Friday, June 21, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

Okay, this isn't about cancer, or bikes, either.

I love Indian food.  I have to.  Being a Buddhist, especially a Buddhist who is part of a community in Boulder, means you have to love Indian food.  There's no getting around it.  It's a moral imperative.

Sue and I eat Indian food quite often.  We went to a nearby Indian joint last night.  I ordered Chicken Tikka Masala.  I like Chicken Tikka Masala and it's what I usually order or choose from the buffet when we visit a restaurant we've never been to before.  I don't get the Chicken Tikka Masala at new places simply because I like it.  It's much more practical.  I don't like surprises when it comes to my dinner plate unless it's a surprise I'm ordering.  I don't want to order something I really like from a menu only to find out the cook has his head shoved up his snerve.  So why Chicken Tikka Masala?  It's simple.

All Indian restaurants, everywhere, make their Chicken Tikka Masala exactly the same way.

Chicken Tikka Masala
It doesn't matter if you're at the Taj, or the Himalayan, or Sherpa, or Yak and Yeti.  It won't matter what city, state or perhaps even country you're in, because ....

the Chicken Tikka Masala is always exactly the same, no matter where you go.

I swear that it's a massive conspiracy, a benign and helpful one, but still a conspiracy.  It's a conspiracy to help people find something in Indian food that they can like and feed it to them everywhere.  The humus and nan may be different, the Dal may be spicier, the samosas may be unique, .....

but the Chicken Tikka Masala is always the same.

You can't even make it yourself and not have it taste just like Chicken Tikka Masala at Every Indian Restaurant In The Universe.  A friend of mine's wife makes it at home and he tells me that his wife's Chicken Tikka Masala tastes just like everyone else's.

I'll bet that if you added rabbit turds and small bits of broken glass to Chicken Tikka Masala it would still taste the same as at the Old Bombay Cafe.

It always looks the same.  It always tastes the same. It's even presented pretty much the same way.

You may be scratching your head over the rest of the menu, but if your waiter's come back to the table for the third time, you can always say

Aw fuck it, I'll have the Chicken Tikka Masala.

and you'll know exactly what you'll be getting.

On the other hand it seems very unimaginative, almost Scandinavian, that the Chicken Tikka Masala is always the same.  You wonder why they couldn't try something a little different for a change.  Chefs for other types of cuisine do it all the time.  Why can't somebody try new twist on the Chicken Tikka Masala?  It's simple.  They can't make the Chicken Tikka Masala differently because, well, it's Chicken Tikka Masala and it's an immutable law the universe that ......

Chicken Tikka Masala is always the same.

Want something different?  Try the Pakora.