Cook and share a pot of curry!

So, today, in my home country, a lot of people would be cooking curry, thanks to a FB event (that has grown too wild) put up by a group of friends whose aim was to say, ‘let’s not argue, let’s not quarrel, let’s learn to tolerate, embrace and appreciate our multicultural way of life.’ in response to an incident between a new Chinese PR and the neighbour, an Indian family.

I shan’t go into the details of the story. But I want to declare that I love curry, all sorts and versions of it, and all the more when I can mix the correct spices and cook my own curry.

Obviously, there are also many who cannot take to the smell of the spices in the curry. It’s well…normal, I think. Like I dislike the smell of durians and shun it at all cost while my colleagues and family members love it and my mother would purposely bring one piece near to my nose. It’s all right.

I love anything and everything  spicy while my dear hubs cannot really enjoy it. It’s okay. I just do separate dishes or sometimes he will try the spicy food, with loads of water to accompany, that is. This is called preference and surrounding it, respect.

My dear hubs can’t force me to quit eating spicy stuff like belachan, no, hell no! But he will tolerate the smell and avoid the dish when I cook it. I will stay away from durian but that does not mean that I react violently when my colleagues have them as treats.

It’s all about respect for one another, even if a certain action or smell, in this case, makes us very uncomfortable, revolting at times. But if it is part of a person’s culture, shouldn’t we be open and learn more about it instead of rejecting it straightaway?

Anyway, I am enjoying my Bombay curry and spiced roast potatoes with my hubs but felt that the curry is not spicy enough. Will add more chilli powder the next time. Oops..I mean, I will add more chilli powder to my own portion. =p

Bombay Curry
Source: The Essential New York Times Cookbook
Serves 4

One 4 -pound chicken, cut into 6 pieces (alternatively use parts of chicken; I used chicken wings)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, thinly silced
2 tbsp curry powder
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated fresh or frozen coconut
1/2 cup light unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup water

1. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken skin side down and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the onion to the pan, and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the curry and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Add the coconut, coconut milk, and water, return the chicken to the pan, and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15 minutes. Baste the chicken with the pan juices. When the meat is done, remove it from the pan.

3. Arrange the chicken on a platter. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the sauce. Spoon it over the chicken.

Spiced Roast Potatoes (Sekela bateta)
Source: Cooking with my Indian mother-in-law

These potatoes can commonly be found in many rice dishes. Originally, they could be added to stretch quantities to feed more people.  I think they are excellent as a side dish too!

For dishes serving 4 people (adjust accordingly)

4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1/2 tbsp groundnut (peanut) oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Large pinch of salt
Large pinch of chilli powder
1/8 tsp tumeric

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. In an ovenproof dish, toss the potatoes with the oil, garlic, salt, chilli powder and tumeric. Put the dish in the oven and roast the potatoes for 25 minutes until they are golden-brown and cooked through – test them by piercing with a skewer or the point of a knife.

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