The word curry is universally used for any recipe consisting of vegetables, fish, chicken and/or meat, seasoned with various herbs and condiments which give the characteristic flavor and taste and enhance texture. It probably originated from Tamil [Regional Indian Language] word kari meaning a blend of spices cooked with vegetables. It Is believed that the 18th century British General Clive, when in south India, added meat and water to the kari, thus making a sauce of turmeric and other strong spices. This apparently was the genesis of madras Curry.
To some the word curry may conjure up images red, hot chillies and curry powders. It is a mistaken notion that the curry is necessarily hot and corrosive. It is not, though an addition of extra hot peppers does not make a curry hot. Traditionally, back home in India and at regular catering places curries are only marginally seasoned with chillies. Enterprising newcomers to the world of curries need not fear the pungent or hot flavor of curries and neither should they be misled by the common belief that the curries are difficult to make.
There are 4 to 5 basic masalas, like turmeric, coriander, cumin, chilly and ginger. A mixture of two or more herbs make the masala, which is the primary ingredient that endows the curry with a unique flavor.