Happy new year, guys! Technically it’s still a new-ish year, yes? Even though now suddenly it’s almost the end of January? Apologies again for the radio silence – I’m working on some new design tweaks here, or have hired some fine folks to as it’s one of the many things I’m almost completely clueless about, and of course there have been obstacles to be sorted out. Nothing seems to be as straightforward as it is in my mind.
Except! This chicken curry, which looks like it has a lot of ingredients, and I suppose technically it does, but once you get to know it, has a very satisfying routine to it: build a thick, brick red masala with oil (or ghee!), onions, ginger, garlic and spices, nestle in some chicken and let it simmer. Vij once told me that at his restaurant people complain with some regularity that “the curry isn’t the same as it was last time”, and he says “it’s not supposed to”, because it depends on the day, the ingredients, and most notably the mood of the cook. I think of this every time I make it – it has become my go-to chicken curry, something I make with some regularity, no matter what form of chicken I have around.
When W was little, we’d pick up a deli roasted chicken, pull off the meat, give the steamy, always rubbery skin to Lou and the drumsticks to W, and the rest went into this curry. Which meant no cooling and pulling of meat off the bone, which isn’t at all a hastle, but sometimes you just want to eat it right away. Like all curries, however, it does benefit from some time, whether it be an hour or so of cooling down and reheating time, or a day or two hanging out in the fridge.
This is his family’s curry recipe, and he also tells a story about his mom making it in his apartment for take-out before the restaurant opened, and of her making a big batch of it and bringing the pot on the bus to a business meeting of some sort – to convince the bank to give them a loan for the restaurant? I can’t recall, but the image of his mom on the bus (subway?) with a pot of this curry in her lap always makes me grin inside.