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Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors av…
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Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors (urspr publ 2005; utgåvan 2006)

av Lizzie Collingham

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
400349,097 (3.98)17
Curry serves up a delectable history of Indian cuisine, ranging from the imperial kitchen of the Mughal invader Babur to the smoky cookhouse of the British Raj. In this fascinating volume, the first authoritative history of Indian food, Lizzie Collingham reveals that almost every well-known Indian dish is the product of a long history of invasion and the fusion of different food traditions. We see how, with the arrival of Portuguese explorers and the Mughal horde, the cooking styles and ingredients of central Asia, Persia and Europe came to the subcontinent, where over the next four centuries they mixed with traditional Indian food to produce the popular cuisine that we know today. Portuguese spice merchants, for example, introduced vinegar marinades and the British contributed their passion for roast meat. When these new ingredients were mixed with native spices such as cardamom and black pepper, they gave birth to such popular dishes as biryani, jalfrezi, and vindaloo. In fact, vindaloo is an adaptation of the Portuguese dish carne de vinho e alhos--the name "vindaloo" a garbled pronunciation of vinho e alhos--and even "curry" comes from the Portuguese pronunciation of an Indian word. Finally, Collingham describes how Indian food has spread around the world, from the curry houses of London to the railway stands of Tokyo, where karee raisu (curry rice) is a favorite Japanese comfort food. We even visit Madras Mahal, the first Kosher Indian restaurant, in Manhattan. Richly spiced with colorful anecdotes and curious historical facts, and attractively designed with 34 illustrations, 5 maps, and numerous recipes, Curry is vivid, entertaining, and delicious--a feast for food lovers everywhere.… (mer)
Medlem:CarnegieKid
Titel:Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors
Författare:Lizzie Collingham
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (2006), Hardcover, 304 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors av Lizzie Collingham (2005)

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A lot of the non-fiction that I’ve been reading lately has been about food and "Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors" by Lizzie Collingham is the latest in that trend. It describes the history of Indian food and how it was influenced by various invaders and immigrants. Collingham makes the argument that “authentic” Indian food has never really existed and shows the evolution of various Indian cuisines, both in cooking styles and use of ingredients.

I thought that this book would have a lot of speculation and conjecture, but it is actually meticulously researched – almost every paragraph contains a citation or two. Consequently, the book is a little bit prosaic, although it flows quite well and the wealth of information that it contains certainly makes the dryness excusable. The book starts off with a description of Indian cooking as described in early Ayurvedic texts, and then talks about how the Mughals, Portuguese and British, in particular, changed these methods.

It’s amazing to think about how many common Indian foods (potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, corn, custard apples, pineapples, chillies) are from the New World or Europe and were introduced to India in the seventeenth century or even later. I was especially surprised that chillies weren’t always part of Indian cuisine (although apparently chillies were adopted by Indians so quickly, that by the time they spread to some parts of Europe – Germany, Hungary etc. – they were believed to be indigenous to India.)

Another thing I found astonishing that the British had to set up a marketing campaign to get Indians to drink tea, given that India is currently the world’s largest producer and consumer of tea. They set up an Indian Tea Association, that among other things, went door-to-door demonstrating the proper preparation of tea, and during the Second World War, had “tea-vans” that provided Indian soldiers with tea and letter writers to keep in touch with their families while at war.

The book also details the culinary lives of the British living in India (“Anglo-Indians”) and to a lesser extent, other cultures. I found the change in British fashions absolutely fascinating – from authentically prepared curry, to the excesses of burra khana, to tinned salmon. The influence of Indian food all over the world (the West Indies, Pacific Islands, Japan) was also something I didn’t know much about, and I am glad it was included.

A couple of minor nitpicks – the notion of not eating food prepared by (or even come into contact with) an “impure” person (i.e. of a lower caste/different religion) seems incredibly archaic to me, but seems to have been pretty prevalent, according to Collingham. As an Indian, I would’ve liked it if she had been clearer that it is a relic of the past. Perhaps I’m just being too touchy, considering that this is a book dealing with history.

I also found the mention of the British divide-and-rule policy annoying, since it was only talked about in one paragraph, and I would have liked to hear more about the “apparently benign acts of cultural accommodation” by the British with regards to segregating food service by religion.

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Originally posted on my blog ( )
1 rösta kgodey | Dec 18, 2011 |
A history of Indian food and the spices in it. Describes how other cultures have brought new ingredients to India and taken new recipes and flavors back home with them.

A slightly dry read, but otherwise interesting. Some recipes are included so you can sample foods discussed in each chapter.

I found it interesting how Curry has become recognized and even nationalized by many cultures. ( )
1 rösta Emidawg | Oct 9, 2009 |
  hmsheehy | Nov 28, 2007 |
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Curry serves up a delectable history of Indian cuisine, ranging from the imperial kitchen of the Mughal invader Babur to the smoky cookhouse of the British Raj. In this fascinating volume, the first authoritative history of Indian food, Lizzie Collingham reveals that almost every well-known Indian dish is the product of a long history of invasion and the fusion of different food traditions. We see how, with the arrival of Portuguese explorers and the Mughal horde, the cooking styles and ingredients of central Asia, Persia and Europe came to the subcontinent, where over the next four centuries they mixed with traditional Indian food to produce the popular cuisine that we know today. Portuguese spice merchants, for example, introduced vinegar marinades and the British contributed their passion for roast meat. When these new ingredients were mixed with native spices such as cardamom and black pepper, they gave birth to such popular dishes as biryani, jalfrezi, and vindaloo. In fact, vindaloo is an adaptation of the Portuguese dish carne de vinho e alhos--the name "vindaloo" a garbled pronunciation of vinho e alhos--and even "curry" comes from the Portuguese pronunciation of an Indian word. Finally, Collingham describes how Indian food has spread around the world, from the curry houses of London to the railway stands of Tokyo, where karee raisu (curry rice) is a favorite Japanese comfort food. We even visit Madras Mahal, the first Kosher Indian restaurant, in Manhattan. Richly spiced with colorful anecdotes and curious historical facts, and attractively designed with 34 illustrations, 5 maps, and numerous recipes, Curry is vivid, entertaining, and delicious--a feast for food lovers everywhere.

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