I made chicken curry for the first time last night. This is the recipe I used. As usual, it took me much longer than the estimated time. Well, it says 30 minutes cooking time, and I probably cooked it for 40 minutes. But it took me an hour and a half from start to first bite. I usually multiply the estimated time by 2 or 3. That's usually how long it takes for me, especially if I'm making it for the first time.
I've never made an Indian dish, but I've been craving it lately. It wasn't that difficult. I added some chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder, which wasn't in the recipe. The spice level was probably a 5 or 6 out of 10. And the cinnamon seemed a bit much for me. Probably cut that back next time, or leave it out entirely.
When I was chopping the onions and carrots, I kept thinking about a story in Interpreter of Maladies. I don't have it in front of me, but it takes place in the US. Some kid regularly visits the home of an Indian family. The husband is a professor or something, and the wife stays at home. I think they're childless, so maybe she's babysitting the kid. Anyway, the wife cooks their meals every day, and it's this long involved process. She spends hours (I think--at any rate, it takes a long time) sitting in the middle of their living room floor chopping tons of vegetables with this huge knife. I really liked those stories, and often, when I cut vegetables, I think about that Indian woman with the long knife sitting on the floor, chopping away.