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On the Curry Trail: Chasing the Flavor That Seduced the World

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by Raghavan Iyer
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Elusive to define, curry can be a flavoring, a sauce, a type of dish, a concept, each of them born out of the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent and spread worldwide through cultural diaspora and colonial transformation. 

More clearly, curry has been enthusiastically adopted in a dizzying array of places, as Raghavan Iyer demonstrates with examples from more than thirty countries. A respected culinary instructor and author of many books, Iyer is less interested in defining authenticity than he is in understanding connections.

Following a cluster of recipes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, he shows how curry has turned up in Thailand (home to three fundamental curry pastes), Japan (devoted to curry powder thanks to British influence in the 19th century), Mauritius (where it was influenced by French and Chinese traditions as well), Nigeria (heat is prized), Germany (the enduring currywurst), and countries like Guyana and Trinidad with their large Indian expat populations.

Iyer writes many a good recipe, but more importantly, he’s interested in how these dishes migrated and who makes them now. His stories of voluble cooks he’s met in marketplaces and of culinary gatekeepers defending traditions are all testimony to curry’s enduring appeal.

Hardcover. Color illustrations throughout.

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