Don’t forget the daggy ingredients

Curry powder

Do you own some?

We’re all so terribly well educated when it comes to food these days, aren’t we? We’ve all sat on the couch and watched enough Masterchef to know that there are two different types of truffles (best not get them confused), we know that fois gras comes somewhere from inside some kind of poultry and a jus needs to be made with ‘exemplary’ stock.

Armed with this knowledge, we live our pre-kids lives throwing fabulous dinner parties and drinking way too much wine. But once the wee children arrive on the scene and tell us to shove our gourmet ingredients up our bums, we find ourselves ill equipped for the challenges of feeding a family on a daily basis.

Do you find your cooking style has changed considerably these days?

There are so many dishes that I’d never made before children – cheese sauce, muesli bars, pasta bake, sausage casserole (!) etc etc etc.

And there are so many ingredients that I wouldn’t have bothered with either. In the past, my curries would have been made with spice pastes and a million added extras, but these days they’re a milder affair to suit the very discriminating palate of Miss F. So I’ve gone back to curry powder. And so gorgeous it is in its cheery little tin. And so good at introducing a bit of flavour in a friendly way.

A good saucey serve of this curry on a fat bed of rice with a beguiling papadum and my kids are in heaven.

Some adults might secretly prefer this creamy mild flavor too, but those who crave a little more heat can add a big handful of fresh coriander and some chopped up fresh chilli on top of theirs.

Easy to make and delicious for everyone.

Mild (& creamy) chicken curry

1 tbsp olive oil
500g chicken thigh fillets, excess fat removed, cut into 4-5 pieces
1 onion, peeled, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled, diced
1 finger eggplant, diced (peeled if your kids hate the skin)
1-2 tsp curry powder (depending on your kids)
400ml lite coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups pumpkin, peeled, diced
1 cup peas

Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium/high heat. Add the chicken pieces and brown all over (takes 4-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes before adding the carrot and eggplant. Stir regularly for 3-4 minutes until everything is starting to soften. Sprinkle over the curry powder. Stir until fragrant and everything is well coated.

Pour in the milk and stock. Add in the pumpkin and return the chicken (plus any juices) to the pot. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover, add the peas and simmer another 5 minutes until the pumpkin is tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with rice and papadums.

Serves 2 adults & 2 kids.

PS: I cook my papadums by spraying them with canola oil spray (optional) then chucking them in the microwave on HIGH. Watch them CLOSELY, they suddenly sprout and are done in a matter of seconds. – They’re not as delicious as traditional ones, but they’re quick and easy and an essential lure for getting the kids to happily tackle this curry.

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8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jonah said,

    So true re curry powder! I only just started using it after the (my) wife suggested I flip open the cool little orange tin after watching me melt skin off my face (again) courtesy of those cute little popping black mustard seeds (bastards). Can’t wait to use it again!

  2. 2

    This chicken curry looks good 🙂

    I actually made curried sausages last year using curry powder (just like Mum used to when I was a kid!). I had to buy curry powder especially, but it was so nice to have a “blast from the past”.

  3. 4

    Home made Nan bread is a winner in this house and very easy to make too

  4. 5

    […] top five list has been inspired by this post from Veggie Smuggler‘s website.  What Wendy said about how we tend to go back to some rather daggy ingredients […]

  5. 6

    Jules Brooker said,

    Thanks Wen. Sounds scrummy I’m going to double ingredients to feed my mob. J

  6. 7

    Yum this was so good. We didn’t have any eggplant but still great. Added lots of extra pumpkin and cooked the chicken in garlic infused olive oil – smelt great.
    Will put this one on our fortnightly menu.


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