CUISINE: From Pakistan to the Caribbean: Curry’s journey around the world – CNN

Kate Springer, CNN • Updated 23rd January 2020 – CNN

Trace curry’s journey around the world | CNN Travel

It might seem counter-intuitive to eat CoCo Ichibanya’s relatively mild, sweet Japanese dish in the land of curry.
But the move underscores the sheer variety and complexity of curry — a word that’s long been misunderstood.
Curry is not a single spice, nor is it related to the namesake curry tree (though the leaves are used in many dishes in India).
The catch-all umbrella term refers to a “spiced meat, fish or vegetable stew,” either freshly prepared as a powder or spice paste or purchased as a ready-made mixture,” writes Colleen Sen in her book “Curry: A Global History.”
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  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 31, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    While the article is informative there are significant errors and omissions in the book and the article.

    First, only nominal mention is made of Guyana of ‘curry countries’.

    “In the Caribbean, curry is particularly prevalent in former British colonies such as Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.”

    As well, Guyana’s importance in terms of indentureship population is ignored.

    “According to Sen’s book, 1.5 million Indians migrated to other parts of the British Empire between 1834 and 1917, including 114,000 to Trinidad and Tobago and 36,000 to Jamaica.”

    In fact, Guyana received the LARGEST inflow of Indians in the Caribbean area, almost one-quarter million, 238,909, but is not recognized. (I have seen this omission in another book/article. I will explain later why I think Guyana is minimized)

    Furthermore, NO mention is made of Surinam, and the French colonies of Guadeloupe and Martinique. They were the destinations of large contingents of Indian indentured labourers: 34,304, 42,326 and 25, 509, respectively. Even Fr Guiana got, 8500, and little Danish St. Croix, 321, for a total of over about 110,000 Indians. Don’t these curry eaters count?

    The other major fault is that CURRY DID NOT START IN PAKISTAN as the subject line of the article claims.

    First, there were NO such countries as Pakistan before 1947 and Bangladesh before 1971, whereas Curry has been around in India for millennia. “Curry, which is thought to have originated as early as 2500 BCE in what is modern-day Pakistan,…” This statement is grossly false.

    The first finding of traces of curry use was NOT IN MODERN DAY PAKISTAN BUT A TOWN NORTH WEST OF DELHI.

    “Scientists believe they may have found evidence of a 4,000-year-old ‘proto-curry’ in India’s ancient Indus Valley civilisation.
    “Traces of cooked ginger and turmeric (which remain in use in curries such as lamb vindaloo today) were found in starch grains in human teeth and a cooking pot found in the ancient town of Farmana, west of Delhi by anthropologists.”

    So why does CNN fudge the facts to credit Pakistan for the ubiquitous Indian Curry?

    Anyone who has read my recent writings on things India, will note that I cite CNN as one of the anti-India/Hindu forces. CNN (as is the Economist, BBC, Toronto Star, CBC, et al) has a strong bias in favour of Muslims and Pakistan vis a vis Hindus. In CNN, for example, Muslim Fareed Zacharais – an anti-Modi zealot – is a strong influence.
    Not only that. The Democratic Party has a long anti-India, pro-Pakistan policy stance; and CNN is a mouthpiece for the Democratic party.

    Besides, CNN knows well that most people don’t read in depth but rely on headlines to for their opinions. In fact, BBC has a segment where they refer to only headlines from newspapers around the world to convey what he world thinks.

    Hence, in the headline, “From Pakistan to the Caribbean: Curry’s journey around the world” CNN unabashedly credits its ally, Pakistan, for giving the world Curry.


  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On February 2, 2020 at 12:54 am

    Too much credit is given to the British colonial power for taking Curry to East/South-East Asia in the 18th C. The fact is that India had relationships with these nations going back as far as the 1st C. Just the name of Indonesia – meaning Isles of India – for example, suggests that India was way ahead of the British in her influence in the East.

    As this article points out:
    “… India and Indonesia have been having trade and cultural links for the last 2000 years. The start was made by Indian Traders, who were the first to arrive there in the 1st Century. Hinduism and Buddhism were next to follow.”

    If ‘proto-curry’ goes back at least 4,500 years, it must follow that curry would have gone along with the traders, Hinduism and Buddhism, throughout Asia.

