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  • Writer's pictureTastes Of History

An 18th-century Curry

Updated: Feb 14

What to do with leftover lamb from Sunday's roast? Obviously, make an 18th-century curry. The version below is a variation of one by Hannah Glasse (1708-1770) for a mild chicken curry. Our recipe uses a delicious curry mix from The Copper Pot, purveyors of fine historic foods.

Curry was introduced to English cuisine starting with Anglo-Indian cooking in the 17th-century as spicy sauces were added to plain boiled and cooked meats [1]. The 1774 edition of Hannah Glasse's 'The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy' contains one of the first recipes in English 'To make a Currey the India Way'. As Empress of India, Queen Victoria was an early champion of curries, adapted to the English palette. With her endorsement, curry became increasingly popular in all classes of British society. Today curry is considered a national dish.

Lamb Curry with Saffron rice


Lamb, diced;

25 g (1 oz) butter;

150 ml (¼ pint) lamb stock;

200 ml (7 fl oz) double cream;

Plain rice;

Saffron, pinch.


Dice the cooked lamb into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Melt 25 g of butter in a frying pan. Add the curry mix and fry for about 10 seconds.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the cream and the cooked lamb pieces.

Simmer for a further 10 minutes then serve.

Concurrently cook plain rice with a pinch of saffron. With the rice cooked and drained we actually returned it to the pan and added some butter as an extra creamy treat. Being honest, the accompanying picture does not do the result justice. This curry is delicious...Bon appétit!



1. Collingham, L. (2005), Curry: A Biography, London, p.115.


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