Continuing along today with the April A-Z Blog Challenge. Our family moved to England when I was just shy of 13 and spent the next 6 years across the pond. This month, as part of an A-Z blogging challenge. I am reflecting on the time I spent overseas during my teens.
I is for Indian Food
Living overseas meant that I ate an abundance of delicious food. And it also meant, I got to try things I hadn't had before. Now I know you're probably thinking that being in England, the most popular food would be fish and chips right? And there are definitely a lot of fish and chips to be had and I ate my fair share. But something else that tops the lists of England's most popular dishes? Indian curry! And it was in those years living in my little village outside of London that I developed a deep love of Indian food, particularly curry.
I was just about 13 when we moved overseas and while I have never been a picky eater, I had never had curry before. And sometime in those first few weeks of living there we ventured out to a local Indian restaurant in our town- Bawarchi's. None of us really knew what we were ordering or what we would like but we made our best guesses and went for it. And let me just go ahead and tell you, our family still talks about this restaurant pretty regularly- despite the fact that we have not lived there in 12 years. In the years that we lived there I would say we were at Bawarchi's almost weekly and once my sister and I left for college my parents would sometimes find themselves there even more frequently.
As I mentioned, I am in no way a picky eater. I will try anything once and for the most part feel like my palette is pretty broad- there's not many things I've tried that I haven't liked. But the one category of food that has never been a favorite is spicy food. I just don't seem to be able to handle the heat! So it might strike you as odd that I love curry so much, since I think it's frequently associated with spiciness. But I found a few dishes that are not spicy and are just plain delicious. My favorite dish? Butter chicken. I pretty much ordered that butter chicken every time we went to that restaurant. Our favorite waiter used to get a kick out of coming to take our order, looking at me and saying "Vindaloo for you?" before chuckling to himself and writing butter chicken on his pad. For the record, the vindaloo was the one of spiciest dishes on their menu.
The butter chicken had the most delicious, velvety, creamy sauce that had a delightful blend of spices but wasn't spicy. And there is nothing better than dipping naan bread into that sauce or spooning it over the rice. And in the years since I have left England I have ordered butter chicken at a handful of restaurants and made it myself and I am still waiting for the just right recipe that will be exactly like Bawarchi's. I haven't found it yet, but I'm still looking. My other go to is chicken tikka masala- a classic and can be made mild (for me) or spicy if you'd like. And something else not to skimp on? The veggies! chana masala (chick peas) , aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower), gobi bhajee (cauliflower) or brinjal bhajee (eggplant). I find that even still when I'm ordering Indian food, I over order because I don't want to skip any of my favorites.
Many a Friday or Saturday night was spent with my family around the table at Bawarchi's. And there were tears when it was time to eat there for the last time- and not just from our family, from the waiters as well (which tells you just how much we were there). And while I'm still on the lookout for a restaurant to make me butter chicken just like Bawarchi's, I've ventured to making a few different for recipes at home for those nights when I'm feeling homesick for England.
I've linked my favorite butter chicken recipe that I've tried- I hope you might try and enjoy it too. And if you have any yummy Indian recipes I need to try? Send them my way!
Butter Chicken (recipe from eazypeazymeals)