Eating curry on an airplane is an inside joke with my family. Having all of those people endure the smell of pungent foreign spices on an enclosed area seemed really humorous. Well, maybe not for you.
I wasn’t always comfortable being publically scrutinized for my culture. From preschool to 6th grade my siblings and I were placed in private schools. The good: the education. The bad: everything else. Along with being tremendously conservative, my friends spoke casually of seeing each other in heaven. To me, they were crazy people. My friend asked me if I could come to heaven with her. I nodded my head. What could I say? “No Margie, I’m going to reincarnate.” Our school didn’t even teach us what reincarnation was! During mandatory church sessions they heavily criticized “idol worshipers.” I awkwardly bowed my head wondering what would happened if I told everyone who I really was. One day after coming home from school my brother approached my mom confused about who dad was:
“Who is my father?”
“No! My REAL father is in heaven!”
Criminal: The School
Crime: Lacking acceptance for diverse cultures
So yes, I was afraid to admit that I was Hindu.
When we moved, my parents entered us into the public school system. I came in as a 7th grader. The transition was interesting. Instead of people peering into your lunch box squelching their noses in disgust, my friends were interested to try the foods that my mother cooked! I quickly flourished in this open-minded environment and started to embrace my Guyanese heritage. Before long I had my classmates begging my mom to cook curry for our class. And she did!
Guyanese people can curry anything. Goat curry, lamb curry, beef curry, egg curry, duck curry, fish curry, potato curry, mango curry, and more. My favorite is chicken curry. However, Guyanese curry is not your average Chicken Tikka Masala. We don’t eat with yogurt or add tomato paste/milk to our curries. Alica Ramkirpal-Senhouse is also an American born Guyanese woman who appreciates the taste of a good pot of homemade Guyanese chicken curry. I recently stumbled across her blog (http://www.inner-gourmet.com/) on how to cook Guyanese food and it is illustrated with some great pictures! Normally Guyanese elders don’t measure ingredients when they cook, but Alica makes it easy for anyone to replicate her dishes! Check it out!
Link to her chicken curry recipe: http://www.inner-gourmet.com/2013/03/guyanese-chicken-curry.html
If you don’t find that recipe to your liking (Im pretty sure you will)…I have a delicious one that combines both Guyanese AND American culture! It’s called Curry Macaroni. Ok, my invention might sound disgusting at first…and my mom would agree with you BUT you have to try it before you laugh. Essentially, it’s curry (from the recipe above) mixed with Kraft Mac and Cheese. There you have it! It’s gotten some negative reviews from my consumers, but it’s an acquired taste.
The thing I love most about Guyanese food is that it’s a blend of every culture. Guyanese people love to feed guests fried rice and chow mien. You might think, “It must be an Indian take on Asian food.” Actually it’s not. It’s exactly what it is: Asian food. As I mentioned, there are many Guyanese Asian’s, so I presume they made this food a commonality in Guyana. It’s quick, easy, and tasty.
Anyone up for a quick meal? Make some chow mien:
Are you a chef or non-chef with urges to expand your pallet? Challenge yourself to make one of these dishes, you might just be surprised!