Curry powder, although a British invention, traces its roots to India. It derives its taste mainly from roasted cumin, coriander, black pepper, chiles and roasted fenugreek. Other Indian spices often contained in curry powder are dried ginger, ajwain, and celery, salt, flour from lightly toasted lentils and aromatic Moghul spices in varying amounts. The yellow color comes from turmeric. Galangale, caraway, allspice, and zedoary are among the other ingredients in curry powder. Curry powder is in fact a blend of spices, varying according to regional preferences or traditions. As a result, there are literally thousands of “curry powders”, each one uniquely suited for the produce and tastes of the region it came from.
Many people may be unaware yellow curry, a popular ingredient in most Asian cooking, is actually beneficial against Alzheimer’s disease, and lowers the risk of getting it. Scientific research has shown that curcumin, the same pigment that gives this exotic spice its distinct yellow color holds the key in preventing Alzheimer’s by breaking up the so-called ‘plaques’ that marks the brains of people afflicted with this degenerative disease. Studies have found that in India where curry spice is a dietary staple, there is a very low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease among elderly adults. Aside from Alzheimer’s, curcumin is also known to help combat cancer and heart disease.
When looking for place to savor curry in its purest form, it is best to find one that really knows what’s in their curry. In the Philippines, the only place to go for a wide selection of authentic curry dishes is Banana Leaf Curry House. A trendy restaurant that is home to the most authentic Asian cuisine in Metro Manila, Banana Leaf Curry House imports its spices, particularly curry, from various Asian regions that specialize in it. Responsible for the growing popularity of culinary delights from across the region like Malaysia, India, Thailand and Singapore; no visit to this hotshot dining place is complete without sampling the numerous curry concoctions it’s famous for from the intense mixes to the milder varieties, to the almost sweet combinations. At Banana Leaf Curry House, you are sure to get a healthy dose of curcumin, along with a delicious serving of authentic Asian dishes the way they were meant to be.
Among several dishes that use authentic yellow curry are Malayan Seafood Laksa served in Clay Pot, a delightful melange of the freshest catch from the sea; Malayan Curry of either Fried Crab or King Prawns, and the Nyonya Style Assam Curry Fish Head. For meat lovers, there’s Pakistan Lamb Curry, and the Malayan Curry with Potatoes that comes in either chicken, beef or lamb.
Visit any of the their branches at the G/F Plaza Building in Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Makati City (Tel. Nos. 812-8618 / 812-1475); 2/F The Podium, 18 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City (Tel. Nos. 687-6808 / 687-6818); and at the Theater Drive, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City (Tel. Nos. 772-8833 / 772-8899).