We bite off almost more than we can chew this week with the OG of Asian dishes: curry. With over 4,000 years of history, we can only scratch the surface of this topic and its rich history.
Thankfully, we get experts to share their knowledge and opinions on the show with two amazing guests. Lynda talks to Hemant Mathur, the proprietor and Managing Executive Chef of 6 successful Indian restaurants in NY and the first Indian chef in the U.S. to be awarded a Michelin star. Iris talks to Lakshmi Harilela, a health chef based in Hong Kong who practices Ayurveda principles--a system of medicine with its roots in the Indian subcontinent.
We start by attempting to define curry. Iris breaks down the general differences between Northern and Southern Indian cuisines and how these regional variations affect the curries, while Lynda breaks down Iris' UK/US accent variation of the word "herbs".
Lynda talks about the history of curry and how it came to hold a special place in the hearts of British people. Iris then unpacks where else curry travelled to and how. Few dishes can touch curry in terms of its widespread migration, considering its influences have reached everywhere from Japan to Thailand to South Africa to the West Indies. Shout out to Berlin's currywurst?
"Human beings---they're always on a quest to find the next new flavor, the next new thing. And once the senses are awakened on the tongue, there is no going back." - Lakshmi Harilela on why curry has such an international appeal.
We also debate whether or not curry is a healthy dish, and as you'd expect, there are two sides of the story. Lakshmi tells us all the amazing health benefits of curry...when it's cooked at home. But Hemant tells us that the general trend in both New York and in India is for restaurants adapting to diners' increasing health consciousness.
We love ending our episodes asking the question, what's next for this food? But how can there possibly be more evolution for a dish that has 4 millennia of history? Tune in to find out what Hemant and Lakshmi think what the future holds. Hint: it ain't over yet.
We hope that you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we loved producing it. And just like the fact that curry isn't over, our discussion on curry isn't done yet either. Look out for Feast Meets West's Curry Part II.
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