When I get homesick or crave something comforting, I can never tell if it’s going to be a craving for something on my dad’s or mom’s side of the family. The flu season has come upon us in a fierce way so on top of trying to stay active, I’m trying to keep healthy and not sick by eating whole and good foods. Recently, though, I’ve been having an incredible urge for curry. Yesterday I went to an Asian market that was voted “best of Colorado Springs” in 2008 and 2009. I was hoping it was going to be like the markets I grew up with in the DC-metro area or even the great ones when I lived in NYC, but it was far from it. It was disappointing, to say the least. Even when we lived in Germany, we had a much better market. That’s saying a lot about this one here. Anyway, at least I found a couple of things that weren’t expired and didn’t contain MSG. I didn’t want to leave empty-handed!
So for dinner I decided to make from-scratch “kari ayam” or chicken curry. In our household, growing up, the cooks in the family were my dad and grandmother. When my dad arrived in the US from Indonesia as a young man, he packed a typical Southeast Asian granite mortar and pestle along with staple spices to make his favorite dishes. I grew up with homemade curries, sauces, and sambals all prepared on that mortar. My parents still have it in their kitchen, to this day, and when I visit I always make sure that it’s underneath the kitchen sink cupboard. I have been known to place it on the counter top and take a deep whiff of it with my eyes closed. A rush of childhood memories always come over me.
Sometimes I like my curries “dry” but tonight I wanted it to be a little bit more soupy and hearty. I added some of a medium sized pumpkin that we got from Larga Vista Ranch for a little sweetness. I also served it with bifun (thin rice noodles), toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, and steamed broccoli to round the meal out. I used an improvised version of a typical Indonesian recipe, but I’m going to link you to one that looks similar as I’m a little lazy to type it all out. So forgive me if I haven’t actually tried it, but I hope it’s as delicious as the one that I made.
Recipe for “Kari Ayam.” If you have any questions about ingredients or substitutions, don’t hesitate to ask! :)