Call Chef Nazim Khan to ask about curries and he’ll quickly reassure you that you’ve come to the right guy. He recently competed in a world curry competition in London with an amazing kofta curry recipe. He’s also a self-taught expert on curry, its history and the way the hyper-flavored sauce simmers together the foodways of different cultures around the globe.
“The word ‘curry’ comes from ‘kari’ of the Tamil language, meaning ‘spiced sauce,’” Khan says. “Possibly the oldest continuously prepared cuisine in all of human history, scientists have found evidence of this ‘spiced sauce’ in India dating back to 1700 B.C.”
The essence of Indian curry is anchored somewhat by the parameters of being a stew-like dish and including garam masala, ginger, chiles, coriander, cumin, turmeric and sometimes onion and/or garlic. British imperialism brought curry not only back to England, but all over the world. There’s crispy Japanese katsu-kare, coconut-scented Thai curry and the eclectic Jamaican curry.
Over thousands of years and across continents and oceans, “curry has spread over the entire globe,” Khan says. “Because of the long history of curry and its adaptation into so many different cuisines, curry itself can have many different tastes and colors. Mild or hot, no matter what spices you use in your curry, it’s guaranteed to be exotic and tasty. Explore, savor and enjoy the curry journey!”
With that, let’s take a look at a few curries with powerful flavor potential, and watch one recipe being made here.