Where Do Curries Come From?

My daughter surprised me the other day by asking where curries come from. She’s only six and hasn’t shown the slightest interest in curries (I suppose it’s more an adult taste). I answered that they came from the Indian restaurant at the end of the road. But what she actually wanted to know was which country they came from.

Now that was a very interesting question.

The obvious answer is that they come from India.

But that’s only a part of the truth.

In fact, curries come from a lot of different countries, the most famous being India. But you also get curries in a lot of other countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam and Jamaica. Even China and Japan have their own styles of curries. And, of course, a couple of curry dishes (chicken tikka masala and Balti) have been invented in the UK.

Each country produces at least one type of curry and some, such as India, have lots of different types of dishes to tempt your palate.

So what goes into a curry? The answer is “almost anything”. The main ingredients around the world are chillies, spices, onions, ginger, meat (including fish) and vegetables. Most curries are served with rice.

Nowadays you can get a good curry in most countries of the world. Indeed, in most cities that I’ve visited, you usually have a choice of the type of curry that you can buy.

I’m not sure that my answer meant very much to my daughter but we had a fun time finding all of the curry-producing countries in an atlas.

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