The exotic flavors of curry add interest to a simple weeknight chicken meal that the whole family can enjoy. Curry has many variations, but it includes a mixture of spices found in southern Asia, simmered with tomatoes, onions and usually a protein and other vegetables. Chicken curry is a complete meal on its own, but you can add a few other side dishes to supplement it.
Because the spices used in curry continue developing flavor long after you are done cooking, curry is one of the rare dishes that usually tastes better the day after you make it. Therefore, if you have time one day and won't the next, go ahead and make the curry, refrigerate it and just heat it up the following day before dinner. Curry also freezes well, so you can make a double batch and freeze half of it for another week.
Many chicken curry recipes include vegetables, which is an ideal way to incorporate them in the meal. When they're all covered in delicious curry sauce, kids will have a hard time turning down even the vegetables they don't usually like. If your recipe doesn't have vegetables, it is usually fine to toss some cooked veggies in about 10 minutes before serving. Some vegetables that go well in curry include peas, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower and green beans.
Chicken curry is typically served over rice -- jasmine or basmati -- both of which have a fragrant aroma. Another option is to serve the curry with roasted potato chunks on the side, or to just put boiled potatoes in with the curry. For a more exciting grain, serve the curry with naan, which is an Indian flatbread. You can buy these at most grocery stores, or if your little ones want a small cooking lesson, make your own at home. Kids enjoy kneading dough, watching it rise and helping form it into discs to bake. The naan is especially good for dipping into the curry sauce.
Curry might be a little on the spicy side for some kids. One solution is to serve it with raita, which is an Indian cucumber and yogurt sauce that has a very cooling flavor and pairs nicely with a spicy curry. To add a more traditional touch to your curry chicken, serve it with a ranch dip on the side. For a simple dessert that goes well with the dinner, prepare an Indian rice pudding by cooking basmati rice with milk, cardamom, cinnamon and some sugar. It is best served cool, so prepare it at least four hours ahead of time and refrigerate it until it is time for dessert.
- "Cooking for a Crowd"; Susan Wyler; 2005
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