A curry pot: It is an all-encompassing, all-powerful tool of sturdy construction and unlimited possibilities. Every home should have one, or certainly something similar to it. A curry pot can send out an aroma, a call that you can’t refuse to answer, triggering the senses with the scents it emits. A curry pot can be an alarm clock, clanging in dissonance with cooking utensils and waking you from an afternoon nap. A curry pot, with its cover, can be a shining beacon of culinary splendor, covering its contents from view until they are ready to be served. Among all of the traits a curry pot can possess, there is a fundamental difference with every curry pot in every household that contains one: a family’s curry pot is their own.
In my family, we have a large, silver curry pot. But for others, the color varies. It can be silver, but it can also be black and maybe white or red. Some are multicolored. There really is no standard, though silver and black are common. My family’s curry pot is very rotund, and though most look like this, some are shaped more like cones: wide at the top and decreasing in circumference as you work your way to the bottom. In my family, the curry pot that is cooked with is the same curry pot that is used to serve. But many people like to serve their food in a more ornate pot or dish. Simply looking at the characteristics, one can already see the variances that come into play from pot to pot.
There is also the matter of how the curry is made. This alone largely separates one curry pot from another. Scratch that; this separates one family from another, because over the course of several years, you will find that a given pot will carry a distinct smell with it from being used with certain ingredients, no matter how well you wash it. The essential elements for a good curry sauce are cumin and coriander powder, vegetable oil and some garlic and onion (though I’m sure even the basic elements of curry are disputable). From there, any number of vegetables, herbs, spices, powders and peppers can be used to make your curry its own. In my opinion, the quintessential idea of longing for a “home-cooked meal” after having spent an extended period of time away applies more to home-cooked curry than any other type of food because of the endlessness of tastes that a given curried dish can embed.
Ask any one person, whose mother or father makes curried dishes time and again, and they will very well tell you that no one’s curry is better than the curry that comes from their own home. I myself certainly feel that way about my mother’s curry. Coveting the curry of the household is as normal as a hug or a kiss: it shows devotion and care for the loved one who’s responsible for their delectable dishes.
Sometimes leeway can be allowed, but this usually only occurs within one’s extended family. For example, I would claim that my mother makes the best chicken curry there is, but my uncle has her beat when it comes to lamb curry. Under no circumstance do I feel that anyone’s lamb or chicken outside of theirs is better when curried. My opinion doesn’t simply stem from stubborn pride either; I have tried many other curried dishes and still stand by my family’s curried creations.
A family’s curry pot is very powerful. Its use creates a bond that is difficult to shake or impede. Growing up, my mother and father both made a note of instilling familial values within me and my brother, but thinking back on it all, I don’t know if that was always necessary. The curry pot and its creations certainly accomplished the same mission in an intangible way. The interesting part is I know this is happening the world over, day after day. Maybe not always with a curry pot, but knowing the unions that families share over their food is a beautiful thing everyone should be able to share.
–Christopher Cusack, Hofstra University
Photo Credit: Erika@IvoryHut.com
Check out my blog here.
Download the Campus Clipper iTunes app for up-to-date discounts and savings.