I grew up around cooking. My mom always cooked dinner every night, and everyone who was home would always eat together. I remember my mom had a cabinet in the kitchen above the microwave that we called “the recipe cupboard” because inside was a seemingly never-ending library of recipe books and printed out instructions.
I made a lot of recipes under the supervision of my parents when I was growing up and usually had the help of my sisters, so I don’t remember what was truly the first recipe I ever made. This is the first recipe I made by myself, for myself.
I was studying abroad in London my sophomore year of college and I had recently taken a trip to Brick Lane where I had the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted. I especially fell in love with the curry, and I wanted more. Unfortunately, I was on a budget, so I took to the internet for a simple recipe and found this vegetable curry dish.
Outside of including sultans, I followed this recipe to the letter the first time I made it. It’s relatively simple and I ended up very happy with my curry, although I remember thinking that my dinner looked a LOT messier than the meal in the pictures!
The first time I was also incredibly frustrated while I was making it because I obviously was using a different type of curry spice than the original recipe. I remember wondering why the vegetable curry dish in the pictures looked so beautiful and vibrant, while what was on my stove looked so brown!
Every time I’ve made this since I’ve used the recipe as more of a guideline, adding more of what I feel like and mixing up the vegetables. There are a couple of reasons why I keep coming back to it.
- It is an incredibly customizable recipe. I was vegan for a little while (long story… there was a dare involved), and this was a meal that I could easily substitute vegan ingredients for. A friend of mine has just about every food allergy there is, and this is something that I could make for her with just a few minor substitutions.
- It is cheap! And can be cheaper with some tweaking. It’s also easy to make large batches of, making it my grocery budget’s best friend.
- It is a meal that makes me feel “like an adult.” I still only know how to make a few things without a book in front of me, but whipping this dish up always gives me a sense of accomplishment.
- The ego boost! It turns out that people are usually super impressed when you show up to a potluck with a dish of curry and naan.
My first recipe remains one of my favorite recipes. I make it when I’m craving comfort food, when I want something spicy, or when I just need to feel like a gosh-darn adult.
What was YOUR first recipe?