If you don’t know already, today is International Jazz Day! Even if you don’t listen to jazz, chances are you listen music that has traces of it and/or was influenced by it. Some of our favorite aspects of this genre (apart from it being full of some of the most talented musicians) is that it comes in many forms and has a heavy focus on improvisation.
When we reflected on what type of dish we could cook up to celebrate this wonderful genre’s day, curry came to mind. Not only does it give a nod to the international nature of this celebration, but it also shares those two characteristics we love with jazz: coming in a variety of styles and having room for improv.
Coincidentally, we had several things (half a can of coconut milk, 1/3 of a lime, cilantro, etc.) that were about to go bad and needed to be used soon. Based on the ingredients we had, we went with a Thai style curry, did some improvisational cooking and enjoyed it while jamming out to some Return to Forever and Medeski Martin and Wood.
While we did mainly jam out to RTF and MMW, we figured we’d put together a more encompassing playlist that includes a bigger sample of the various jazz sub-genres, styles and eras. Enjoy:
As we mentioned up top, there was a decent amount of improv involved in the making of this dish. To start, we gathered up everything we thought we would use. As we cooked, we used less/more of certain ingredients than originally planned and even ended up adding a couple of unexpected items to complete the flavor – Similar to a jazz musician’s live improvisation of a song to complete their performance.
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 tomato
- 1/3 of a lime
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbs. freshly shredded ginger
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- oil for frying
- 1 tsp. soy sauce (improv’d add at the end)
- 1 tsp. hot curry powder (improv’d add at the end)
- Cook onions and ginger in oil (we used vegetable) for about 5 minutes. While cooking, chop up pepper and tomato into small pieces.
- Mix in remaining veggies, add coconut milk, lime and pepper flakes, and cook for 5-7 minutes. (At this point we tasted it and decided it needed something else so we improvised the next step…)
- Add hot curry powder and soy sauce. If desired taste has not been reached, keep improvising (with care).
- Take off burner, stir in chopped cilantro and serve!
It turned out to be a little on the spicy side, but was very delicious and a great way to celebrate International Jazz Day! What’s your favorite type of curry? Who’s your favorite jazz musician?