[INDOLOGY] Reconstructing Indus Curry!

Suresh Kolichala suresh.kolichala at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 12:03:10 UTC 2016

On Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 9:42 PM, rajam <rajam at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Quite interesting! I wonder if the discussants knew the origin of the word
> “curry (கறி),” and that it is Tamil. Thereupon they may change their
> direction!


What has European discovery of curry in South India in the last 500
years has anything to do with reconstructing Indus curry? Since Vasco
De Gama anchored off the South Indian coast (in 1498) from the east
coast of Africa, the early contacts of the European sailors and
colonizers were South Indian, and several native words from South
Indian languages went into Portuguese, Dutch and English. There are
words such as  kaḍhi/kaṛhi in several north Indian languages as well
and it is difficult to determine the origin of these common Indian
words (Hindi: कढ़ी, Rajasthani: कड्डी/खाटो, Punjabi: ਕੜ੍ਹੀ, Gujarati:
કઢી,  Marathi: कढी).

> In any case …
> I’ve always wondered about the similarities between the generous use of
> turmeric in Punjabi & Tamil cuisines. Also, Taro roots which are also
> referred to as “arbi” and “cēppaṅkiḻaṅku (சேப்பங்கிழங்கு/சேம்பு)” are common
> in both cuisines.

Turmeric and Taro roots are used throughout the subcontinent and are
not exclusively special to Panjabi and Tamil cuisines or cultures. The
use of turmeric in ritual rites, in cooking and traditional medicine
is found throughout India, including East India. Taro is a plant
believed to be native to Southeast Asia, The near-universal
distribution of this root in Austroasiatic suggests that taro played
an important role in its early expansion. It is also claimed that this
word is related to #traw? which is widespread in Austronesian. For
more details, see the nice summary of the linguistic research on this
plant by Roger Blench:



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