    Staying with Indonesia, even though 90% have converted to Islam, many of the names of the population, places and iconography are fervently Hindu – reaching back to their ancient past. Illustrating this is the national emblem of the Republic of Indonesia – “Garuda Pancasila”.

    Garuda is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. “Garuda sculpture is shown in countless temples. Garuda stands for complete devotion to Lord Vishnu and subsequent freedom from evil. Garuda also stands for the freedom of the people of Indonesia from foreign rule.”

    I can similarly talk about Thailand’s history – where the current ruling dynasty is officially “Rama”.

    So, the author, Sen, hasn’t done her homework properly; and relies too much on the colonial British – a major weakness of Indian ‘secularists’ who have been taught to denigrate their deep past cultural heritage. (This miseducation is a large component of the violent protests in the streets of India today as they oppose a Hindu Prime Minister. Contrast them with the Indonesians and Thais who hark back to their Hindu past).


    • Emanuel  On February 2, 2020 at 1:15 am

      I don’t to hear or see any more litany in Indian curry culture. Enough!

  • Trevor  On February 2, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    The British & American media are biased Veda. Americans also don’t know the world map and they probably think Pakistan and India are the same.

    Also, Guyana was not exclusively a British colony, but was first settled by the Dutch until losing the Napoleonic wars of 1814.

    The British want to take credit for everything. The media is ignorant in this regard. Americans only know of French Guiana to retire there and oppress my brothers and sisters there.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On February 3, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    I originally thought that the writer, Sen, was an Anglo-Indian but it turned out she was a born Torontonian and received her Masters at U/T (PhD Columbia U.) where she probably met her husband Ashish Sen who got his PhD at U/T, as well.
    They are both academics, published authors and well connected. “In 1998, [Ashish] Sen was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate as the Director of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in the U.S. Department of Transportation. His research has centered on the ways in which mathematical theories can help analyze human movement within any given space”

    About Colleen | Colleen Sen

    Nevertheless, my statement as follows still stands: “[Colleen] Sen, hasn’t done her homework properly; and relies too much on the colonial British – a major weakness of Indian ‘secularists’ who have been taught to denigrate their deep past cultural heritage.

    Her reliance on the British narratives of India leads her to the errors I uncovered. It would seem her subsequently well-educated husband who is also a professor/Dean at UIC, would have been mis-educated in India via the British and Marxist-twisted history of Indians (by sanitizing Muslim rule and linking Hinduism to German Aryans – Clem Seecharan and Kean Gibson regurgitate this view).

    The way the British did it is set out in the President of Education Board, Lord Macaulay’s ‘Minute in Education’:
    “A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia,”
    As well, he set out to create “a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect”.

    These latter (such as Prof. Clem Seecharan) I often refer to as “coconuts”, ‘intellectual sepoys’, ‘Modern Day Gunga Dins’, etc.

    So Prof Ashish Sen would be unware of the deep history of India and her relationships with the East (and other parts of the world). Thus, he would have failed to lead his wife, Collen Sen, to the real Indian history.


  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On February 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    This was dropped – about Colleen Sen

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On February 3, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    This was dropped – About Colleen Sen


  • wally n  On February 3, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Lets just cut to the chase, forget the journey, the history, and go to the taste!
    Guyanese made curry anything is THE BEST IN THE WORLD! OK IN MY OPINION. I tried their crap whenever I visit somewhere different, always tastes like …… Recently in a Montserrat restaurant tried their curry chicken, borderline….the owner asked our opinion, they knew we were Guyanese (most) my son said, Think my mother does better. the owner actually asked would she be willing (wife) to make some for them. Initially my wife NOOOOOOO! but finally she relented, and for the rest of the month, we had friends for life.Everyday, ginger beer, sorrel black cake…..But don’t take my word next time you travel, do your own survey. Then…. call me

    • Emanuel  On February 4, 2020 at 1:39 am

      Trinidad curry is the best in the world, in my opinion. You can’t beat dem dhall puri.

      No disrespect to mama.

  • wally n  On February 4, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Trinidad curry is the best in the world………when cooked by a Guyanese….notice I never mentioned roti/dhall puri and mama …she loves everybody

    • Emanuel  On February 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      No body can beat we cook up rice and pepper pot. That is we specialty.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On February 7, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Three issues:

    Re. Why Guyana curry not respected.

