Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors by E.M. Collingham

Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors

E.M. Collingham
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  • ISBN
    9780195320015 / 0195320018
  • Title Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors
  • Author E.M. Collingham
  • Category National & Regional Cuisine
  • Format
  • Year 2007
  • Pages 315
  • Publisher
    Oxford University Press, USA
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 140mm x 23mm x 216mm


Richly spiced with colorful anecdotes and curious historical facts, and attractively designed with 34 illustrations, five maps, and numerous recipes, this is a delectable history of Indian cuisine.

Publisher Description

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.

“A superb combination of culinary, cultural, and political history.”—Books & Culture
“Part world map, part menu, this book is entirely delicious.”—Time Magazine
“Cooks should relish Curry.”—USA Today
“A lively study of Indian cooking from the Mogul Empire of the 1600s to Utsav in 21st-century Manhattan, one of the 'new breed' of Indian restaurants. It's a long but tasty journey, made easily digestible by Collingham.”—Alison McCullough, New York Times Book Review
"Fascinating.... Collingham skillfully weaves her way through the complex cultural transactions that yielded a specialized Anglo-Indian cuisine based, in large part, on mutual misunderstanding.... One of her goals, in tracing the evolution of curry and the global spread of Indian cuisine, is to pull the rug out from under the idea that India, or any other nation, ever had a cuisine that was not constantly in the process of assimilation and revision. The very dishes, flavors and food practices tha

Author Biography

E.M. Collingham is a Research Fellow at Jesus College, University of Cambridge.

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Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors