Taxonomy of the Curry and Stealing Ideas

Friday 25/2/2005

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Diary and Notes

I was sent an email from a friend, Mike Peace, concerning a website he'd found explaining what the different curries were and what to expect if you ordered one in a restaurant. The website Curry Types seems to be run by VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) which is a bit strange, but if they want to do this it's up to them. It's an interesting site and the taxonomy of curries is an interesting subject from a food history point of view and worth the effort. In order to delve deeper, I tried finding other sites along these lines but apart from one describing some different Thai curries didn't have much luck, until I found Glossary of Indian Restaurant Curries from the curry house cookbook which is exactly the same - then I realised, one of them had just stolen the text from the other and posted it as their own.

I imagine this happens quite a lot on the Internet. When I looked up recipes for General Tsoa's chicken I found about seven, each one exactly the same, even down to using the same grammatical errors. (My recipe wasn't the same as their's, I was just looking to see what other people were doing.)

So what's going on here? Is it just that somebody writes something and everybody just copies them directly and claims the words as their own? Is somebody ripping off my Nosh-Blog? Are my recipes travelling backwards and forwards through cyber-space, never evolving or changing, just moving from one computer to the next without any chance to develop.

This last point is the problem, if people just steal things from each other, word for word, there is no development, no evolution. Ah well, today's wasn't a real moan, more a phony moan, not like my complaints about erosions of civil liberties or poisons in our food.

Maybe a nice cup of coffee and a chocolate biscuit will help.


Today's curry was a really simple affair - not overly spiced and just an easy (but rich) tomato sauce. Some fresh tomatoes would have been good but I didn't have any. There weren't too many spices in this one and I didn't use any ginger either but it was still pretty tasty. I had some sauce left over which I might find a use for at a later date. I should point out that this type of curry isn't listed on the websites mentioned earlier. Does this mean that it wasn't a curry or does it mean their classification isn't complete? I would plump for the latter argument.

Cake Blog

A Fondant dip from Warren's the bakers. Warren's thinks it's a posh bakers so I went in hoping to see a range of tasty cakes like I was used to in Germany. All they had were rows and rows of pasties (this being Devon) and a few boring buns etc... I chose this because it looked different. It was very similar to one of those Mr Kipling fondant fancies that made us hyperactive at parties when we were 7. Yuk!


  • Chicken in Rich Tomato Curry
  • Chappatis
  • Basmati Rice
  • Lime Pickle


  • Chicken joints, onions, garlic, ginger, ghee, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin, dried fenugreek (methi) leaves, tomato puree, tomato, salt, pepper, fresh coriander leaves.


  • Dice the onions and mince the garlic & ginger and fry gently in ghee until soft. Make a paste using the dried spices and some water and add to the onions and cook a little longer. Add the skinned jointed chicken and fry until the chicken begins to brown then pour over more water, some tomato puree, loads of methi leaves a little salt and pepper. Cover the pan and allow to cook gently for about 45 minutes, about 5 minutes before serving add a chopped tomato. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander to serve