Before I begin I would like to apologize in advance to any readers who come from a curry-rich culture. I hope my attempt at curry does not leave you shocked, mortified, or just plain shaking your head at the crazy white women who thinks she can make curry from scratch. Per my last post, I feel offended when people fuck up tomato sauce (BUTTER DOES NOT GO IN THERE, DICKS!) so I understand if you are horrified by whatever I’m passing off as curry.
This is the second time I’ve tried to make a curry. The first time I made…something. It kind of tasted like a chicken pot pie. And it did not have that lovely orange color I associate with a good chicken curry.
Side note – This is what I deal with when I try to cook:
He’s right in front of the stove.
I was more successful with this curry but it’s not quite perfect yet. I succeeded while still failing! I’d say that’s an oxymoron but it’s kind of my thing. For example, I once made a skirt. While it meets all the objective criteria for being a skirt (is made of cloth, goes on a body, is not pants) it’s not a good skirt. The hem is weird and I sewed the lining to the outside of the skirt, which, what? Who does that? Assholes do that! Assholes like me! And while I was able to put a zipper in with little problem, the waist is too big and it slides around my body like a greased child on a waterslide. I succeeded in making a skirt while failing to make a wearable skirt. Success while failing AKA succfail! Succfailing happens to be one of the two things I’m good at (the other is writing really, really smutty fan fiction, which is kind of like succfailing without the success.)
Cut some chicken breasts into cubes. Season with curry powder and set aside. Put garlic, onion, and olive oil into the pan.
Once the garlic and onion has achieved doneness, toss the chicken in. Add salt and pepper. I also put more curry powder in at this step because I was really hoping for a flavorful curry. I think one of my problems with this curry is I bought the curry powder from the grocery store. It’s fine, but I think its white people curry powder, meaning the spice level and heat has been taken down several notches. Boo. I’ll have to find another one.
As you can see in the picture above, the curry powder turns the chicken yellow. To get that lovely orange color I so crave, I added tomato paste. Tomato paste is tricky because it has to “melt” into the mixture. When I first put it in, it was gloppy and concentrated in one place. I added the coconut milk and the chicken broth to help the paste “melt.” Then I let the mixture simmer.
Am I supposed to add chicken broth to a curry? I don’t know. I did it because my husband really likes a lot of sauce on things (remind me to tell you how many pizzas I’ve ruined by just flat out showering the dough with an asston* of sauce in order to satisfy his craving.) But once I added the broth I was fighting against the chicken-y flavor in order to taste the curry seasoning. Maybe I should have gone with half a can instead of a full can?
I also started the basmati rice during this step.
I did something during this step that is either going to make people cover their mouths in horror or go “That’s correct! Good job, Jen!” I wanted my curry to be thick. It was not thickening to my liking. I…I added corn starch. Was I supposed to? Was this a curry sin? I don’t know! Maybe I should follow a recipe now and again so this sort of shit doesn’t happen? Ha! I’m funny.
I spooned out some of the existing liquid and mixed it into corn starch, a little bit of chili powder, and more curry powder. I used a lot of curry powder in this dish. I used a “let me shake some salt onto my fries – oh, shit! Some asshole unscrewed the cap of the salt shaker!” amount of curry powder. I worry I used too much. But then I reminded myself that I’m an American and therefore must constantly go overboard on everything, so that means I used just the right amount of seasoning. AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!
I mixed the liquid, corn starch, and spices together and dumped that glop back into the pan. I stirred everything together and let it simmer.
Can one enjoy curry without some delicious, delicious naan? No. And if you have a different answer, you are wrong.
I don’t know how to make naan from scratch so I relied on my dear friend Trader Joe for some assistance.
“Hey, Jen? In your last blog post you said you weren’t going to mention brand names because people aren’t paying you to shill for their brand, yet you just mentioned Trader Joe’s.”
“What is your point, imaginary person who reads this blog?”
“Isn’t that hypocritical of you to –“
“Nope. Hey, have you ever noticed that there is a metric fuckton* of sexual tension between Batman and Superman? Behold!”
:imaginary person backs slowly away:
That’s how I end all my conversations.
The Trader Joe’s frozen naan cooking instructions say to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and let the nann cook for 2 minutes. It’s July. In Los Angeles. I don’t have air conditioning. There is no way in great googly moogly hell that I’m going to turn on my oven to 400 degrees for a freaking 2 minute cook time. I don’t want my makeup sweating off my mustachioed upper lip like this is Boston or some other very humid area. I put in a lot of time minimizing my lady ‘stache, and I’ll thank Trader Joe to respect my efforts by not requiring stupid things like 400 degree ovens in fucking July.
I melted some butter on my griddle pan and cooked the naan that way. This was a success. Not a succfail, a legit success. HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO!
(Sometimes I wonder why my blog swings between showering myself with undue praise and calling myself a complete and utter loser. Then I realize it’s far too much work to figure that out and I go drink some boxed wine because this bitch is nothing but class.)
I liked it. It was more flavorful than my last attempt, and according to my husband the flavors this time around were more intense the next day (isn’t that always the way?) For my second curry ever I think I did a damn fine job. Next time I’m going to try less chicken broth and see how that goes. Also, can you put veggies in curry? I’m assuming you can. The Trader Joe’s naan package shows peas in a curry so I’m just going to take the picture as canon (food now has a canon, much like a fandom. I just made up that food canon thing so I hope the world is happy with my declaration because there isn’t a damn thing they can do about it. I’ve gone crazy with blogging power!)
* legitimate unit of measurement