"Curry" and its origins?

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 6 04:23:05 UTC 1998

If you are trying to trace the evolution of kaRi, then you may want to
consider the following:

periyAzvAr tirumozi 3.4.8

kETTaRiyAtan2a kETkin2REn2 kEcavA
kOvalar intiraRkuk
kATTiya cORum kaRiyum tayirum
kalantu uTan2 uNTAy pOlum.......

periyAzvAr tirumozi  3.5.1

aTTuk kuvicORRup paruppatamum
tayir vAviyum ney aLaRum aTaGkap
poTTat tuRRi mArip pakai puNartta
porumA kaTalvaNNan2 poRutta malai...

In conection with the episode of kRSNa lifting the govardhana hill, periyAzvAr
says that kRSNa ate rice, "kaRi", and yogurt (meant for Indra) in the first
poem. In the second he says kRSNa ate rice, yogurt, and "ney aLaRu". I do not
know if there is any specificity regarding what items kRSNa ate among
zrivaiSNavas. Since aLaRu (synonymous with cERu) refers to a mushy stuff, if
it is taken as a quasi-liquid stuff (kuzampu) made with ghee (and other
items), it could suggest an instance where kaRi meant not just a side dish. If
"ney aLaRu" meant only ghee, we have to look to some other sources.

One can check the history of the usage of iyeGkAr's "kaRiyamutu". Inscriptions
may help. They often have details on what specific food items were supposed to
be offered using the endowments.

Also, one can check bhAgavatapurANa and harivamza to see what items kRSNa ate
in the govardhana episode. Particularly, bhAgavatapurANa (having been produced
in Tamilnadu) might use a Sanskrit term which might throw some light on this.


S. Palaniappan

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