Curry is a general term referring to dishes of vegetables and/or meat cooked with spices with or without gravy. The choice of complex combinations of herbs and spices is a matter of tradition and preference. Spices are used both ground and whole, cooked and raw, and added at different times during the cooking process to yield different results.
The curry powder we find on the shelves in supermarket is a prepared mix of spices including but not limited to turmeric, allspice, white pepper, ground mustard, ground ginger, cinnamon, roasted cumin, cloves, nutmeg, mace, cardamom pods, bay leaves, coriander seeds. These spice mixtures are thought to have first been prepared by Indian merchants roughly around 18th Century for sale to members of the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain to approximate the taste of Indian cuisine at home.
Curry is such a versatile dish where you can use up any leftover protein (pork, beef, chicken, fish, just to name a few) and vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, pumpkin, potatoes are all fail-proof choices) from your fridge. Serve it with any starch of your choice: naan, baguette, couscous, quinoa, rice, ramen, udon, etc. And pair your curry with a glass of lassi made simply with yoghurt and honey.