Sunday, January 6, 2008

History of Curry Powder

As I sat eating a hot bowl of curry chicken and rice, it dawned on me that I did not know where curry came from. I hurried home to do some research and discovered the following:

1. Curry powder is a mixture of different spices. It usually contains coriander, cumin, and fenugreek. The yellow colour comes from ground tumeric. Some mixtures will also contain allspice, red pepper, white or black pepper, long pepper, ground ginger, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, mace, green cardamom seeds or black cardamom pods, and bay leaves.

2. The mixture of spices called curry powder today was originally developed by the British during the colonial rule of India as a means of approximating the taste of Indian cuisine at home (from Wikipedia).

3. Research indicates that curcumin, a component of turmeric found in most curry powders, is a protective agent against Alzheimers disease. India, which produces almost 100% of all tumeric powder and consumes 90% of it, has the lowest incidence of Alzheimers. Curcumin has also been proven effective in killing cancer cells. Curry powder's other main spices have also been known to give mental clarity.

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