Author(s): Lizzie Collingham
Curry changed and evolved according to the tastes of the various invaders of India. The Mughals brought with them the rice dishes of Persia; the Portuguese introduced the chilli peppers recently discovered by Christopher Columbus in the New World; and the Mrs Beetons and Eliza Actons of the British Raj added jam, carrots and apples to their curry recipes. The Raj also ensured that curry came the other way, from India to Britain - and today the British consume no less than 18 tonnes a year of their favourite chicken tikka masala, a dish which purists claim is not Indian at all, but meat in gravy whipped up with a few spices (and sometimes a can of tomato soup!). Almost every Indian dish is a fusion of different food traditions. This book, which tells the story of such dishes, and the people who invented, discovered, cooked and ate them, is vivid, entertaining - and delicious.
Lizzie Collingham is a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. This is her first book (apart from her doctoral thesis, about the 'nabobs' of the British raj, which was published by Polity Press in 2001). She has a PHD in History from Cambridge, and at the university of Sussex won the Rose Prize for the best History finalist. Educated also in Germany and Sweden, she has been a lecturer at Warwick University and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. She is married and lives part of the year in France, part in Cambridge.