It seems you have had not more than 4- 6 responses. Consider the demographics of the respondents, as well. Think of a sample size, and the nature of sampling, in order to create accuracy.
Another point I am never ever tired of making. WHAT is INDIAN food? Is it the "Indian Restaurant Food" found in America? What is "curry"?
India is as large as Western Europe. I shall hammer in this point ad nauseum until people haev stopped using the term "curry" as a catch-all for all things that strike them as Indian.
India is huge, and ethnically more diverse than Europe, and culturally more diverse, too. If you agree on something called EUROPEAN FOOD< we shall agree to the term INDIAN FOOD as well. HAN Chinese are MUCH more ethnically and culturally homogenous, and linguistically, too, so there is some sense in speaking of CHINESE FOOD, CHINESE CUISINE(S). NOT SO in the case of INDIA.
Take the case of 2 Muslim endogamous groups, the Khojas and Bohras, that call Bombay home. They have been settled there for several hundred years, at least. Way before the USA was discovered, in fact. Both are ISMAILI Muslims, a group identifying with Shi'ism. Both are trading communities. Neither will intermarry with the other, nor with other Muslims.
Each of them has a DISTINCT cuisine. Those of the Bohra who have migrated to Pakistan, maintain their DISTINCT CULINARY IDENTITY and food customs, which are pretty elaborate and different from their fellow Muslim and Shia citizens in Karachi.
THEY DO EAT ALIKE, is the point here. They do not eat RESTAURANT FOOD either. Nor do they eat the emblematic foods of Pakistan, on a regular basis. They might enjoy them on occasion, sure, but every meal, NO.
So, what is this curry you speak of?
Brahmins from Gujarat, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, etc., more than 200 million people, do not eat garlic and onions. A few eat fish and the occasional sacramental goat, but again no garlic and onion. What is this curry smell you complain of, from these people? I eat, like many of them, saadaa varan, which are different types of legumes, lentils or cajanus lentils, split, boiled in water with salt, period. This is eaten with rice, a drop of ghee, and a squeeze of fresh lime. I am eating this now. We also cook cauliflower with just a tempering of whole spices, e.g cumin seeds, mustard seed, fenugreek seed, fennel seed, etc. Or nothing at all.
Please inform yourself, in a website devoted to the appreciation of food, and not appear as complete hicks and wilful ignoramuses. yes, it is ok to not like something, but not out of omnibus ignorance.
KAARI IS A VALID TAMIL TERM. It means something, but NOT CURRY. Also, the KAARI cooked in various sub-areas of Tamil Nadu, and within it various social niches does vary a LOT, as does CREOLE and Cajun cuisine in Louisiana. not the same, is it? Suppose someone said, I hate Southern cooking, its smell drives me nuts, your reaction would be, WTF? What is this clown saying? The South is a huge place. it is possible that some common ingredients like preserved pork, in its various guises, do have a "smell".
For this reason, vegetarian housing societies in India will NOT rent houses to any but their own group, on the precise ground made by Michael Hoffman: the food those OTHER Indians cook will stink up their rented flats beyond redemption! The government finds this racist, exclusivist, but these are private housing societies. They will not let non-vegetarians, pescetarians, egg eaters, and such entry into their domains. To a vegetarian, each of them stink up the premises. It is personal issue. I find the smell of cooking burgers offensive, that of cooking goat, nice. It is a matter of what is familiar and not!!
Until very recently, i.e. last 30 years, India comprised 3000 ENDOGAMOUS GROUPS, i.e. those that married exclusively amongst themselves. East, west, north, south, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, the SAME PATTERN was true.
So tell me again, what is curry? McCormick's and American style curry powder, is redolent of celery seed, thyme and several other herbal flavors completely unfamiliar to the "Indian" palate. I used to dislike it but after 40 years in this country, I love it. Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Sri lankan, Thai, Burmese, curry powders are each different and thai gaeng are nothing like Indian styles of cookery.
Kerala has so many styles of cooking. Syrian Christian, Muslim, Nampudri, Palakkad Iyer, so many other brahman communities, non-brahman and so forth, that are not even known in the USA!
Similarly, each and every state of India has myriads of styles and special dishes that have never been cooked here for the general public.
Indian restaurant dishes are like Chinese take-outs. Nice, but prepared to meet the palates of their intended clients. All sorts of things are thrown in for convenience and cheapness, and to make money!! people who are expatriates cook on the go, throw things together for sustenance, onion, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, prepackaged powders, some meats, and rarely do they take the time on holidays to cook carefully for special guests. If they know how to cook at all! And like all cuisines, some things may stink. Like dried fish!
This guy Sham is being disingenuous. Bouquets garni are used extensively in many styles of TRADITIONAL Indian cooking, e.g. Mughlai, making stocks, etc. when such is warranted. Just by taking an inexpert survey, nothing is going to change. Writing nonsense recommendations and pretending to know something he does not, is a very convenient modern Indian device, whereby the foreigner and foreign expert is invoked to provide an aura of omniscience. From Roadfood, where the expertise is in American styles, and the naivete re: Indian is best left unsaid!!
Sorry, I get worked up about this subject, which is why I absented myself for years from the board. I appreciate the great and real expertise of the folk here and learn from them in the areas that count: fried chicken, hot dogs, pizza, etc. ! Indian food, carp, Nyet!!