To say I love eating Indian food is an understatement.
For the first 12 years of my life, I exclusively ate chicken curry. This is not an exaggeration – I was an extremely picky eater and once my parents found something that worked, they gave up trying to feed me anything else.
When I was a child and we went out for dinner parties, I would eat my “mix of rice” at home beforehand. This mix consisted of rice, chicken curry gravy (not chicken – that was the second course for me) and dahi mixed together in perfect proportions. The result ended up looking something like congee, avoided by the rest of my family but truly delicious. When I came home for holidays from college, jetlagged and off the plane from California at 7 am, I ate chicken curry for breakfast. When visiting my relatives in Delhi for meals – from my Nani to my aunts to my cousins – a small portion of “Keya’s chicken curry” was always prepared on the side for me, regardless of what was on the menu for everyone else.
There is no main dish I would rather eat.
Naturally, when I moved to London three years ago, I went on a quest to satisfy my chicken curry cravings. Many people (including my husband) find chicken curry an uninspiring main dish, especially given all of the exciting and innovative new Indian dish options emerging in the past decade. For me, chicken curry equates to home and my childhood. There is no main dish I would rather eat.
While living in London, I’ve tried versions of chicken curries from over fifteen different restaurants and I’ve finally narrowed down to three favourites.
1) Gymkhana‘s Chicken Butter Masala
(available on their lunch menu)
I actually love everything on their menu, both food and drinks. I’d would go so far as to say it’s my favourite Indian restaurant in London!
2) Jamavar’s Old Delhi Butter Chicken
This one is ideal for when you are craving a heavier, comforting meal.
3) Lahore Kebab House‘s Chicken Tikka Masala or Butter Chicken
This particular dish is both the perfect dine in or takeaway option. No matter where you eat it, it’s extremely delicious.
Despite all of these brilliant choices available to me, the best place to eat chicken curry is always at home. It’s so satisfying to create my own “mix of rice”, in the exact proportions that I need with no fear of judgement. Ordering extra portions of raita or dahi at restaurants doesn’t quite do the trick. Even now, when we visit my in-laws’ house for Sunday lunch they sweetly have chicken curry at the ready. Everyone seems to have grown accustomed to my strange ways of eating it.
My culinary palate has expanded exponentially since I was a child. Nethertheless, my favourite food still is and always will be home cooked chicken curry. This is why I am so excited about Tula, as it promises to deliver that home-cooked “feeling” I have been searching for. Nothing beats it.