The history of Jamaican Curry part 2

Curry goat, egg curry, curry leaves, curry powder, Thai curry, Japanese curry, Malai kofta. Just because they are called curry doesn’t make them all the same. The fact is, the curry that we use in Jamaica does not even originate from India. Indians may not even know what you are asking for when you ask for a curry. To understand how this could be possible, we need only look to the British penchant for colonization.

While colonizing India, the British discovered a taste for the savory Indian dishes they were served. Looking to recreate the flavors of South India, British manufacturers formulated a ready-made powdered blend that came to be known as curry. And, although many dishes can be made by frying curry leaves (from the citrus fruit family), curry powder typically does not have any curry leaves. In fact, the powder is usually a mix of varying amounts of cumin, coriander, allspice, pimento, turmeric, ginger, dry mustard, fenugreek and black pepper, depending on region.

The British soon began to distribute their powder along the trade routes which inevitably delivered it to the shores of their colonized West Indian islands, and then the rest of the world. So, in short, the curry powder that you use to season your chicken, shrimp or goat with is not the same as going out to your favorite Indian spot in England for a curry and none of this exists in India. Simple right?