I had long suspected that curries are good for you. Not only do I find them delicious but I always felt good after such a yummy meal.

With all those wonderful spices in them, and with such a tantalising taste, how could they not be great for your health?

Of course, we all know what a curry is. But here’s a definition anyway:

curry 1 |ˈkərē; ˈkə-rē|
1 ( pl. -ries) a dish of meat, vegetables, etc., cooked in an Indian-style sauce of strong spices and turmeric and typically served with rice.
2 curry powder.
verb ( -ries, -ried) [ trans. ] [usu. as adj. ] ( curried)
prepare or flavor with a sauce of hot-tasting spices : curried chicken.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Tamil ka r i.

As I said, I always suspected that the mix of spices (and chili!) had special health benefits. This was corroborated on my earlier post about how star anise can combat swine flu.

So I was not too surprised when I read in the newspaper a few weeks back that turmeric can destroy cancer cells. Apparently, scientists at the Cork Research Centre in Ireland treated cancer cells with curcumin (a chemical found in the humble turmeric) and discovered that it began to kill cancer cells within 24 hours!

The humble turmeric

That’s great to hear, so we can now happily put more kunyit in our dishes!

It’s no surprise then that in the 15th and16th Century, spices were worth their weight in gold. That’s why Melaka was conquered by the Portuguese and, in fact, why the Dutch and British colonised Indonesia and Malaysia.

I know, I know … I just had to mention history, didn’t I?

Anyway, guess what’s for dinner?

By the way, I was interviewed recently by Eileen Lian for the Parenting Works website (Parenting from an Asian Perspective). Click here to have a read …

Here’s an extract:

“Inspired by his kids, Kristina and Adam, Halim set off to research and write A Children’s History of Malaysia in 2003 followed by History of Malaysia: A Children’s Encyclopedia in early 2009.

What was it like growing up? What do you remember most about your childhood?

Childhood was certainly a lot simpler then. I often tell my kids about how TV was in black and white and only came on after 5 p.m. The internet, even CDs, weren’t even dreamt about. There was only one channel, RTM. Childhood was a lot of fun too as my brothers and I used to cycle all around the neighbourhood creating mischief!”