Here’s a spicy meal my children will finish in 6 minutes – even during their lunch break on a school day. It has perplexed me that they have found curry dishes too spicy (they are 7 and 5 years old) , considering a taste for these should be in their DNA. But now (oh what glee!), I believe they have transcended a spice threshold, which is gratifying since they do love a variety of food – from Hainanese chicken rice to salmon and tuna maki, satay and quesadillas.
Yoghurt Curry (known as Moru in Kerala, Southwestern India)
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 a teaspoon
- Shallot – 1, chopped finely
- Curry leaves – small sprinkling of
- Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – pinch of
- Ground fresh ginger – 1/2 tsp
- Saute the above in some canola oil till the mustard seeds pop, the onions caramelise, or you get a strong fragrance of both.
- Add a generous amount of unadorned, plain yoghurt – the healthy probiotic type with some fat content! Simmer till you start to see little bubbles round the pan. Take it off the heat.
- Serve with steamed rice and veggies and mild tomato-chicken curry (see below):
Chicken Curry with Tomato
- Chicken fillet – 1, sliced
- Shallot – 1, chopped finely
- Tomato – 1 large, skinned and chopped
- Spice mix for fish* – 1/2 tsp
- Seasoning – salt as required
- Saute shallot in some canola oil till fragrant and beginning to caramelise, add spice mix , stir till spices are cooked. Clues provided by your nose and eyes 🙂
- Add tomato and some chicken stock or water if needed, cook it down till soft and mushy.
- Add chicken pieces, cook quickly – on moderately high heat – but thoroughly to ensure the bird remains tender but non life-threatening.
With Halloween approaching, weblike, skeletal adornments are creeping up the neighbourhood homes, while plump pumpkins preen at the grocer’s.. haven’t decided if the latter should adorn our porch because the only appreciation they got last year was from them darned squirrels. Even before they were carved, the scoundrels had bitten massive chunks out of them and there was indisputable evidence of a game of rodent rugby. The giant fruit, formerly seated majestically on the porch, lay in ruins, their orange glory in miserable shreds splattered gleefully over the front yard.
That’s worked me up an appetite. Here’s a salad recipe which well suits the fall. Why delay the inevitable mention of food (ignoring pumpkins and squirrels)?
Pear and Nut Salad
- Big bowl of assorted green stuff – spinach, lettuce, radicchio (ok red too)
- One ripe Bartlett pear, slivered evenly and in length
- Cherry tomatoes, handful (optional)
- Caramelised walnuts, a few
- Toasted, salted pumpkin seeds, sprinkle of
Layer the salad in the order above. Drizzle salad dressing over (see below).
Scrummy balsamic vinaigrette dressing:
- 3/4 tbsp seeded mustard
- generous pour of olive oil, whip both till creamy
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey. Whip it good.
Turn it into a meal with a fillet of breaded cod or tilapia or smoked salmon.