This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
A yellow powder, of which the principal ingredient is turmeric, a species of ginger; used as a high seasoning for stews and all dishes a VIndienne. It can be purchased everywhere, ready-prepared in bottles, or the same thing in the form of paste. It is made of slightly varying ingredients; this is a sample of what the curry-flavorings are, when put together as wanted by the native cooks of India:
Materials required: (1) A small fully grown chicken of about one pound and a half in weight; (2) two ounces of clarified cooking-butter, lard, or olive-oil; (3) three medium-sized onions, sliced finely lengthwise; (4) two tablespoonfuls of picked, roasted coriander-seeds ground to a paste with a little water; (5) one teaspoonful of clean ripe cumin-seeds roasted, and ground to a fine pulp with water; (6) one teaspoonful of the large variety of black mustard-seeds reduced to a stiff paste, mixed with water; (7) four large, selected, hot, long-podded, red chillies, preferably fresh, ground to a fine paste; (8) eighteen or twenty large, black peppercorns, broiled and ground to a paste with water; (9) seven fragrant vendium-seeds of the smallest variety, ground to a very fine powder and mixed with a little water; (10) a piece of fresh turmeric, or a bit of revived turmeric rhizome, about an inch in length, ground to a stiff paste; (11) half a clove of fresh garlic, sliced and then mashed finely, or enough pulped garlic to yield about a quarter of a teaspoonful; (12) half a lime, or small lemon; (13) one cocoa-nut; (14) one teaspoonful and a half of salt; (15) one dessertspoonful of moist sugar; (16) sufficient water".