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Curry is an inclusive term referring to a number of dishes originating in the Indian Sub-continent. The hallmark of “Curry” is the complex and subtle combination of spices & herbs. Dishes called “Curry” may contain fish, meat, poultry etc either alone or in combination with vegetables. “Curries” varies from place to place depending upon the geographical location, climate, availability of spices & herbs, influence of foreign culture on local cultural tradition, religious practice and to some extent, family preference.
Climate is a big factor influencing the composition and preparation of curry. In the cold northern states like Kashmir, Himachal etc warming, aromatically spiced dishes are eaten, which would include meat, wheat, chilles and ghee. Even the staple food of the Kashmiri Hindu Pandit was meat although no use of onion & garlic was there in the preparation of meat. Whereas in the hot wet Southern India, the food is lighter and uses more vegetables, rice, coconut and black pepper. However the food of Andhra coastal region is spicy as there is availability of local hot Guntur chilli. But in kerala the heat of black pepper is very much pronounced. Fish and rice are important part of the diet in Eastern India because of abundance of rice grown in the Ganges basin and plenty of ponds & rivers to cater fish. Uniqueness about curries of Bengal is the cross-border influence which added distinct style of preparation and taste of food of people migrated from Bangladesh. While West Indian food tends to use fresh vegetables, lentils & peas as well as sea fish and will be hot & spicy like other coastal belts where the use of red chilli is pre-dominant. The food of desert like Rajasthan is very spicy and curd is used to balance the spice. The reason behind such a tangy and hot combination is that one will feel like having more water after having spicy food and that water will save him from the scorching heat of dessert.
The influence of many foreign settlers, traders, pilgrims and invaders over the years have given rise to new cooking styles, methods and ingredients in Indian cuisine, which are still in practice and used today. The most important is probably the Moguls who invaded India in 1526. The fusion of their dishes and cooking method with the Indian local dishes gave birth to the famous “Mughlai”cuisine. Meat was introduced and transformed into delicate Kormas
and fragrant Biryanis. They also introduced the clay oven called Tandoor from Egypt to India. The Moguls also introduced a selection of exotic fruit and nuts to the established cooking traditions of Kashmir and Punjab.
The most notable influence on food of Western Indian coastal areas came with the advent of Portuguese in 1498 in Goa. They introduced ingredients such as chillies, Vinegar, Tomatoes, Potato etc. On their long voyage to India they carried meat preserved in vinegar, garlic & black pepper which is popularly known as “Vindaloo” (VIN means Vinegar & ALHO means Garlic).
The establishment of British Raj in India has got a profound influence particularly on the cuisine of Kolkata. It was during the British rule the famous culinary genius of Lucknow Nawab Wazid Ali Shah was forced to take shelter in Metiaburuz area and the poor Nawab had to replace mutton with potato and chicken in biryani which later on became famous as Kolkata Biryani. The popular chicken jhalfrazi, prepared with the leftover originated in Kolkata. The famous Calcutta fish fry, fish cutlet, fish kobiraji etc are said to have come into being during the British Rule only.
Similarly the Parsis, Syrian Jews, French etc contributed a lot in the provincial Indian cuisine To name a few the sweet & sour Parsi Mutton salli, Puduchery style fusion prawn etc are such palatable dishes which the foodies simply can’t avoid.
The parts of India closer to the borders of China and Mongolia, such as the states of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Manipur have more influence of Mongolian and Chinese cooking. The Mongolians introduced cooking styles of hot pots and stews and also introduced new ingredients into cooking. Mongolians also introduced simplicity into Indian cooking. The cooking methods employed are steaming and frying and this is again the influence of Mongolia. Mustard oil is the influence of Mongolia and so is the usage of sugar.
The influence of Ayurveda as well as Royal house cuisine also played an important role in transforming curries from old days to present days.
In our restaurant we give utmost try to serve handpicked popular curries from almost each state straight to your plate mainly in authentic style but
sometimes with very little improvisation to suit the pallets of our customers. We have also tried to cross the geographical barrier to serve cuisine of Far east keeping in view the passion and love of the people of Bengal especially for Chinese and Thai food.
Our elaborate menu card promises you an immense gastronomic experience of the tasty, tangy & spicy ‘ÇURRY NATION’.