Wednesday, 10 April 2013

I is for Indian Curries ...



The first curry recipe in Britain appeared in “The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse in 1747*.  Her first recipe used only black pepper and coriander seeds for seasoning of “currey” ...

 
... but by the fourth edition other ingredients such as turmeric and ginger were called for.  The use of hot spices was not mentioned, which reflected the limited use of chilli in India – chilli plants had only been introduced into India around the late 15th century.



[The Age of Exploration and trade with the east particularly through the British East India Company (1612 – 1858) opened up the wealth of India ... at first via the sea, then inland and its resources, all the while educating the British on foods and customs that were adopted, with some being taken back to the homeland, the art of curry being one.]


Mrs Beeton (1836 – 1865) gives a recipe for curry powder that contains coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, mustard, ginger, allspice and fenugreek .... although she notes that it is more economical to purchase the powder at “any respectable shop”!


Coronation Chicken
Curry, with the ubiquitous variations on curry powder, has become an integral part of British cuisine ... even so far as “Coronation Chicken” being invented to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.


Chicken Tikka Masala has been said to be the most popular dish in British restaurants and in recent years has been called “a true British national dish”. 

Selection of today's curries

So much for integration of people and their tummies ... a true cross-cultural popular dish has taken over as one of our preferred choices of food to eat when we’re out.



* The 1796 edition of Hannah Glasse’s book ... found in Sylvia Sibley’s late mother’s possessions at her home in Plymouth.  The curry recipe is similar to those of today ... per articles in Saturday Times of 13 August 2011 and the Indian Express (see below)...
 
Chicken Curry from Indian Express
... however Glasse notes that “I have not wrote in the high-profile style, I hope I shall be forgiven; for my intention is to instruct the lower sort and therefore must treat them in their own way”. ... that tells it like it is!


That is I for Indian Curries from Aspects of British Cookery

  
IndianExpress article on the Hannah Glasse recipe found in 2011


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

44 comments:

Rosalind Adam said...

I love eating curry but however hard I try I can't emulate those amazing dishes served up to us in one of Leicester's many authentic Curry Houses.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've grown to really enjoy curry. But I seem to be the only one at my house, so I only eat it at restaurants. :(

Suzanne Furness said...

I like curry, though nothing too spicy! The colours of the spices are amazing aren't they?

Elise Fallson said...

I'm a big fan of spicy foods and do enjoy Indian cuisine. And curry, and cayenne, and ginger . . . oh the list is long. I'm so hungry now for Indian food! (:

Jo said...

Unfortunately Indian food hasn't really caught on in this part of Canada. My Indian doctor, from the UK, says the only restaurant in town isn't much good. Never heard of Hannah Glasse but I have a 78 yr old copy of Mrs. Beeton.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Tara Tyler said...

there's more than one?
your posts always reveal new info to me! i learn so much over here!
the reason for xmas goose!
useful dripping tips, herring! etc
and would love to eat in a real banqueting room someday!

Clarissa Draper said...

Curry is my favourite type of food. I love Thai curries of the red and green variety, Japanese curry and especially Indian. What a mouth-watering post.

JoJo said...

I know so many people who love curry but for me the smell makes me instantly nauseous.

Teresa Coltrin said...

Curry is yums. This makes me think how I need to use spices more.

Great post!

Julie Jordan Scott said...

One of the things I love about Indian food is the layering of the flavors. Eating it fast is not an option if one REALLY wants to taste the nuances.

I am so glad you wrote about this today... now I want to try my hand at some Chicken Masala. You are such an inspirer!

Have a fantastic day!

Happy A to Z-ing!
Julie Jordan Scott
Our Literary Grannies from A to Z:I is for Isabelle Eberhardt
tweet me - @juliejordanscot

Francene Stanley said...

Now days, our palates have grown used to spices. They are cheap and plentiful. The old curry powder is a thing of the past for even the most common masses. Boy, the class division showed up with her words.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I LOVE curry... and frankly, the only British 'food' I like much otherwise is a fine Britsh Ale... (though I guess I get along with bangers and mash and a good British breakfast). So I guess it doesn't surprise me that Britain adopted Indian food.

L.G. Smith said...

Love a good spicy curry. Goes good with chips. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I love Indian food. Look at all these curries!

Nick Wilford said...

I love a great curry. It's definitely a staple of the British landscape now!

baygirl32 said...

Ummmm LOVE curry

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I just had breakfast, an hour ago, yet I could really go for some Indian food. Years ago, my Punja neighbour used to spoil me by letting me sample all her recipes. It was heavenly. But then we moved, and boo hoo, I sure miss her and her cooking.

