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New York Times removes slammed 'Singaporean Chicken Curry' video, clarifies recipe after complaints

“The video didn’t do justice to Ms. (Shila) Das’s family dish or to her Lunar New Year tradition," wrote the American news outlet on the NYT Cooking Instagram account.

Ten days ago on Feb 1, the New York Times (NYT) started a local furore when it uploaded a “Singaporean Chicken Curry” recipe on its NYT Cooking site.

The end result in the video was pale, grey and starkly different from the many different vibrant curries that are available in multi-cultural Singapore.

Cooked on camera by Taiwan-based American freelance journalist Clarissa Wei, who adapted the recipe from Shila Das – described as a “second-generation Singaporean of Indian and Vietnamese descent” – the video drew ire from many netizens.

After a slew of comments that ranged from “That’s not curry. That’s drain water” to “This is an insult to curry”, NYT has responded by removing the video and clarifying the recipe. 

NYTCooking wrote on their Instagram on Friday (Feb 11): “Last week we shared a video of a chicken recipe adapted from a home cook from Singapore. The video demonstration didn’t faithfully follow the recipe, which was adapted by Clarissa Wei from Shila Das, and it also should have been prepared as part of Ms. Das’s Nasi Biryani recipe. As a result, the video didn’t do justice to Ms. Das’s family dish or to her Lunar New Year tradition. After hearing your feedback, we’ve removed the video, and we have clarified the recipe. We’re appreciative of your response.”

The online community has praised NYT for the move, leaving several positive comments on the social media post since it was uploaded.

Comments include “Kudos for taking ownership of a mistake”, “I’m happy that you took steps to correct this…” and “Good job making the fix”.

For those who are curious about how the recipe panned out for a CNA journalist who attempted the dish for her 86-year-old grandmother to taste-test, check out the video here:

Source: CNA/gl