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I had never touched raw meat before. I never thought I could but when I went to my mother to learn how to make chicken curry that was the first thing I did. Mix raw chicken with all spices and leave it to marinate. Not that I am a vegetarian or keep away from meat, that isn’t the case. The truth is, I hate cooking and more so hate touching raw meat with bare hands. A difficult and unreasonable confession but that’s the truth.
Before leaving on my winter holiday last year, I was determined to learn how my mum made chicken curry. My mother’s a great cook and her chicken curry is delicious. I was staying at hosts’ discovered through Couchsurfing. As I travel from place to place and meet people, I thought it’d be really nice to not just take gifts for them from India but also treat them to an Indian delicacy – maybe make chicken curry for them at home.
Since I had done my homework well and felt confident about making this chicken curry, I offered to make dinner for Catharine and Marcus. They loved the idea. So on day two, after a full day of great wandering, we bought chicken from a halal meat shop in the neighbourhood. Sadly, I couldn’t have taken any spices with me to Europe but my friend said she had almost all of those spices. Plus, we were in Whitechapel and close to Brick Lane! Home to the largest Asia – Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian immigrant community, there’s no spice that can’t be found here.
Back at the flat, we checked everything and were happy to realize that no more spice purchase was required. Soon we set off to making the chicken curry. Though I offered to treat Catharine to the curry and rice, she almost made the curry with me, assisting me with everything. Also, I didn’t have to touch any raw meat as Catharine has an interesting way of marinating meat. She put the meat and the spices and yoghurt in a zip pouch, squeezed it well and left it to marinate.
Catharine, had lived in India and loves all its spices but we had to be careful for Marcus who isn’t very tolerant to hot food. We also added a lot of cashew and almond, making the curry – rich and almost sweet!
With the great meal prepared, we sat down to have dinner together and spoke as we did the previous evening, just that we were home and cooked our own meals and were more relaxed. I loved the home dining evening and hope to do the same the next day couldn’t really. I felt less guilty now about not bringing my friends the biryani from Paradise, Hyderabad. Maybe they’d forgive me with this chicken curry.
After cooking for my friends in a foreign country, I almost fell in love with cooking. I saw how it pleased them and how my friend and I made this dinner for us that we so enjoyed in such deep peace. I almost couldn’t wait to cook more and more for new friends and old as I travelled.