Great post, Hilary. MMM!

Gattina said...

I love Indian kitchen but not too spicy. The best once were in London. In Belgium Indian Restaurants are very very expensive while in London they were rather cheap !

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Now you've done it! You've tantalized my taste buds beyond measure. There's nothing more than a good Indian Curry to whet my appetite.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Love Indian food, so any cury is definetely in order.
Yum post.
Silvia @ Silvia Writes

Bish Denham said...

I love me a good curry as long as it isn't too hot. My tummy doesn't like it.

Patricia said...

Oh we had chicken curry and a vegetable curry for our potluck on Saturday before we went to see Australia's acrobatic/dance performers called - CIRCA...

I always think of Curry as being Thai food not Indian or British, but I am sure I could be wrong about that.

I also learned that Thai Restaurants here serve their food and bring chop sticks...chop sticks are not used in Thailand? wondering if that is true?

Mark Means said...

I'm not sure I've ever eaten something that had curry. I'll have to check it out, though :)

nutschell said...

i love me some curry every now and then. :)
Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Tina said...

OMG, I'm eating beef tiki masala as I read this...I love curries. Absolutely one of the best flavor combinations ever, and so many varieties. I've been learning to cook Thai food, so I know a bit more about those curries than I do the Indian ones...but it's on my list of what to learn to cook!

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Julie Flanders said...

I love, love, love curry. This post made me start to salivate like Pavlov's dogs LOL. :D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ros .. I think it's patience .. but I love eating them out ... and yes, Leicester must be one of the best places in the UK to enjoy them.

@ Elizabeth - well at least you can enjoy it when you go out .. do they feature in your books?!

@ Susanne - I've gone from eating very hot .. to much tastier versions .. I loved the photos I found .. and the pictures of spices always draw me in .. so I agree with you!

@ Elise - do you get a lot of curries in France? I guess you must ...

@ Jo - that's sad - but your Indian doctor is at least able to 'guide' you as far as Indian food is concerned.

I loved the story of Hannah Glasse - and yes I've a first edition facsimile of Mrs Beeton as a 21st birthday present .. and many others - she's an interesting lady ...

@ Tara - you've read a few posts I see - glad you're enjoying them ... I'll join you for a banquet one day ..

@ Clarissa - do you get curries in Mexico? and also can you get curries in Canada? I must try some of those you mention ..

@ JoJo - oh dear that definitely solves that problem doesn't it ..

@ Teresa - it would be so interesting to take a course in spiced foods ... I might try that sometime!

@ Julie - I really should take a course sometime and see how it all works together ..

Delighted you enjoyed the post and now I hope you've had or are looking forward to Chicken Masala ...

@ Francene - we are much more used to spices aren't we .. the old curry powder ... but Hannah Glasse's comment is fascinating isn't it ..

@ Hart - oh no .. we do have a few other dishes that are excellent .. and Ale is quite good too! But each to his own taste .. don't judge us on our foods .. there's so much more ...

@ LG - a good spicy curry I agree .. but I can't quite get my head round chips with curry!!

@ Theresa .. another curry lover - I couldn't resist this for a British I aspect of Cookery!

@ Nick - it is isn't it .. every town has lots of curry restaurants or take-aways ..

@ BayGirl - good to see you again .. and ok you love curry!!

@ Joylene - that was such a lucky neighbour to have .. oh I'd have loved to see her cook and try her recipes .. yummy! Sorry you moved ..

@ Gattina - Brussels has some amazing restaurants .. but I would think you're better off eating Indian in London ..

@ Lee - sorry Lee .. I hope you get to eat a good curry fairly soon!!

@ Silvia .. lovely to see you here - and the curry obviously drew you in ...

@ Bish - I think I might agree with you re the heat now-a-days ..

@ Patricia .. curries are delicious standbys aren't they .. and you love your food and sharing, I know that.

I think you are probably!! Curry is Indian I'd say!!

I've no idea as I haven't been to Thailand .. but I'll try and find out ..

@ Mark - take it gently .. ie not too hot .. but if you like spicy food - then fine .. enjoy!

@ Nutschell - I'd have thought you'd have loved curries .. even tasty ones ...

@ Tina - oh sorry and you're eating curry - beef tiki masala .. I gather the Swedish lass loves curries!

Oh great - perhaps I'll do my course with you .. and you can teach me .. now that would be fun?!

@ Julie - sorry .. please leave the saliva in the States ... !!

