How to Make a Quick Delicious Bowl of Hot Curry

The Most Authentic Indian Curry Recipe Ever.

“Curry” by Loso F. Perez

Before I reveal my recipe for a quick delicious bowl of hot curry, let me give you a brief history of this exotic dish. India is a melting pot of languages, cultures, religions, and races so the food varies greatly from region to region. The word curry is derived from the Tamil (South Indian) word kari which means sauce.[1] The British took this word and began using it to refer to all Indian cuisine. According to an article in the BBC, “Once [curry] just meant Indian food, but “it now denotes various kinds of dish[es] in numerous different parts of the world, but all are savoury and all are spiced.”” In fact, the British love curry so much they established a National Curry Week.[2]

Being the ultimate authority on everything, the British have redefined the word curry from all Indian food to anything ethnic (read: non-white) that is “savory” and “spiced.” Surprisingly, there is still some confusion as to what the word actually means. Even highly accredited sources like Wikipedia have two different definitions of curry from a dish prepared in a sauce to a dish that includes curry powder.[3] This word is also confusing to most Indian people. They don’t use the word curry to refer to every dish they make despite the clear definition set out by the British. In fact, they don’t use the word curry to refer to most dishes they make.[4] They also don’t use curry powder or know what blend of ingredients are in it since it was created in Britain to help British people make curry without having to actually know any Indian recipes. Luckily, the British are not bothered by this strange inconsistency when ordering Chicken Tikka Masala with a side of garlic Naan instead of just ordering curry every time they visit an Indian restaurant during National Curry Week.

Many Americans who aren’t of Indian origin are also not bothered by the confusion behind the true meaning of the word curry. In my experience as an Indian-American woman, many people don’t know the difference between curry as in curry powder, curry as in gravy, or curry as in an Indian person. In fact, in most situations when the topic of my ethnicity comes up, it is immediately followed by people’s unsolicited opinion about how much they love or hate curry. In many ways this is similar to how when a Caucasian-American mentions her ethnicity, the surrounding people immediately follow by sharing their unsolicited opinion of how much they love or hate meatloaf, or when a Mexican-American mentions her ethnicity, the surrounding people immediately follow by sharing their unsolicited opinion about how much they love tacos (I have yet to meet someone who hates tacos). But semantics aside, let me share this easy recipe for a quick delicious bowl of hot curry.

Ingredients:

1 Bowl

1 trip to the local Indian restaurant

1 Indian person

Yourself

Other non-Indian people (optional)

Cilantro (for garnish)

Instructions:

1.) Take a trip to your local Indian restaurant. Order the Chicken Tikka Masala because that’s the only dish you’ve heard of from people you know who are super into ethnic food. Don’t forget the side of garlic Naan.

2.) Meet an Indian person. Preferably, someone you find at your workplace or a roommate.

3.) Compliment them on their ability to speak English, then ask them where they are from. When they reply “Atlanta,” ask them where they are really from.

4.) As soon as they reply with “India” or “my parents are from India,” begin talking about your love/hate for ethnic food, specifically, curry. Example: “Oh my god, I love curry” or “Oh my god, I hate curry.”

5.) Talk about how spicy it is and how it makes you sweat. Talk about how you can always smell when your Indian neighbor is cooking because the entire hallway in your apartment building smells like curry.

6.) Make sure you don’t change the subject because any other information about this Indian person is irrelevant and often counterproductive to this recipe.

7.) Continue talking about how much you love or hate curry until the Indian person in front of you begins to steam and melt and eventually resemble what looks like a bowl of curry. At this point, make sure you have a bowl handy to quickly catch the person/curry in it without letting it drip onto the floor.

8.) Top off the hot steamy bowl of curry with some freshly chopped cilantro to add an aroma of authenticity.

9.) (Optional) Tell everyone around you that you are talking to an Indian person, so they can also share their opinion of how much they love or hate curry.

TIP: The more people begin to associate said Indian person with curry, the faster they turn into a spicy, delicious bowl of hot curry.

This recipe is best served with a side of freshly cooked basmati rice and ignorance.

There is no faster or easier way to make a quick delicious bowl of hot curry. This recipe has been in my family for years; however, it would not exist if it weren’t for the unyielding efforts of the British culinary experts. Since it is a personal recipe, I wanted to share it with its appropriate historical background. I’m not sure we will ever resolve the confusion behind the word curry despite the bold declarations of the British, but I do hope this recipe provides a clearer glimpse into what the word means. I can’t say I enjoy being turned into a delicious bowl of hot curry all the time. But if it gives people the opportunity to indulge in their favorite dish and desperately prove that they are well-informed on all ethnic matters at the same time, I still can’t say I enjoy it. I do, however, hope that you enjoy this recipe, but be careful not to overdo it or you might end up accidentally wiping out the world’s second largest population as they turn into a delicious ocean of hot curry. For more information about curry and more recipes, read my accompanying article “Top 10 Curry Recipes to Try for National Curry Week.”

Sources:

[1] Sucharita Kanjilal, “The Indian Curry is Merely a Figment of the British Colonial Imagination,” Quartz India, https://qz.com/639435/the-indian-curry-is-merely-a-figment-of-the-british-colonial-imagination/ (accessed October 7, 2017).

[2] Ann-Louise Taylor, “Curry: Where Did it Come From?,” BBC Food, http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/0/24432750 (accessed October 7, 2017).

[3] “Curry,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry (accessed October 7, 2017).

[4] Zoe Perrett, “‘Curry:’ What Does the Controversial Term Mean to Indian Food-Lovers?,” Culinary Adventures of the Spice Scribe, https://culinaryadventuresofthespicescribe.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/what_does_curry_mean_indian_food/ (accessed October 7, 2017).

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Loso F. Perez

Loso F. Perez is a cartoonist with a passion for teaching. You can see more of his work on PrimeVice.com and follow him on Instagram @prime_vice.