I made curry for dinner last night. Again.
We had Ethiopian friends coming over, but as I chopped and stirred I realized I’ve made some iteration of this dish for a vast majority of my intercultural hosting opportunities!
- It’s easy. I know, I know. I’m busy, you’re busy. But I promise you have time to make this.
- It’s infinitely adaptable. I use whatever vegetables I have, sometimes potatoes, sometimes not.
- It’s customizable for your guests. If you have vegetarians coming, omit the chicken and add more veggies (or maybe potatoes and/or chickpeas). If your guests like spicy food, you can add more spice. If not, keep it mild. If more people end up coming than you expected, add another can of coconut milk and make another pot of rice. Done!
- It gets better when it sits. Make it a day ahead and it will be even more tasty. And no harm done if it sits on the stove for awhile if your guests don’t show up on time.
- It’s delicious. Is it authentic? No! But I have served it to people from around the world and most of them have gone for seconds.
Here’s the pseudo-recipe (there are so many variations that it’s hard to even write down):
Saute some chicken and some garlic in coconut oil. When the meat is cooked, add a bottle or two of curry sauce (I recently started using and loving Aldi’s Thai Red Curry sauce, but most stores have something like this), a can of coconut milk, some soy sauce, some ginger powder, and a spoon of sugar.
Add red pepper flakes for heat if you want.
Add whatever vegetables you want from the longest cooking to the shortest cooking.
The quickest way (which is also my favorite!) is to just throw some spinach (fresh or frozen) in, and call it good. Broccoli and carrots is another great combination.
A little finish of fish sauce is a plus if you have it (don’t sweat it if you don’t).
Serve with rice.
What’s your go-to meal when international friends are coming for a meal at your home?
For more practical tips and encouragement for welcomers, check out Loving the Stranger: Welcoming Immigrants in the Name of Jesus.