an array of curry spices in a market
Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk on Unsplash

I cook so I can eat food I love. I didn’t grow up learning to cook. Once my family began an expat life when I was seven, I watched our various cooks over the years prepare food, but there were way more interesting things to see and do outside our overseas’ kitchens. I never made the leap to cooking until after my divorce from husband two. He was a chef and I was happy to have him cook. I cooked two things only: barbecue sauce and curry. When I craved curry, I copied my dad’s Nepalese recipe: equal amounts of tumeric and cumin, a little cayenne, all tossed into the sautéing onions, then the cut-up chicken, some water, salt and pepper.

I’ve improved this since then, using broth instead of plain water, and adding ginger and garlic to the onions, plus some potatoes and carrots; maybe something green like broccoli the last couple of minutes of simmer. When I left marriage two, my husband lamented how he’d never eat my curry again. I feel badly about not giving him the recipe, but I don’t really have one. It keeps changing. Sometimes I nail it and it’s perfect, other times the the balance of spice is off. But the renditions grow more interesting over time. Our marriage could’ve used more cayenne pepper.

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