When it comes to global foods, few dishes are able to hold a candle to curry. From its composition and ancient origins to some preservation tricks, here’s everything you need to know about this fascinating dish.
What Is Curry?
“Curry” is actually a catch-all term that refers to a variety of dishes made with different types of products:
- Curry powder
- Curry paste
- Curry cubes
In all its forms, curry is used to make a gravy or stew that can be served with meat, fish, or vegetables. The resulting flavor is very intense, so curry is usually eaten with rice and bread to balance its intensity.
Curry is composed of a base of ginger, onion, and garlic mixed with ground spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard seeds, and nutmeg, among others.
Where Does Curry Come From?
The history of curry is a fascinating tale of culinary cross-pollination between India, South-East Asia and India.
Archeologists believe that curry originated in the area that we know today as India, where it was already being consumed 2,500 years before our era, making it one of the world’s oldest continuously-prepared dishes.
From its ancient origins, curry evolved into a truly global food that has been introduced into the culinary traditions of countries as dissimilar as Japan, Jamaica, and the United Kingdom.
How Long Does Curry Powder Last?
Provided that it’s stored in a dry, dark, cool place, curry powder lasts about three to four years. After that time, it begins to lose some of its flavor.
Curry paste, on the other hand, lasts about two years if the jar remains unopened and it’s stored properly (again, in a place that is dry, dark, and cool). Once opened, a jar of curry paste must be kept in the refrigerator, where it will last about four weeks.
More Delicious Food Facts
At Chef Gourmet, we know good food, and we love sharing that knowledge with you. If we have whetted your appetite for interesting food facts, here are some previous posts you may find interesting:
- Can you freeze couscous?
- What is the best way to cook your vegetables?
- Are onions good for you?
- How to cook Brussels sprouts?
- Chicken cacciatore: everything you need to know
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