Madras curry is a popular type of curry that is associated with the cuisine of South India. The name “Madras” refers to the city of Chennai, which was formerly known as Madras, in the state of Tamil Nadu. While the dish itself does not have a specific origin story, it is believed to have developed in the region and gained popularity during the British colonial era. During British colonial rule in India, the British officers and traders in Madras (Chennai) developed a taste for the local cuisine. The local cooks adapted their traditional recipes to suit the British palate, creating a spicier and more robust version of the curry. This adapted curry became known as Madras curry. Madras curry is characterised by its vibrant red colour and intense heat. It typically contains a blend of spices such as chili peppers, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fenugreek, along with other ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger. The curry is often made with a base of coconut milk, which helps to balance the heat and adds richness to the dish. Over time, Madras curry gained popularity beyond the British officers and spread to other parts of India and the world. It became a staple in Indian restaurants, both in India and abroad, and is now widely recognised as a distinct style of curry. It’s important to note that the term “Madras curry” is more commonly used outside of India, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it has become synonymous with a hot and spicy curry. In India, the term “Madras curry” is not commonly used, and regional variations of curries are more prevalent.
Serves 6-8 people.