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Curry is the ultimate comfort food!

on February 2, 2018

Ever had a dish that melts your heart or brings a big smile?

Is there one dish that hits your soft spot or brings comfort to you?

For me it is the humble curry and it’s after many years of living away that I have finally come to realise that curry is my comfort food. It is considered to be a source of comfort to many others too, particularly in the UK, where there is even a national curry week organised annually. The city of Manchester has a street dubbed the ‘Curry Mile’ where students, locals and tourists head for a quick curry fix.

While I was in Manchester earlier this year for 2 weeks, I ended up there quite often and had curry on alternate nights. While I did not plan on having it as often, I found it helpful to keep warm and it also uplifted my spirits. Upon heading further north to Edinburgh later, friends from the university there had organised a dinner outing and it was in an atmospheric Indian restaurant called Mother India café and it was a curry night!

Interestingly enough, growing up in Singapore, while curry was one of the main dishes my mum cooked, I never was fond of it and often complained when I had to eat it. I always wanted burgers, chips and to eat out. It was while living in the UK, I began to eat and take curry more seriously. Now being far away from mum, I find myself craving both curry generally and my mum’s home cooked curries.

What is it about curry that brings comfort to the belly and heart?

Is it the spice, cumin or is it the hot chilli in it?

The origin of the word ‘curry’ has been debated to have come from the Tamil word of ‘kari’ referring to spiced sauce or stew. The curry leave plant was the first plant I was exposed as a child. My mum grew her own curry leaves and neighbours used to come and get some from her. As a child I was fascinated that the fruit of this plant was purple in colour. This fragrant plant is called Kaṟivēppilai in Tamil language and it is used as a natural flavouring in various curries in South India.

Having had the Japanese version of curry, I have always wondered about the Japanese curry and thought of its origins. I am glad to share that I just found out that it was the British who first introduced curry to the Japanese in the 1870s.

Britain’s love for curry has been traced back to 1747, where a curry recipe was published in the book called Art of Cookery. While Australia may not have such a long love affair with curry, Sydney has its own version of a curry mile within Harris Park.

Walking down Wigram Street is both a visual and aromatic treat. It is lined up with dozens of shops offering variety of Indian food ranging from Dosa, Naan, Indian-Chinese, Kulfi, Indian sweets, spices and the list goes on. There is even a sari shop there!

Never been to Harris Park or wondering where to start, which curry to order and what sweets to have after? Fret not! Latife and I will be starting Taste tour’s very own curry dash from August. It’s our Indian Street Food tour of Harris park! Join us on this culinary journey discovering curries and comfort food.

P.S: Is there a place that offers your favourite curry or do you have your own special way of cooking curry? If so, please share it with me in the comments area below!

Till my next food update,

Waji, your foodie

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