Baby, it's cold outside! The weather forecast generated a lot of excitement among me and my fellow Davis-ites when it predicted "rain/snow" last night. Sadly, all the hopeful speculation ("Will we be able to snowboard to campus?", "Will they cancel my final?") was for naught, because it didn't snow. What it did do is get really freaking cold.
    When the weather gets cold like this, sometimes the entire town seems to get sick. Sitting for an hour in a lecture hall full of coughing, sniffling people can make it feel pretty much inevitable that I will eventually come down with whatever everyone else has. That sense of impending doom, however, doesn't stop me from trying not to get sick.
    Since it's finals week, I especially want to ensure that I don't catch a cold. I've been sleeping a lot, drinking tons of water, and eating spicy food in the hopes of staving off illness, at least until winter break. After years of being intimidated by curry, I finally made a curry recipe today. The whole process left me thinking, "Why didn't I try this sooner?" For such a long time, I thought I could only get good curry by going to an Indian restaurant. I was wrong. Curry is surprisingly easy to make at home, and it really hits the spot on these cold days!

*serves 2

2 chicken breasts, cut into four pieces each
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced canned tomatos
1 yukon gold potato, baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp skim milk
1 cup water

    Bake the potato. When the potato is baked, set it aside and heat the olive oil in a large skillet until it spreads to coat the pan. Add the curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, red chili powder, sugar, ginger, garlic, and onion. Saute, stirring, until the onions brown slightly. Add the chicken, tomatoes, yogurt, and milk, and stir to make a smooth, silky sauce. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Add the potatos to the skillet, add the water, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened to a creamy consistency. Serve over rice.

    To make spicy rice, cook 1/2 tsp of ground coriander and 1/2 tsp of cumin with 1/2 cup of long grain white rice in 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium pot. When the rice has turned translucent, add 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to simmer the rice for 15 minutes.