Place du Levin | Sin Ming

It’s Japanese curry.

The dreaded dismal, desolate and forlorn hour of the noontide meridian sought to maraud, meddle and muscle in on the sands of my constrained mortality like an ebullient surge, as has every indivisible minute that has transpired since. It’s the apex that the bourgeois rituallistically celebrate in mediocre splendor, for the tiffin is a much-anticipated entitled fissure in their humdrum routine of drudgery and servitude. For me, the gong is the herald of necessary arbitration or laborious arrangement. After some deliberation, I decided to keep it in the roost. It’d require some enterprise, but I do love to conjure up some wizardry – evoke, and hatch up ideas, to see where my inventions take me, especially if I don’t have a lot to work with.

And today, by luck, was one of those days. I started by slicing everything I could get my hands on – a remaining half chicken, small potatoes, carrots, onions…hoping that it’d somehow come to me—the idea—that is. For a while, I struggled to make sense of what I could do. I then gazed upon the shelves of my refrigerator seeking answers, and inspiration, to see what else I could play with. There, at the corner of my eye, I see it – like a chocolate bar, it strikes a vein full of ideas: Japanese curry, and suddenly, it all made sense. But how to cook Japanese curry? There were diagrams on the Japanese curry mix, but the instructions to transform it into practical use were in Japanese.

Stumped, I turned to my trustworthy kitchen helper, Google, and quickly got an answer. I’ve to say, preparing Japanese curry wasn’t as simple (according to the recipe) as I thought it’d be. In retrospect, it was definitely more straightforward than my other endeavors.

Here’s what I did. Fry sliced onions till slightly brown and remove it from the pan. Next, fry the sliced chicken breasts until they are a mix of white and golden brown (as long as it’s nearly cooked through, it’s fine). Place diced potatoes, carrots and the sliced onions from earlier, give it a bit of a stir-fry before pouring a bowl of water and covering it with a lid to simmer for about 20 minutes.

A few pointers, though. Always remember to season and taste. Tasting really allows you to make changes as and when they’re necessary, and always go by your taste buds. Is it too bland, is it lacking sweetness? Run these quick questions as you taste, and always follow your instincts. I was apprehensive, but I did eventually add a bit of sugar, which, was indeed the flavor I was missing. After about 10 minutes, add the Japanese curry cube(s). I threw in one, but quickly realized the consistency was too diluted, so I added another, which made it too thick. But no matter, you can always tweak it by adding a bit of water.

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