Culinary: 2000 Year Old Curry Recipe

A groundbreaking archaeological find in Vietnam has unveiled traces of curry culinary dating back at least 2,000 years. The discovery of curry ingredients on a sandstone grinding slab. Stone tools provides intriguing insights into ancient Southeast Asian cuisine and its links to South Asian culture. The study reveals that even in the distant past. People residing outside India expressed a strong desire to savor the flavors of curry. It is showcasing the enduring appeal of this beloved dish.

Unearthing the Ancient Curry Recipe:

In 2018, a sandstone slab was unearthed 2 meters below the surface at the Oc Eo archaeological complex in southern Vietnam. Once a prominent trading hub of the ancient Funan kingdom. Analysis of microscopic starch grains found on the grinding and pounding tools led researchers to identify several culinary spices used in the ancient curry. These ingredients mirror those commonly found in contemporary Vietnamese and Southeast Asian curries.

Curry Migration to Southeast Asia:

The study offers intriguing clues about the migration of curry and the people who made it to Southeast Asia. While curry consumption is believed to have originated in India around 4,000 years ago, the recent discovery in Vietnam demonstrates that the production of curry has a rich history beyond India. The distinct combination of ingredients at the Oc Eo site suggests that South Asian traders and migrants likely introduced curry recipes to Southeast Asia during the early centuries of the first millennium.

Cultural Links Through Spice Trade:

The research highlights the impact of the global spice trade in connecting cultures and economic systems. Some of the ingredients found at Oc Eo, such as turmeric, share similarities with Indian curries, while others, like coconut milk and galangal, are distinctly Southeast Asian. The blending of these diverse flavors reflects the fusion of South Asian and local influences, shaping the culinary landscape of the region.

Unraveling the Origins of Curry:

While it remains unclear who exactly prepared curry at the Oc Eo site, researchers speculate that they might have been migrants from India or local inhabitants influenced by South Asian culture. The presence of a large grinding stone near stilt houses hints at a close connection to water, potentially supporting the theory of contact between South Asian traders and Southeast Asian inhabitants.

Preserving History through Food:

The study underscores the significance of food culture in human history. The enduring appeal of curry recipes across millennia serves as a testament. It uses to the universal appreciation of delicious flavors and the curiosity surrounding the origins of culinary traditions.


The revelation of a 2,000-year-old curry recipe in Vietnam sheds light on the ancient culinary practices of Southeast Asia and their connections to South Asian culture. As researchers continue to decode the ingredients and methods used by our ancestors. The allure of curry as a cherished dish endures, transcending time and cultural boundaries.