Cheers to you all .. Hilary

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

And now I am extremely hungry and craving curry. Thanks a bunch.
;)
Great blog!

Munir said...

I don't think I ever had Coronation chicken. May be I will look for the recipe too.
I have started a food blog, to familiarize my family with low calorie healthy foods. My husband has gotten used to eating out too much. I have the task of unwinding him back to Indian ways. British Cooking is Grand. It is also very clean unlike The food we get here, if we eat out.
I know Chicken Tikka Masala, but for that we need a grill and it is always so cold outside. Can't wait till summer time.

Sherry Ellis said...

Wow, that's an old cookbook! I like curry. It's an interesting flavor.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not a big fan of curry simply because it can be overdone.

Friko said...

Not very fond of curry, only very mild ones, so chili peppers are of little interest to me. But herring, now you’re talking.

Chris said...

Loves curries and love cooking with herbs and spices. We have at least one chicken or fish curry [which I make from scratch] a week.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I also don't like curry, but I love the Chef's quote. "My intention is to instruct the lower sort," was a precursor to The Dummies Cookbook!

Julie

Laura Eno said...

Sadly, I have to watch my spicy foods now. :(
It seems funny to me that curry dishes would be considered British foods. The world is certainly shrinking and blending!

Susan Scheid said...

Now, that is priceless! Sorry I haven't got by to say hello for a while, but I've been watching the alphabet go by with your always clever topics and bits of fascinating history. I don't think there's anyone on the web I've seen who is such an indefatigable researcher! Happy spring, Hilary!

Chatty Crone said...

My husband loves spices - but not me - too rough for the stomach - but they are pretty. sandie

Chuck said...

Well I like curry and my wife does not so it is not often we eat the same dish when it comes to that.

I also take turmeric in a supplement form twice a day! It is good for you.

Chuck at Apocalypse Now

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ ATH - good to meet you and thanks for the comment and hope you get your curry soon.

Munir - well done Munir - I've always hoped you go back to explaining Indian food and ways to us .. chicken tikka masala can be done various ways - so we can do it at home .. good luck

@ Sherry - thankfully a few early cooking tomes have been found and restored .. and still recipes are found hidden away ..

@ Alex - I agree .. we can be rash with the spices at home ..

@ Friko - I love mild curries, but don't have them very often ... herring though is delicious isn't it ...

@ Chris - that's so good to read .. starting from scratch with all the spices .. delicious, I bet

@ Julie - wasn't Eliza Acton's quote wonderful ... I guess there must be a Dummies Cookbook ..

@ Laura - I go easy too ... we spent so much time in India .. the foods and tastes were brought home and there are many communities in our towns ...

@ Susan - the precision of Eliza Acton's quote is great isn't it. Thanks re the research .. I just bring others work together in snippet tasters! Appreciate the thought though .... and you might have hit the right day for wishing us Happy Spring .. looks like the weekend might be getting warmer finally!

@ Sandie - the spices are lovely to look at aren't they .. I guess your husband can get his spices when you eat out ..

@ Chuck - turmeric is very good for you - so you're doing the right thing there. Curry is one of those things isn't it .. like or not .. but at least when you go out, you can chose it ..

Thanks everyone .. lovely to see you all .. cheers Hilary

Ciara said...

I'm afraid I don't like curry. I even have neighbors from India who tried to get me to like it, I just can't. :(

A Lady's Life said...

We love curry food which reminds me to maybe make some today. :)

Lisa said...

See, this post is a perfect example of why my taste buds love it when I read your posts. I have just recently developed a love for Indian Cuisine, and wish I could find a good cook book to teach me how to make it, especially Saag Panier, mild with no cilantro!

CMSmith said...

When my husband used to travel frequently to England on business, he often had Indian food there as it seemed to be quite popular. We have an outstanding restaurant here that we enjoy very much, but I've never tried to cook it myself.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ciara .. and you're in the right place to try out authentic curries .. never mind you've given it a go.

@ A Lady's Life - curry is good isn't it ..

@ Lisa - I think I'd rather like Saag Paneer .. spinach and cheese together are excellent - I'll have to try it next time I visit an Indian restaurant. I'm sure you'd find a good cookbook somewhere .. we have Madhur Jaffrey who inspired the British to try cooking various Indian foods ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhur_Jaffrey

She might be a good try ..

@ Christine - well we have lots of Indian restaurants here from those connections I mentioned .. but am delighted you've found an excellent restaurant in your town - that makes all the difference .. and your husband can keep on having his Indian food.

Cheers to you all - Hilary