"The word "curry" has been the subject of endless confusion over the centuries. In a grocery store you can purchase curry powder, a blend of spices that a curry purist would view with a jaundiced eye. The word "curry" is said to derive from the Tamil word kari, which refers to a sauce or gravy. The tamils are inhabitants of Southern India and Sri Lanka, and have one of the oldest vegetable-based diets in the world. they have become experts in the use of rice and legumes, as well as the blending of flavors such as tamarind, curry leaves, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and coconut to tempt the taste buds. Outsiders, such as Western colonialists tended to simplify these complex cuisines and in doing so created the curry confusion".
- the illustrated Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs -