Friday, July 20, 2012

Curry may be ancient

From the Science magazine article The ingredients for a 4000 year old proto-curry
by Andrew Lawler. Summary:
"When cooks in the ancient Indus River civilization prepared their meals 4000 years ago, the results may not have been much different from what you might order today in an Indian restaurant. Recent studies presented at the meeting found a surprisingly diverse Indus diet that incorporated spices such as ginger and turmeric, beans such as lentils and mung, grains such as rice and millet, and even bananas. An explosion in food-related studies, thanks to both new tools and new interest in rural villages, provides exciting clues to day-to-day life in the Indus, experts say. "
The article is behind a pay wall. The article says that the results from the teeth of humans dated between 2500 BC to 2200 BC in the town of  Farmana near Delhi, and also from a cooking pot found cooked ginger and turmeric. Apparently cow teeth from Harappa yielded the same material. Even banana turn up.but no black pepper or chilli pepper. "Examining two sites near today's Masudpur, west of Delhi, University of Cambridge archaeologist Jennifer Bates compared carbonized seed and phytolith density per liter of soil near hearths to determine the relative abundance of crops by period and site. Bates found that both villages practiced summer and winter cropping, and both ate wheat, barley, millet, and rice from early Indus times, as shown by nearby pottery; she also identified lentils and mung beans. Rice has long been assumed to be only a late addition in the Indus, yet one village apparently ate more rice than wheat or barley, although millet dominated."

No comments: