Author: bombaycurrybar

Laughter is the best meditation

It is thought that the earliest point in human history when laughter was first taken ‘seriously’ was in the tenth century A.D. It is credited to the Buddhist monk ‘Budai’ also known as the laughing Buddha and frequently mistaken in the west as yet another avatar of Gautama Buddha who lived in the sixth century B.C.

Although it is said and might well be true, but we will never know, that when Gautama Buddha finally attained enlightenment under the Bodhisattva tree, after years of penance and searching, he sat there and simply laughed.

Fast forward 1600 years to Budai, a pot-bellied monk, chuckling and laughing his way as he moved from village to village in rural China, sack in hand , adored by children. He became known as the laughing Buddha and gave legitimacy to the most basic of human emotions – laughter.

In recent times, the innovation of laughter as a therapy can be credited to American psychologist Dr Annette Goodheart, who in the late sixties created a whole set of techniques on how to use laughter to release tension and thereby provide relief from strong or repressed emotions.

In the late eighties, Osho, an Indian mystic, introduced a meditation called the Mystic Rose – a three-hour-a-day, three-week process involving a week of voluntary simulated laughter, followed by a week of tears, and a final week of silence. Thousands have taken part in these meditations over the years: a therapy has graduated into a meditation.

More recently, another Indian is credited with taking laughter to its next evolutionary stage, giving it more legitimacy than ever:Dr Madan Kataria, also known as the guru of giggling. Laughter therapy has now re-incarnated as Hasya Yoga or laughter Yoga and is a recognized activity as essential as a morning walk or jog.

It’s a simple ten-minute workout. Every morning get together with fellow practitioners in a park, form a circle, and laugh. Although induced at first, the laughter gradually, in a virus-like fashion, becomes a genuine infection, loses its grip on the induced forces, and becomes a part of your being. Watch this video to learn more: Laughter – The democracy of joy

4 things you need to know about curries

1.Curries were born at a crossroads of humanity.
Northern curries have had heavy influences from the Mughal Empire (conquerors from the Middle East, who brought with them nuts and dried fruit). When the British came, they found curries to be too spicy; to accommodate the new arrivals, cooks started adding heavy cream to their curries. In the south, Portuguese traders brought tomatoes and chilies with them from the New World, which came to be a staple of curries in those regions. Northern curries are typically made with dried spices and then served with wheat flatbreads, whereas Southern curries typically include fresh herbs and are served with rice.

2.Curries are complicated.
All curries have seven distinctive elements of taste: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. It is important to achieve the right balance of these flavors.

3.Curries retard food spoilage.
Before refrigeration was common, cooks relied on some of the spices and fermented dairy products in curries to help preserve the food by curtailing the multiplication of harmful bacteria.

4.Making The Perfect Curry -The Order of ingredients matters.

You’ll get different flavors in your curry depending on which ingredients go into the pot first. One approach is to first toast the spices in oil to release the aromatics, and then add the onions, tomatoes, and other ingredients. Alternatively, you can cook the onions first, and then add the spices to the sautéed onions. Each method is worth a try, and you may be surprised at how much they vary in taste.

More – What is Curry Powder? 

What is curry powder?

Curry powder is a blend of spices which is designed to be used in Indian cooking. In India, cooks prefer to prepare their spices freshly, as needed, ensuring maximum flavor. So, a blend of spices, ground into powder, used to make a curry or a sauce, is called curry powder. Depending on the sauce, the composition of the curry powder changes. Indian cuisine is famous for featuring a wide array of spices, which varies by dish, region, and personal taste.

When British colonists arrived in India, they were captivated by traditional Indian cuisine, particularly the flavorful kari, or “sauces” of Southern India. In a desire to bring some of India back with them, colonists started creating their own curry powder blends, adjusting them for Western tastes and often including turmeric for a distinctive yellow color. So, curry powder is not turmeric singled out, but a mix of spices and turmeric almost always forms a part of this mix for color and its health properties.

In India, such spice blends are known as masalas, and there are hundreds of them to choose from when cooking. The ingredients in a masala are ideally freshly ground and customized to the food being prepared, the occasion, and the time of year, and these spice blends are kept for no more than a month or so to ensure that the flavor stays fresh. Spices used in masalas can include things like: cardamom, nutmeg, mace, mustard seed, pepper, chilies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and numerous other spices.

What is curry?

The term “curry” comes from the South Indian “Tamil” language word kaikari which means “ a dish with sauce”.

When the British arrived in India, they noticed that the locals, when asked what were they eating or going to have for their lunch or dinner, they always got the answer “KaiKari”. So, the word “curry” was invented by the british which simply means ‘ a dish with a sauce ‘ . They broadened the term to include all spicy dishes from the subcontinent, regardless of style or content.

Curry powder is a blend of spices which is designed to be used in Indian cooking. In India, cooks prefer to prepare their spices freshly, as needed, ensuring maximum flavor. So, a blend of spices, ground into powder, used to make a curry or a sauce, is called curry powder

Curry leaves are used in Indian cooking to add flavor. The original name for this leaf is “ Kadi “ with “d” sound emphasized. It has nothing to do with curry powder. It is just one more of the several ingredients used in Indian cooking for the complexity of taste.

Turmeric(Curcuma) is not curry powder!
This yellow colored spice is wrongly referred to as “curry powder”.
Turmeric is the root of the plant “curcuma longa” ground finely and used in all curry dishes sparingly for color and medicinal properties. It is not necessarily used for flavour, but it does impart some flavour to the dish. In India, we never use this is in large quantities for the dish!
Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine. It was first used as a dye and then later for its possible medicinal properties.