How to make curried rice the Aleister Crowley way

Mostly joking. But the Falklands are in South America.

I’m a honky. Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes are good enough for me. I’ll leave Aleister Crowley’s cook book for Jimmy Page.

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I’ve been thinking about this lately. Ethiopian food is traditionally(?) spicy, due to its use of capsicum. Which comes from the Americas. If “traditional” means “older than anyone now living” then, yeah, it’s certainly traditional but now I wonder what Ethiopian (or – for that matter – South Asian) food was like before the 17th-19th centuries.


This. I have a book of Italian recipes from the middle ages, and while there are a few familiar things, the absence of tomatoes is really striking. And as you say, trying to imagine South Asian food before new world vegetables (no chillies!) is pretty hard.

South Asia and India in particular is a great example of the evolution of food and the absorption of influences, both local and imported. The Moghul influence in the north; the Portugese influence in Goa and beyond; and the British influence, both directly through their tastes, but also through the impact of empire (eg, taking Tamils from south India to Sri Lanka).

And to partly answer your rhetorical question at least in regard to South Asian food, imagine a lot more black (and white) pepper where now chillies are used. And because, unlike chillies, the heat of pepper fades with cooking, a lot of the heat/spiciness would have been added in the final stages as a masala.

(For anyone interested in food history, I can thoroughly recommend just about anything by Ken Albala from the University of the Pacific, especially Food: A Cultural Culinary History.)


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