Do not try this at home!
I want to tell you an amusing story that my stepfather told me the other day about Thai Fruit Curry. He can tell it in his own words. Over to you, Dad. Thanks, Chalita.
I started to eat curry when I moved to Portsmouth as a student in the Seventies. In those days, nearly all ‘curry restaurants’ were Indian, or so we thought. I usually ate a moderately hot curry, but sometimes, if it was on the menu, I would choose the Malaysian curry, which was milder and contained pineapple chunks and slices of banana. I liked it with paratha or chapatis.
Thirty years later, I moved to Thailand to live with my Thai girlfriend and we got married. She is the best cook I have ever lived with without a shadow of a doubt, and her curries are fantastic. Her Thai curries, that is. She won’t cook Indian food because she says that the smell of the spices lingers too long. And she’s right. Thai cooking smells do not linger.
Anyway, after a few years, I remembered my previous penchant for Malaysian fruit curry and asked her to make me one. ‘Never!’ she replied. ‘If you want Malaysian food, go to Malaysia. This is Thailand!’. An overreaction, I thought, but then Thais are rightly proud of the esteem, with which the world holds their cuisine, so I never mentioned it again. About ten years on, my wife was going to an all day wedding event out of the village.
They start early, five or six a.m. and finish late afternoon, and I had long since stopped attending them if I couldn’t walk home when bored. As usual, before leaving, she checked that I had clean clothes, a few chores to do, and plenty of food. The main course was a large bowl of my favourite Thai curry Penang, which is fairly hot with a coconut milk base. I have never mentioned this to anyone before, but I think that Penang is in Malaysia.
Thai Fruit Curry
Anyway, at midday, I thought I would have my curry and then go for a few beers in the village. It was Saturday after all, not that that had anything to do with it. I was just about to get my rice out of the steamer, when I had a brain-wave. There was diced pineapple in the fridge left over from the night before; there were bananas in the bowl and no wife to stop me! I mixed the fruit, two handfuls of pineapple chunks and three sliced bananas, into the Penang and ate it with toast. It was fantastic! I enjoyed every mouthful.
Happy memories of student days and nights long past! I washed the dishes and went for a shower. It was there, under the cool water, that I started to get flatulence. I was filling up with wind, but I couldn’t get rid of it. It soon became uncomfortable and even painful. I dried off and lay on my bed in a foetal position in the hope of squeezing some of the gas out, but in vain. When my wife got home at five o’clock, I was still on the bed suffering, but the pressure in my stomach was causing acid reflux and the taste was revolting.
I recounted my story, but there was nothing she could do to help. ‘You know that we use two or three bananas as a cure for diarrhoea’, she said. ‘What possessed you to bung yourself up with a stomach full of hot curry?’ I couldn’t think of a decent reason, but I suffered one of the most uncomfortable nights in my life. Malaysians might use bananas in mild curries, but Thais don’t know what a mild curry is, so never add bananas to theirs. I don’t any more either. The moral of the story is: ‘Don’t try to teach your Granny how to suck eggs!’
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