Let me first say that I have neither veered into cannibalism, nor turned my blog into a menagerie of meanies, what with evil landlords stepping on the tails of drill wielding demons. Read on till the end and you'll see that great people, who do lovely things, just because, still exist among the dastardly denizens.

I love a good urban legend; at best it unnerves and makes you think twice about flashing your headlights or taking the last train home, all by yourself, late at night. If nothing else, it can be counted on to entertain. The true merit of an urban legend though is that most of the time, it simply isn't true. A little bit of unease is best served with a generous dollop of certitude in the overwhelming improbability of what you've just heard. I wish I could say the same about the reason for today's post. 

The story goes that a certain landlord of a certain apartment building in Texas refused to rent to a certain group of Asians who were termed "Curry People" by said landlord. It never was made clear whether it was the smell of curry he objected to, or the people who cook and eat the "smelly" curries. So we're left speculating on the landlord's possibly easily offended nose or his latent distaste for certain groups of people.

This is the scary part - worse than gators crawling in underground sewers, worse than  "Bloody Mary" who lives in the mirror, is the stomach turning realisation that the next person you bump into on your way home or stand behind in the supermarket check out line may harbour fantasies of bashing your head in simply because of the colour of your skin, or at the very least, deny you a roof over your head, or a much needed job, for the same reason.  Gators and ghoulies, you understand, are easily avoided. Just stay out of the sewers and don't chant invitations in front of the mirror at the witching hour. Besides, blood thirsty ghouls and hungry gators tend to stick out in a crowd. Prejudice, usually veiled, is much harder to avoid, and identify, sadly.

So you see, this story is no urban legend, no internet yarn, much as I would like it to be. It happened. There's even a Facebook group dedicated to the movement called "I am Curry People". I came to know of it through a fellow blogger Ruby, at Tomayto Tomaaahto, who is connected to the person who started the movement, by mutual friends.

The second Friday of each month has been designated "Curry for Peace Day" and if you're onboard with the movement to overcome prejudice, then enjoy a curry instead of your usual meal on the day. It doesn't matter whether it's Indian, Thai, Malay, Nyonya, Indonesian, Caribbean, home made or in a restaurant, as long as you partake and make some noise about it. Hands up, anyone who loves a really great, SMELLY curry!!!!

Prep 20 mins  Cook 35 mins  Serves 4


2 stalks lemongrass, discard top half and bash bottoms
1 large red onion, slice thinly
1 knob fresh ginger (5 cm or 2 in long) peel and grate fine
6 cloves garlic, peel and grate fine
2 Tbsp Thai red curry or Tom Yum paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 - 2 tsp pure chilli powder (optional - if you want extra heat)
1 chicken, cut into 10 pieces (leave on or discard skin as you wish)
1 cup water
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
1 small head mustard greens or tua chye (substitute with your favourite bitter greens, bitter melon, baby corn, straw or oyster mushrooms)
2 small tomatoes, quarter
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)

Heat 4 - 6 tablespoons vegetable oil in a deep pot and cook the lemongrass and onion on moderate heat until limp and fragrant.

Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly until everything begins to brown. Add the curry paste, turmeric and chilli powder and stir until thoroughly combined and fragrant.

Put in the chicken pieces and stir to coat with the spice mix, making sure chicken is well drained. When chicken begins to turn opaque, add the water and bring to a boil.

Lower heat, cover pot and simmer until chicken is almost tender. Add the mustard greens and coconut milk and simmer another 5 minutes, stirring often, so coconut milk doesn't curdle.

When mustard greens are cooked but still retaining some crunch, add tomatoes and season curry to taste. Simmer briefly and dish out. Serve with white rice.

Before I end today's post
I want to say a huge "Thank You" to Jenn Chung from Chinese Baba (formerly Defunkt Gourmet) for her very thoughtful gift, which arrived in the mail last week. Sorry Jenn, I was intentionally keeping mum, because I wanted to say a bigger "thanks" than just an email message :) This is what the lovely Jenn sent me. The thank you card is impregnated with wild flower seeds and you're supposed to bury it under a layer of soil, but, you know what? Bury all those lovely words? I don't think so...

There were also packs of yummy coffee and black and green teas inside which have long disappeared. How many of you know that Tazo makes amazing tea? Remember the name! And Jenn, I've never owned coasters, and don't think I'll ever need any. If Monica Geller were my friend, she would probably term me "barbaric" ;)  My 16 year old, who thinks Jenn has  very cool taste in music is holding MY disc hostage *sigh*