sharing recipes from one generation to the next
There seems to be a belief that kids don’t like food with distinct flavours, that they won’t like this and they wouldn’t eat that, but I’m of the opinion that it’s usually well meaning adults making those decisions for their kids.
My granddaughters have learned to enjoy a small amount of chilli in their food from eating Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes with their parents however their resistance to Indian food lasted longer. They found it difficult differentiate between spice and chilli.
Without a mention of “spice” or “India” I served this mild but aromatically spiced creamy chicken curry to them a while back, a small portion to try with carrot and cashew nut pilau, cucumber raita and some simple steamed broccolini. They were both came back for seconds in a flash, and if it wasn’t for good manners, I think they’d have licked their plates clean.
There is no chilli at all in this curry, but there is a large amount of whole and ground spices. The flavour IS spicy, but in a rich and aromatic way that lingers because there’s no chilli to cut it short.
This delicious curry is an adaptation of Murgh Masala from The Food of India, a Murdoch publication.
Chicken Masala – serves 6
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
5cm cinnamon stick
10 curry leaves
1kg free range boneless chicken thighs
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
5cm knob of fresh ginger, grated
2 very ripe tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup thick natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a heavy based pan, heat then oil over a medium heat then toast the whole spices and curry leaves.
When the seeds begin to splutter, add the chicken, ground spices, ginger and tomatoes.
Stir the thoroughly distribute the spices through the chicken the stir in the yoghurt and salt.
Slowly bring the pan to the boil, stir well then cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.
Uncover and continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
The sauce should be thick and creamy.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.