18 chefs cook up Asian dishes for Lincoln’s Curry Clash competition

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A combination of cumin, coriander, turmeric and other earthy spices filled the air around Duncan Aviation on Thursday night.

For many curry enthusiasts, this time of year is a chance to prove that they have the best recipe for the age-old dish.

The Asian Community and Cultural Center hosted it as a fundraiser and friendly competition.

Categories included amateur, beverage, chef, dessert and restaurant, inspiring those of all skill levels to participate.

“Curry is a blend of things,” amateur competitor Ruth Ekka said. “It’s not just one spice; it’s the technique, the way you make it and the ingredients that go in that make it curry.”

Ekka, a student from India studying in the U.S., was the winner of last year’s People’s Choice vote for her Mom’s Special Chicken Curry.

She said the recipe is something that she shared with her host family and in turn brought to the clash.

“For me, [curry] would be more like the Indian spices that we put in it,” Ekka said.

She said it’s the sauce made from onions, tomatoes and ginger that defines her unique dish.

Sheila Dorsey Vinton, executive director of the cultural center, said Curry Clash was created eight years ago as a means to bring Lincoln’s Asian community together.

“We have curries from all over the world,” she said. “That’s why we chose Curry Clash as our gala theme.”

Vinton said 18 participants took part in the event, with around a quarter of them veterans who keep coming back each year.

“They’ve provided tastes for eight years,” she said. “It’s been so nice to have chefs return year after year.”

The proceeds will go to the cultural center, helping to fund programs that serve over 1,800 Asian Americans in the Lincoln area.

To donate to those programs, click here.

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