Curry /ˈkʌri/, plural curries, is the generic English term primarily employed in Western culture to denote a wide variety of dishes whose origins are Southern and Southeastern Asian cuisines, as well as New World cuisines influenced by them such as Trinidadian or Fijian. Their common feature is the incorporation of more or less complex combinations of spices and/or herbs, usually (but not invariably) including fresh or dried hot chillies.
In the 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.
Traditionally, spices are used both whole and ground; cooked or raw; and they may be added at different times during the cooking process to produce different results.
Curry powder, a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is largely a Western notion, dating to the 18th century. Such mixtures are commonly thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain.
Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia