My brother lives in a suburb of Manchester in England and I live at just about the opposite side of the world. Maui, Hawaii is my home. Thousands of miles separate us but we are forever connected by more than our shared bloodline. It's a curry thing.
Raised on curry, this dish takes me back home to wet Manchester even as I stand barefoot on floor tiles cooled by air conditioning. Tonight, I'm in a curry trance. Indian spices on the counter, chicken on the chopping board, my hands automatically slice, dice, and stir. Measurements were never given. My mother and father, both of whom are experts in their own right at their versions of curry, always encouraged us to use our intuition when spooning out the rainbow of spices. My husband and two young boys have grown to expect a very spicy curry; anything less disappoints them now.
Occasionally, I'll take a photo of my dish and send it to my brother. It will be his morning. A little tweet sounds from my phone and there it is. A photo of his curry from the night before brings a smile to my face. He added tomatoes to his creation. I didn't. And yoghurt. I had run out. My curry has way more cilantro and I added green beans. I'm a one-pot chef. He forwards my photo to our mother. A few seconds later, I do the same. Our two curries show up in her home in London. I know more than a smile spreads on her face...
Food, it is said, is memories. For me, it's more. It nourishes my soul, connects me to my family and ancestors, and runs through my veins as a life saver.
Thank you Pa and Mum for showing me how to cook curry!