means black pepper. This proves that in old times meat and vegetables were boiled with black pepper to turn into curry. In passing I may remark that chilly, capsicum, now universally used as a substitute for black pepper in Indian cookery, is a thing introduced into this country from Chili in South America, in recent times, that is, after the rise of modern European trade with India. Hence it has no iḍukuṛi names as has black pepper, i.e., miriyal, miḷagu, kaṛi, kalinai, kāyam, tiraṅgal, but merely a kāraṇappeyar, viz., miḷagukāy, the fruit that produces a substance like pepper, in Telugu, miryiapukāya, the miriyam—fruit. Europeans imported pepper from old India from before the Christian Era, their tongues having been captivated by its biting taste or rather touch, for it is touch nerves and not taste nerves that are titillated by the bite of pepper; hence Sanskrit has a kāraṇapeyar, yoga—name for pepper, namely yavanapriyā, dear to the yavana, i.e., the Greeks and the Romans. Though the ancient yavanas carried pepper from India in their ships they made a mess of its name, for they did not borrow for it its proper name of kaṛi, or miriyal or miḷagu, but called it pippali (whence pepperos, pepper) which is the name of long pepper. In the middle ages Western Europe imported pepper from India, not for eating, but for sprinkling its powder on meat before drying it for use as food in wintry weather. Such meat was called 'powdered meat'. Thus pepper was a luxury in ancient Europe and a necessity in mediæval Europe; Venetian bottoms, at first, and later Dutch ones, carried pepper to Western Europe and it was because the avaricious merchants of Holland doubled the price of pepper at the end of the sixteenth century, that in 1599 the East India Company was started, the final result of which was the development of the British Empire in India.
To return to the ancient Tamils. They ate meat, the various names of which ūn, iṇaichchi, pulāl, tunnu, ūttai, ūḻttal, taśai, taḍi, tūvu, puṇ, puraṇi, pulavu, vaḷḷūram, viḍakku, indicate their fondness for it, as curry and not as food, just as their modern descendants do. This curry was of various kinds (1) kuy, tāḷitta kari, sprinkled with pepper powder, mustard, etc., fried in oil; (2) karunai, porikkaṛi, varai, tuvaṭṭarkaṛi, fried meat; (3) tuvai, puḷiṅgaṛi, meat boiled with tamarind and pepper. While on the subject of kaṛi I may mention also kāḍi, ūṛukaṛi, pickles, fruits soaked in oil or water with flavouring substances.
The Aryas of North India were as great lovers of meat as were the Tamils of South India. From the evidence of the Vedic mantras we
- இறைச்சி. It is noteworthy that the word also means, that which is agreeable.
- தாளித்த கறி.
நெடுமரக் கொக்கி னுறுவடி விதிர்த்த
The sweet-smelling tender clustered fruit of the mango, preserved.