According to historians, our love affair with the humble curry can be dated back to the Bronze Ages, with many claiming that the world’s first curry was eaten around 5,000 years ago.
Uncovered by a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, findings suggest that ancient Indians used forward-thinking farming methods to offer rice, bean and lentils, dhal and rice dishes to local communities.
Archaeologists also found that the Indians development of rice farming techniques come around at the same time as the Chinese. This is said to have been around 2800BC, 400 years earlier than once thought.
Study co-author Dr Jennifer Bates said:
‘We found evidence for an entirely separate domestication process in ancient South Asia, likely based around the wild species Oryza nivara.
‘This led to the local development of a mix of ‘wetland’ and ‘dryland’ agriculture of local Oryza sativa indica rice agriculture before the truly ‘wetland’ Chinese rice, Oryza sativa japonica, arrived around 2000 BC.
‘While wetland rice is more productive, and took over to a large extent when introduced from China, our findings appear to show there was already a long-held and sustainable culture of rice production in India as a widespread summer addition to the winter cropping during the Indus civilisation.’
While such foods have been heavily ingrained within Asian culture for so long, the popular curry and rice combination is forever-growing in popularity, seeing the Indian takeaway, restaurant and catering industries flourish.
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