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For Rebecca Berardi, who inspired this crazy delish dish. Keep your pots hot and your spirits high.
"[This recipe is] a special shout-out to a woman I met on a flight who took special care of John and myself and my sweet little Isaboo," Rach says. "She showed me very proudly a [photo of a] recipe that she had made at home that she kind of threw together. She married corn with sweet potatoes and crab and made a curry chowder. And I said, 'That sounds so amazing, would you mind if I did a little riff on that?'"
"Of course, 4 tablespoons Madras curry or any curry blend you love can be used here, store-bought," Rach says. "If you have a large spice pantry, this mixture is a great way to dig in and use them up. Blended curry powder can be stored for several months in an airtight container, so make a double or triple batch."
Pro Tip: When available, Rach will add 2 tablespoons freshly grated turmeric root with the fresh ginger in the chowder recipe, and skip the dried turmeric used in the curry blend.
For the curry blend, toast spices in small skillet over medium heat, grind.
For the chowder, place a small bowl inverted inside a big bowl and scrape corn off cobs.
Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with oil, 1 turn of the pan, add the bacon and render and brown, then remove to towel-lined plate. Add squash, celery, onion, curry leaves or bay, and salt and pepper and partially cover the pot, cook 10-12 minutes to soften. Add corn, garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric if available, chili peppers or pimientos, and broth, partially cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add crab and heat through, stir in yogurt or crème fraiche, and adjust salt. Top the chowder with bacon, dill and chives to serve, pass griddled, buttered garlic naan bread for dipping and dunking.