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Hi, I'm Ravi maniam

Representing the Tamils in their two habitats and around the world, I am on a mission helping the curry lovers to enjoy the heathy, REALLY authentic 2000+ years old curry.

Hi, My name is Ravi Maniam and I am on a mission that is two-fold.

First, I’d like to help the curry lovers of the world enjoy healthy, REALLY authentic curry made with recipes more than 2000 years old. That’s the fun part.

Second, I aim to assist Britain in solving the curry identity crisis that is causing Great Britain’s £4.2b curry industry to die.

I will start with who I am and how I came upon these recipes, and how I learned so much about the history of curry and its true identity.

About Me

I am a Tamil and a Londoner. Perhaps “British Tamil” is the perfect way to describe me. I was born and brought up on a small islet off Sri Lanka, one that was previously colonized by the Portuguese. In fact, that islet was the first Portuguese colony in that area. The natives of these small islets were Tamils.

Because of who I am and where I was born, I was able to talk with Tamil scholars who helped me analyze ancient epic Tamil literature in which curry was referenced. Some of this literature dated back to the period before Christ (BC). I even learned the verses in which the word curry was used. Armed with this knowledge, I am able to relay to the world the unique and untold history of curry.

My Village
The village I born & brought up!
Smalls Islets between India and Sri Lanka were the first Portuguese colonies in Tamil areas
Ceylon Island -15th Century
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Curry is originally Tamil. Let me tell you how I know.

I have a story to tell you. It is about how I started writing a book on Tamil curry. It all started in 2015, three days before Christmas.

My 8-year-old son wanted a gift for Christmas. As I left for work that morning, I told him, “Boy, listen. This afternoon, when I return from work, I will take you to Currys PC World, so be ready. I will text you soon as I leave work.” (Currys PC World is an electronic goods retailers. It is also known as Currys).

That afternoon, as soon as I stopped the car in front of the driveway, he jumped in. He was very excited.

To tease him, I told him, “At Currys, I will be ordering prawn curry and roti for dinner. What would you like for you? Fish cutlets™ and watila™?” I was referring to his favourite Tamil snack and dessert. Of course, he knew we weren’t going to a curry restaurant. 

He looked at me and burst into laughter. He said, “You know what, Dad? Me and mum checked up on how the name “Currys” became pre-fixed to  “PC World” in the name of the store and learned that ” Currys ” is the surname of the founder of the company and also we have found out that the ‘Curry’ we eat at home is a Tamil word too.”

I had heard that before and never paid much attention to it. But that day, because of the proud way my little Tamil boy said it, I decided to pay attention.

We were in the car park of Currys PC World in Ruislip, Middlesex, for at least 20 minutes checking the dictionary again, and a particular detail grabbed my attention and made me think.

The Oxford Dictionary says that the Tamil word “curry” came into the English language via the Portuguese in the 16th century. 

Later in my research, I have seen an article “How India changed the English language” appeared on the culture section of BBC’s website on the 22nd of June in 2015, had confirmed this fact as well. 

That is significant because most writers, and probably most curry lovers, link curry to the British and to India. India was established by the British, and that didn’t happen until the 18th or 19th centuries. So you see, curry was around long before India even existed!

FACT: The word “curry” came into the English language in the 16th century.

FACT: The British East India Company was founded in the 17th century.

FACT: India was established by the East India Company in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The British East India Company was the last European colonizing force. As a matter of fact, it was active in the area at least 300 years after the Portuguese arrived in the region. 

The Portuguese brought chilies  and introduced at least 130 other vegetables, including wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, and pumpkins. This resulted in the development and Europeanization of ancient curry with the Tamils in one of their habitats.

And that’s when I realized all about curry was wrong… 

The Great British Curry Crisis

On January 8th, 2016, a few days after I realized these truths, an article was published in the prestigious London Financial Times, titled, “The Great British Curry Crisis.”

The article quoted Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons, which monitors the food sector in Britain. What he said about curry was a matter of particular interest to me.

“The British public is coming to an awareness that what these curry houses are serving is not real Indian food.”

Towards the end of the article, Oli Khan, vice-president of the Bangladeshi Caterers’ Association (BCA), was quoted as stating, “… This is now British curry. It is not Bangladeshi or Indian, it is British, and anybody can do it.”

These two gentlemen are saying the obvious, and especially Mr. Khan, conceding to the reality that neither the government nor the public will buy into the Indian or Bangladeshi curry concept anymore. Without being given any other option, he is trying to say that curry is now “British Curry.”

As I read that quote from Khan, I knew the solution to the crisis. And I knew that if no one stepped in to solve the puzzle, the £4.2b curry industry would die a natural death. I realized that the confusion surrounding curry’s authenticity and history needed to be eliminated. As a Tamil, I am better positioned to relate to the public how Tamil curry, the true curry, came about. 

You might be saying to yourself, “There are other Tamils. Can’t they tell this story, too?”

Indians—especially Tamils in the Tamil Nadu state of India, would not have a clue about the Portuguese or Dutch influence on curry because they were not colonized by them. In fact, they were free until the arrival of the British. Although it had many trading posts along the coastal areas, the only Portuguese colony in the Indian subcontinent since 1510, was Goa, and that was not a Tamil area. 

Because of this, the nearly 300-year-old story of modern curry can only be told by us, the Tamils that are NOT part of British India, but part of the British Ceylon, more specifically the descendants of the Tamils on the islets and the former Kingdom of Jaffna.

I feel it is my honour and duty to explain curry’s historical background.

I feel that the curry industry needs help desperately. I honestly believe that the only way to save the curry industry is to tell the curry lovers about its rich and long history and who it actually belongs to. 

The book will discuss everything. It will tell the whole truth about curry: its ancient and modern history…much more!

 

Mission

Introduce the authentic and native curry to your kitchen

Vision

to save the Curry Industry, businesses and jobs

Values