*This article does not represent any actual research; just what my fiancée told me.
According to noted historian Eddie Izzard, the British Empire conquered India by showing up and sticking a flag into the ground. According to my fiancée, the beautiful Tweet, the British co-opted a dish from their Indian cousins millions of years later and named it Curry.
(The way she describes the timeline of Events in British History is kinda dismissive…in a ‘you’re an American so you wouldn’t understand how long ago we were operational’ kind of way.)
Since then, curries of various flavors have bypassed fish and chips as THE most popular British food. And just to emphasize the fact that Brits are not all bland and pasty, she eagerly points out, they then made the curry hotter. They invented Indian-sounding names like Vindaloo, which means “We White People Can Hurt You Too.”
I am a huge fan of spicy food. Well, I’m a pretty skinny fan, to be honest, but I really enjoy me some hot stuff. Thus, I was eagerly anticipating the curries to be found here in England when I arrived two weeks ago. It took until last night to have any – apparently my mother-in-law-to-be wanted me to have not just any curry, but a real, British, home-made one. So, she created a dish in her kitchen, named it Curry, and served it to us.
It should be noted that Tweet’s brother cannot stomach highly spicy food. The curry Mum made was not supposed to be that hot, so that Michael could enjoy it too. At one point during the curry creation process, Mum tasted the curry and immediately began coughing and spluttering, shouting something vaguely intelligible as “NOMIKE…STAYWAY.”
I gathered it hadn’t turned out the way she’d planned. Tweet and I, both spice-lovers, immediately perked up. Maybe this dish would be suited to our liking in a way that plain boiled chicken isn’t.
When it was served up, honestly…it looked pretty innocuous. It was a chicken curry served over rice, medium orange in color (see picture above) and it smelled divine. Everyone immediately tucked in. I waited and watched for a minute, as I learned to do long ago in Mexico when those dishes were being served up. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones that people use to engage in some kind of amorphous contest in which they try to outdo one another in causing pain.
Everyone took a few bites and seemed fine. Mum had said that she had diluted the spice since that first taste, and it appeared that she had succeeded. So, I dug in.
Oh. My. Sweet. Potatoes.
If it had been hotter earlier in the afternoon, I’m amazed that her pots and pans are still intact. It could also have easily stopped the rioting that occurred in London and various locations a few weeks ago – throw this curry in their faces and they’ll immediately have pressing concerns elsewhere, like a plastic surgeon’s office.
Within two minutes, we were all wiping our running eyes and noses. My lips burned, my throat protested and my tummy began to simmer. The most amazing part, however, was the fact that I LOVED it! I couldn’t get enough.
Without being indelicate, let me just say that the curry hasn’t finished with me yet. I will prevail, however. I’m gonna teach it a lesson – I’m going to eat the leftovers for lunch today. That’ll show it.
The best part of the meal came late last night as Tweet and I were lying in bed and discussing the events of the day.
“You know,” she said with a sleepy smile. “I was really proud of you today. You might have some Brit in you after all.”
Considering how much I love it here and how wonderful everyone has been, it was one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard. Pass the curry, please!