Trolling the Smithsonian network this morning, I came across an astounding claim on the library blog— Indians didn’t invent curry! In fact, the post claims, Indians and Brits developed it at the same time! To which I say, show me the proof. Until then, I remain incredulous.
To summarize: the blogger claims that India and Britain developed curry “concurrently, but independently”. It then goes on to say that the first recipe for English curry can be found in the 1747 edition of Hannah Glasse’s “The Art of Cooking Made Plain and Easy”. I have a few questions regarding this claim:
1. Is curry an English word? And if its a Hindustani word that English adopted, as is argued by Dharam Jit Singh in his book “Classic Cooking From India” (Riverside Press, 1956), how is it that the English invented it on their own? What did they call it?
2. When did Indians develop curry then? Did they not have spices until the 18th century? I don’t think that’s the way it happened.
3. Should we also claim that the English invented fried rice?