This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Abroad from the KU Centers for East Asian Studies and Global and International Studies.
What is curry? Well, to begin with it is a Britishization of the Indian term kadhi which refers to a specific dish full of complex flavors, although it is made of simple, readily available ingredients. The word kadhi possibly originates in the Sanskrit root word, kr, to cook. When the British took over India, they encountered derivations of this root word associated with diverse dishes that mostly contained turmeric, ginger and peppers. Perhaps, because of the combination of these complex flavors, they referred to all these similar dishes as curry. Whatever. They liked it and they created easy-to-use curry powders, blends of turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic and pepper. Curries spread globally with the British and with the migrations of Indians and today can be found all over the world. So keep calm and curry on.
With thanks to Jennifer Duhamel for this text, from the KU Center for East Asian Studies, this is Randi Hacker. Wish you were here.