I've wasted so much time asking myself "Am I worthy?" of work and love and questioning over and over and over again if I am enough or capable or deserving.
So much doubt.
I don't know why.
I don't know where doubt comes from.
Fear, I guess.
And specifically the fear of failure and pain.
I don't doubt myself when I cook.
Because there is something to measuring, there is something to learning how to knead bread, and follow a recipe-- that makes my doubt melt away.
Because all you have to do is whatever comes next, and that is enough.
That's all you can do.
And if the recipe is bad, or you mess something up, fundamentally, it doesn't really matter.
So I like taking risks in the kitchen.
Because why not?
Because thinking that I'm not capable of cooking something is stupid and only leaves me hungry.
So I made my first ever curry, because surprisingly, I had all the right ingredients.
And I made it and I liked it.
And making it made me feel capable. Like I was enough.
Of course, doubt comes back to me, all the time.
It's a problem that all the curries in the world probably can't solve.
Maybe with each new recipe, I'll keeping doubting a little less, until all the doubt is finally gone.
I hope so.
I love you.
Chicken Curry with Cashews
from Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl
NB: Though the recipe calls for a cut-up whole chicken, you can use an equivalent amount of chicken parts or all thighs.
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) chicken, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 10 serving pieces (breasts cut crosswise in half)
1 (14 to 15 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup cashews (toasted or raw)
2/3 cup whole-milk yogurt
garnish: chopped fresh cilantro
accompaniment: basmati or jasmine rice
Heat butter in a 5 to 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderately low heat until foam subsides. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayeene and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring to coat, for 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes with juice and cilantro and bring to a simmer; then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.
Just before serving, pulse cashews in a food processor or electric coffee/spice grinder until very finely ground (do not grind to a paste). Add to curry, along with yogurt, and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Serve chicken over rice, sprinkled with cilantro.