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TitleCurry a Global History
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A Global History

Colleen Taylor Sen

the edible series

Page 71


of time, typically five or ten years. They received basic provi-
sions and a minimal salary, followed by either a free passage
home or free land. All but a handful chose the latter option.

Between , when the first group of indentured
labourers arrived inMauritius, and , when the systemwas
abolished, nearly .million Indians emigrated to other parts
of the British Empire. In the western hemisphere, ,
Indians went to British Guiana (now Guyana), , to
Trinidad and , to Jamaica. Around , labourers
migrated to South Africa. Others went to Fiji and Malaysia.
Most of the immigrants came from either north and central
India – the present-day states of Bihar, Orissa and Uttar
Pradesh – or Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the south.

The British authorities also made arrangements with the
French and Dutch to send indentured workers to their colo-
nies. Between  and , eighty thousand Indians migrat-
ed to Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guyana. A smaller
group went to Dutch Guyana, now Surinam, where they
became known as Hindoestanen. When Surinam gained its
independence in , many migrated to the Netherlands.

Trinidad and Tobago

Over  per cent of the one million inhabitants of Trinidad
and Tobago are of Indian origin; another  per cent are Afro-
Trinidadian; while the remaining  per cent are of Chinese,
European andMiddle Eastern descent. Although Trinidadian
cuisine combines elements of all these backgrounds, curry
and other Indian dishes have become symbols of national
identity and feature in popular Calypso and Soca songs.

Most Indo-Trinidadians came from north-east and
central India and spoke a language called Bhojpuri. These

Page 72


origins explain certain features of Indo-Trinidadian food.
For example, whole wheat flour is never used in Trinidadian
breads (rotis) as it is in India, because wheat was not grown
in the immigrants’ home regions and the first flour they
encountered would have been imported white flour. A pinch
of baking powder is always added to these breads. Phulorie,
sahenna, kurma and other fried savoury snacks are similar to
those found in the immigrants’ ancestral regions. The basic
ingredients of a typical Trinidadian spice mixture – cumin,
coriander, fenugreek and turmeric – are what would be used
in a peasant household here.

Bandhaniya or
shadow beni is a
local herb used
as a substitute
for coriander in

Page 142

The author and publishers wish to express their thanks to the below
sources of illustrative material and/or permission to reproduce it.
Locations of some artworks are also given below.

British Library: p. ; Rebekah Burgess/Bigstockphoto: p. ;
Cartoon-stock: p. ; Shariff Che’Lah/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Vivian
Constantinopoulos: p. ; Leena Damle/Bigstockphoto: p. ;
Bruno Ehrs/Corbis: p. ; FabFoodPix/Food Collection/Stock-
food: p.; Martin Garnham/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Courtesy of
GoGo Curry Restaurant, New York, : p. ; Joe Gough/
Istockphoto: pp. , ; Alexander Heitkamp/Bigstockphoto: p. ;
Aimee Holman/Bigstockphoto: p. ; India Office/British Library:
p. ; Chan PakKei/Istockphoto: p. ; KumarMahabir,Caribbean
East Indian Recipes, : p. ; Michael Leaman/Reaktion Books:
pp. , , , , , ; Karen Leonard, Making Ethnic Choices:
California’s Punjabi-Mexican Americans: p. ; National Library of
Australia: p. ; Yong Hian Lim/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Linda &
Colin McKie/Istockphoto: p. ; Arild Molstad/Rex Features:
p. ; Brett Mulcahy/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Museum of London:
p. ; Robert Opie: pp. , ; Colleen Sen: p. ; Rohit
Seth/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Bhupendra Singh/Bigstockphoto:
p.; Mark Skipper: p. ; Taj Mahal Restaurant, Centurion, South
Africa: p. ; Khen Guan Toh/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Andreas
Weber/Bigstockphoto: p. ; Anke van Wyk/Bigstockphoto:
p. .


Photo Acknowledgements

Page 143

Abu’l fazl Allami , 
Acton, Eliza , 
Africa –
Allen, Ann 
Angola 
Australia –

Babur , 
balti –, 
bamihap 
Bangladesh (Bangladeshis) ,

, , 
Beard, James 
Beecher, Catherine 
Beeton, Isabella , 
bhajee , 
bhuna (bhoona) , 
biryani , , , , , 
bobotie (bobotee) , , 
Britain, curry in –
Brobeck, Florence –
Brownstone, Cecily 
bumbu 
Burghers –
bunny chow , 

callaloo 
Cambodia 
Canada –
Cape Malays –
Ceylon curry , 
Chapman, Pat , 
China 
Claiborne, Craig –
Clarke, Marcus –, 
Country Captain Chicken ,

, –, 
curried chicken salad –
curried goat 
definition –, –
origin of word –

curry house , –
curry leaf , , , , , 
Curry Man 
curry powder , , , –,

, , 
currywurst , , –

dal 
Day, Harvey 



italic numbers refer to illustrations; bold to recipes

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