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Why is the Australian prime minister cooking apparently raw chicken curry? | Scott Morrison

Stephanie – apparently a meal Scott Morrison cooked for Sunday dinner is causing quite a stir. What is the deal?

Oh dear. So, on Sunday the prime minister posted a picture to Facebook of a brinjal curry – a dish made with eggplant and okra – alongside what he said was a “classic chicken korma”. I’m truly sorry for showing you this cursed image but it has to be seen to be understood:

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In the caption below the picture, he wrote: “Nice to have a night at home. So curry it is. Sri Lankan Tamarind Eggplant and Okra Curry and a classic Chicken Korma. Strong Curry. Strong Economy. Stronger Future.”

Why does the chicken in that (alleged) curry look … raw?

Funny you should ask that. You’re not the only one – it’s all the internet’s been talking about since he posted it. One of the top voted comments on the post itself says, “Lovely piece of raw chicken centre right of frame!! Enjoy!” To which Morrison replied: “I can reassure you, the chicken was cooked 👍🏻”.

People were not reassured.

So was it actually cooked? Did he serve his family raw chicken curry?

Morrison has defended his culinary skills, claiming the appearance of the meat in the photo was “just the way the light bounced off the skin of the chicken” and it was, in fact, cooked. He told Melbourne’s Fox FM radio on Tuesday that people “went back for seconds”.

“It was in the pan for a good 45 minutes I can tell you, because I had it there myself,” he said.

But many people remain unconvinced. I mean, you could potentially argue that the cut of chicken shown in the image may be from the thigh or another part of the bird that doesn’t go completely white when cooked, but, equally, you could not.

Why is the prime minister posting a picture of his dinner to social media anyhow? Didn’t we all stop posting food pics back in 2014?

He does this kind of thing all the time. That Scott Morrison likes to cook a curry is one of those key strategic details of the prime minister’s private life that has been cultivated for public consumption. In Sean Kelly’s 2021 book The Game, he writes how Morrison developed this public penchant for cooking curries in 2015, when it looked as if he had a shot at being PM:

He cooked a curry once a week – just once – and liked rugby league. So few details, but such talkative details! They told us he loved his family and made sure he had time to spend with them; he was modern because he knew how to cook; but he only cooked once a week, because he was still a real man, with traditional values and an important job.

Before becoming prime minister, back when he was in the wings as mere federal treasurer, he even went on ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet and cooked Sri Lankan fish curry and “Scomosas” (sorry, sorry) with political commentator Annabel Crabb.

Much of the public refused to swallow what they were served in that episode, though. There was Morrison cooking Sri Lankan food and confessing to Crabb that he had fallen in love with it after a trip to the country in 2013, when he was immigration minister.

What he didn’t mention was that on his return from that trip, he doubled down on his hardline “stop the boats” policy. Within a few months, he was taken to the high court because he held 157 Tamil asylum seekers, including 37 children, on a boat for almost a month while he tried to deport them. Happy to cook their food, but not give them safety.

So, uh, how embarrassed should we be here?

About Australia’s immigration policy? Extremely. About the (allegedly) uncooked (alleged) curry? Well, it’s made it into the Indian press in the middle of an election campaign. You tell me.