The great Indian 'kari', which stems from the word for sauce in Tamil, is known to have originated sometime during the ancient Indus civilization. Since then it has travelled beyond boundaries and created many fans across the globe. Britain's love affair with curry is no secret, curries in China and Thailand are also common knowlege. In fact, chicken tikka masala is the most popular restaurant meal in England and Texas meat-only chili is closely related to curry. There are many varieties of dishes called “curries”. For example, in original traditional cuisines, the precise selection of spices for each dish is a matter of national or regional cultural tradition, religious practice, and, to some extent, family preference. Such dishes are called by specific names that refer to their ingredients, spicing, and cooking methods. Curries were spread east by Bhuddist priests and occur in the cuisines of China and Southeast Asia. This post is a bit more personal and really limited to the curry traditions of India. My introduction to curry stems from my college years when I and my Indian friends, particularly my mentor Arun Saha, would create a curry made from whatever we had available and spices sent from family in India.
Because both Turkish coffee and tea are an important Middle Eastern social ritual, I have decided to commit a post to them. Turkish coffee is a method of preparing coffee, not depending on the type of coffee, although the beans are usually darkly roasted Arabica, indigenous to Ethiopia, but now grown all over the world. Roasted and then finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a pot (cezve), usually with sugar, and served in a cup where the grounds are allowed to settle. The earliest evidence of coffee drinking comes from 15th-century Yemen. By the late 15th century and early 16th century, coffee had spread to Cairo and Mecca. In the 1640s, the Ottoman chronicler İbrahim Pecevi reported the opening of the first coffeehouse in Constantinople. The word 'coffee' comes from the Arabic word قهوة qahwah. The importance of coffee in Turkish culture is evident in the words 'breakfast', kahvaltı, whose literal meaning is “before coffee” (kahve 'coffee' + altı 'under/before') and 'brown', kahverengi, whose literal meaning is, “the color of coffee”.