Curry Remixed

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The woman next to me at the Vietnamese stand sent her food back because there was no curry powder in the curry. I wanted to say, I never put curry powder in my curry. I know nothing about making Vietnamese curry. In my curry, I use fresh garlic and ginger, cumin powder, and a dash of cinnamon. Curry powder in curry reminds me of college, where we used potent spices to overpower college budget food—pasta bought on Safeway sale, yellow kale, ramen noodles, and canned tomatoes. I almost told the woman about how I learned to cook curry from my mother who recorded the recipe from my grandmother. I wanted to explain that how I feel influences the way I cook, unlike my mother who follows the recipe with measured precision. But I didn’t say any of this. I sipped my pho enjoying the lime and cilantro—the perfect blend.

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