Dispelling Myths

Occasionally someone asks me what kind of curry powder I use. I don’t. I tell them that “curry powder,” as far as Bengali cooking is concerned, is a British invention, a spice mix not unlike Mrs. Lawry’s Italian Seasoning or McCormick’s Cajun Seasoning Mix. Spice mixes can be fun and convenient and delicious too, but to suggest that lamb, or fish or vegetables would take the same spices seems strange to me, and I’m a firm advocate for dispelling a number of persistent and annoying perceptions about Indian cooking. You won’t need curry powder for Bengali dishes. Save the curry powder for an American-style egg salad, but don’t use it in Indian cooking. You’ll be glad you didn’t, I promise.


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