straight to the seaside.
Inyama Yenhloko Pie - Tuck into this golden, hearty, aromatic traditional pie, brimming with the richness of slow-cooked cow’s head and infused with the bold flavours of Rajah's Mild and Spicy Curry Powder for an unforgettable, spicy flavour feast.
Embracing Global Flavours
While curry powder's origins may not be purely Indian, it certainly carries the spirit and essence of the country’s rich cuisine. It's a reflection of the magic that happens when different cultures come together to create something delicious. So the next time you tuck into the rich flavours and aroma of Rajah curry powder in your favourite dish, remember the fascinating journey it took all the way from India to your plate.
Rajah Curry Spices in Global Cuisine
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