Every Guyanese person has that one auntie or uncle in their family who makes “the best” curry and in my family, it’s my mother and my cousin Shammie. Mom’s curry always had the perfect balance of spice and flavor. It was never watery and always boiled down to the right amount of gravy. It was the type of curry that made you lick your fingers after you were done eating, even if you used a fork. She frequently paired her chicken curry with dhal and rice or homemade dhal puri, both of which were enjoyable for me. Mom’s curry turned me into what many West Indians call a “curry mouth”- someone who loves curry for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I have come to accept this description of my curry eating habits, because I believe it to be true!
- The gravy must be thick, not watery.
- It must contain the right amount of salt.
- It must have a spice balance- good ratio of masala to curry powder.
- The chicken must have color (not white and washed-out looking).
- The curry must not be overwhelmed with too many unnecessary herbs and spices.
- The masala and curry powder spices must be fresh and great quality. It makes all the difference.
Chicken will then start to look “dry” after 15-20min. It will look like the spice paste is seared onto the meat- this is known as bunjaling/bunjaying. Add salt and more hot pepper if desired. Turn to incorporate.