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Curry in a hurry, my kind

September
5

I reserve pizza dinners for those nights when I come back from work too late or too tired to cook. There was such a night earlier this week, and we had company as well — two of my older son’s friends from down the street. Their entire dinner conversation consisted of deriding their school lunch and waxing eloquent about the lunch offered by the neighboring school district. They have real pizza, they said, not the cheap cheese on cardboard excuse that we have. And their burger patties aren’t slimy, like ours. Their lunches are REAL fast food, they said with envy.

All that fast food talk got my competitive spirits up.  I can rustle up a darn good meal, and my son knows he disses my cooking at his own peril. But of late he’s been coming to the table and saying, “Indian food, again!” I guess he wants the regular American fare that is standard in his friends’ home.  But I’ve got some news for him: Our home is an Indian home (well, mostly) and Indian food is what he gets.

Last night I cooked a chicken curry, which is milder and less complicated than the one I usually make. And he loved it. I thought I would share it with our readers so that when your kid complains about the food you put on the table, you could offer this up. Most of the ingredients are easily available in the grocery store or in your kitchen cupboard.

2 1/2 pounds skinless chicken

1  big red onion sliced

4 tomatoes sliced

2 teaspoons ginger paste

2 teaspoons garlic paste

4 green cardamoms, 1 piece of cinnamon broken into two, a couple of bay leaves,  1/2 teaspoon pepper corns and 6 cloves

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
2 green chilli pepper (optional)

1/4 cup of plain yogurt

salt to taste

A handful of coarsely chopped cilantro
Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, bay leaves and cinnamon, and let it sizzle for 30 seconds. Throw in the onions and saute till it softens and begins to change color. Add the tomatoes, salt, chilli powder, ginger and garlic  paste and cook till the tomatoes soften, and then add the chicken and stir well and cook for about 10 minutes. When the chicken is partially cooked, add the yogurt and mix well, making sure no lumps remain. Cover and simmer till the chicken is done and there is a thick sauce. Throw in the cilantro and the green chilli pepper, if using, and mix well. Serve with warm rice.

Enjoy!

This entry was posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 2:36 pm by Hema Easley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: chicken, curry

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About this blog
You make it, they eat it, right?

As most parents soon discover, feeding a family is rarely that easy, whether its nursing a fussy newborn or trying to get a hot meal into a squirming toddler (or attempting both at the same time.) And that's not even the days when work runs late, the main course burns, or your adventurous little sushi eater announces from now on she will only eat food that is pink.

As parents ourselves, we've been there, done that, even learned a few tricks along the way. And we're pretty sure so have you. Maybe together we can make eating together as a family -- gulp! -- fun again.

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!

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About the authors
Hema Easley Hema Easley has been a reporter for The Journal News since July 2002, first covering municipal government and then nonprofit agencies, women's issues and the South Asian and Muslim community in the Lower Hudson Valley. In her previous job, Hema was a correspondent for the Associated Press in South Asia. She lives with her husband and two sons in Orange County.
KatieKatie Ryan O'Connor, a Journal News editor and 35-year-old mother of three, never quite appreciated the work that went into feeding kids until she had to do it herself as a mother. If she had a food-and-kids philosophy it would be something like this: try your best to offer as much healthy food as possible, but sometimes fruits just have to be counted as vegetables and there are far worse things than chicken and spaghetti. Again.
TraceyTracey Princiotta, a 37-year-old mother of one, loves to cook, bake and eat, and is relieved that her son appears to be equally willing to chow down -- even if it's baby food and formula right now. Despite her husband's intense aversion to vegetables, she has high hopes of nurturing a true chowhound who will try everything at least once. And if all else fails, she's not above sneaking veggies into other foods.
Marcela Rojas Marcela Rojas has been a municipal reporter with The Journal News since January 2003. She is a native of Putnam County and grew up eating Peruvian food. She didn't realize until she was 13 that rice did not come with everyone's meal. After several years of living in Los Angeles -- where she grew a fondness for Thai food -- she returned to Putnam County where she now lives with her husband and daughter. Zyla (rhymes with Lilah) just turned 1 in March and, so far (her mother is pleased to note), loves to eat everything.
Swapna Venugopal Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, a Journal News reporter, started her career as a journalist in 1999 after graduating with a master's degree from New York University. Before joining the paper in 2006, Swapna worked as a municipal reporter for the Home News Tribune in New Jersey, and took a baby sabbatical to care for her two children, now ages 7 and 5. She has currently outsourced feeding her children and husband to her mother, who is visiting from India. Her friend and colleague Katie O'Connor, informs Swapna that she wouldn't mind being fed Indian food by her mother, too.
Randi Weiner Randi Weiner has been a reporter with The Journal News since 1989, having covered police, government and schools in Westchester and in Rockland. An Ohio native and 1976 graduate of Bowling Green State University, she worked for daily newspapers in Ohio and Michigan before moving east. She has tended bar and danced in a beledi troup and sat on the boards of two community theaters. She plays mandolin with the Shamrogues, Connecticuts largest Irish band. Randi lives in Connecticut with her husband and has three children.

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