    “According to Sen’s book, 1.5 million Indians migrated to other parts of the British Empire between 1834 and 1917, including 114,000 to Trinidad and Tobago and 36,000 to Jamaica.”
    I rebutted: “In fact, Guyana received the LARGEST inflow of Indians in the Caribbean area, almost one-quarter million, 238,909, but is not recognized. (I have seen this omission in another book/article. I will explain later why I think Guyana is minimized)”.
    One would reasonably expect that the country receiving the largest number of Indian indentured labourers would get at least equivalent treatment to Jamaica and T&T.

    Why then does Colleen Sen down-play Guyana? To my mind it has nothing to do with Curry. The Caribbean area (except Guyana) is associated with vacationers. As well, quite importantly, Jamaica is famous for Bob Marley and Reggae whereas, Trinidad, with Calypso & Carnival. In these respects, Guyana has no attention-getter; is an outlier- the exception that proves the rule.

    But more than that, Caribbean Indians are relatively invisible to the outside world. To illustrate: in my early years in Canada, people were surprised when I told then I was from Guyana (on the South American coast at the southern-most Caribbean country). They said they never knew Indians were from the region. Even last week a Chinese young-woman at the bank didn’t even know where Guyana is.

    There is also a dating error: “In the 17th century, the Portuguese [who colonized Goa in western India]…” In fact, Portugal’s colonization began a century earlier, from 1510.

    Re. Power of CNN

    I argued above that since Pakistan didn’t exist before 1949 whereas ‘proto-curry’ was found NW of Delhi (India) 4,500 years ago, CNN is blatantly biased to have a heading such as: “CUISINE: From PAKISTAN to the Caribbean: Curry’s journey around the world – CNN”

    CNN’s power to influence peoples’ minds and outcomes is not to be ignored. Last two nights, CNN had Town Hall meetings for the New Hampshire caucus featuring the top Democratic contenders, individually pitching their cases and answering questions.

    CNN chose to ignore Tulsi Gabbard, a contender, despite her appeals to them; and requesting CNN’s rationale for her exclusion and despite her higher polling numbers than Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer.

    Similarly, she is again excluded tonight for the On Stage debate of the seven other candidates (ex Bloomberg).

    On course, it shouldn’t be discounted that she has launched a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, a CNN favourite, for calling her (Tulsi) a “Russian asset”, thus damaging her 2020 Presidential candidacy prospects.

    Nevertheless, if Bernie Sanders is chosen as the Democratic nominee, I would strongly advise that he choose her as his running mate since he would be wise to choose a woman and a minority which she is both; and she has the best chances of pulling cross-over and non-committal voters which the Democrats need to beat Trump; as well as, she is not a ‘warmonger’.


  • dhanpaul narine  On February 8, 2020 at 3:04 am

    My grandmother was among the best curry cook on the West Coast. She would grind the spices on the masala brick. She taught me to cook curry and after several years she nodded and said I could cook it.
    In New York, the Trini bust-up shot is cooked by Guyanese, the sahena and Mud-in-law are cooked by Guyanese and so are the dhall-puris and of course the curries. And as for the doubles-you guessed it. I asked the Trini owner ‘how come you have all these Guyanese working in the kitchen?’ She replied that it’s because they know how to cook. And their work ethic is great.
    Finally, I grew up in a logie in Stelling Road, Vergenoegen and was raised by Afro-Guyanese. On weekends, Mother Hackett would have me pounding the mortar to make fufu. After a number of years, she too nodded her head and said I could make a good fufu. Me, a lil coolie boy was taught by the best that Guyana had to offer, and with love.
    Now, if only we could put aside this racial stuff and see that we have more in common than we have differences. I might even cook some curries and fufu again!

  • wally n  On February 8, 2020 at 11:50 am

    What he said….Bingo Bingo and Bingo In Toronto 70/80/90 same, if there was good food on the tables in almost all West Indian Restaurants, there was a Guyanese in the kitchen.
    Final paragraph subtle as ever, but deep as the Essequibo.
    I must add…. the depth and openness of Guyanese culture helped many other third world immigrants, you know slipped under the covers, to Canadians, they looked similar and got a free pass.
    Oh Guyanese trail blazers, hypnotize them with our smiles, astonish them with our intelligence…WINNERS
    Yes Yes much more to come..

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