Curry is one of the most widely usedâ€”and misusedâ€”terms in the culinary lexicon. Outside of India, the word curry is often used as a catchall to describe any Indian dish or Indian food in general, yet Indians rarely use it to describe their own cuisine. In her new book Curry: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2009), Colleen Taylor Sen answers the question, “What is curry?” by giving a historical and descriptive account of a dish that has many incarnations.
In her illustrated talk, she described the origins of curry and how it has been adapted throughout the world. Exploring the curry universe beyond India and Great Britain, she discussed the elegant, complex curries of Thailand; the exuberant curry/rotis of the Caribbean; kari/raisu, Japan’s favorite comfort food; Indonesian gulais and rendang; Malaysia’s delicious Nonya cuisine; and exotic Western hybrids such as American curried chicken salad, German currywurst, and Punjabi-Mexican-Hindu pizza.
Bhabi’s Kitchen is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed IndoPak restaurants, reviewed in the Chicago Tribune, The Reader, and the Smithsonian Magazine. CHC Member Colleen Taylor Sen is a food writer and journalist specializing in the cuisine of India. She is the author of Indian Cuisine and Culture and has written for such publications as Travel and Leisure, Food Arts, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Globe and Mail.
Recorded Saturday, October 03, 2009 at Bhabi’s Kitchen.