A Common Indian Currie


  • To each pound of meat, whether veal, mutton, or beef, 1 heaped tablespoonful of good currie-powder, 1 small teaspoonful of salt, and a large one of flour; to be well mixed, and half rubbed on to the meat before it is fried, the rest added afterwards
  • onions fried, from 1 to 4 or 5 (with or without the addition of a clove of garlic, or half a dozen eschalots)
  • sufficient boiling water to nearly cover the meat
  • vegetables, as in receipt, at choice stewed, 1¼ to 21½ hours
  • a fowl, 1 hour, or rather less
  • beef, 2 lbs., 1½ hour, or more
  • brisket of veal, 2½ to 3 hours.


For each pound of meat, whether veal, mutton, or beef, take a heaped tablespoonful of good currie powder, a small teaspoonful of salt, and one of flour; mix these well together, and after having cut down the meat into thick small cutlets, or dice, rub half of the mixed powder equally over it. Next, fry gently from one to four or five large onions sliced, with or without the addition of a small clove of garlic or half a dozen eschalots, according to the taste; and when they are of a fine golden brown, lift them out with a slice and lay them upon a sieve to drain; throw a little more butter into the pan and fly the meat lightly in it; drain it well from the fat in taking it out, and lay it into a clean stewpan or saucepan; strew the onion over it, and pour in as much boiling water as will almost cover it. Mix the remainder of the currie-powder smoothly with a little broth or cold water, and after the currie has stewed for a few minutes pour it in. shaking the pan well round that it may be smoothly blended with the gravy. Simmer the whole very softly until the meat is perfectly tender: this will be in from an hour and a quarter to two hours and a half, according to the quantity and the nature of the meat. Mutton will be the soonest done; the brisket end (gristles) of a breast of veal will require twice as much stewing, and sometimes more. A fowl will be ready to serve in an hour. An acid apple or two, or any of the vegetables which we have enumerated at the commencement of this chapter, may be added to the currie, proper time being allowed for cooking each variety. Very young green peas are liked by some people in it; and cucumbers pared, seeded, and cut moderately small, are always a good addition. A richer currie will of course be produced if gravy or broth be substituted for the water: either should be boiling when poured to the meat. Lemon-juice should be stirred in before it is served, when there is no other acid in the currie. A dish of boiled rice must be sent to table with it. A couple of pounds of meat free from bone, is sufficient quite for a moderate-sized dish of this kind, but three of the breast of veal are sometimes used for it, when it is to be served to a large family-party of currie-eaters; from half to a whole pound of rice should then accompany it. For the proper mode of boiling it. The small grained, or Patna, is the kind which ought to be used for the purpose. Six ounces is sufficient for a not large currie; and a pound, when boiled dry, and heated lightly in a dish, appears an enormous quantity for a modern table.

Obs. — Rabbits make a very good currie when quite young. Cayenne pepper can always be added to heighten the pungency of a currie, when the proportion in the powder is not considered sufficient.