Seafood Curry in a Hurry

I am hoping that by now everyone has bought some curry powder (yes, Anu this means you too) and is looking for more uses for their stash.  Making curry often intimidates people and I can understand why – I, too used to think it was something only my mother could make.  Don’t worry about this being spicy for the little ones – you can omit the chilli powder and use less of the other spices.  Little ones all over the world eat curry, so why shouldn’t our kids?  Ria prefers the fish version and we are working on her liking prawns. But, for now I am just happy that when I am making curry she says “Hmmmm…..Mummy, this smells good in my mouth”.  That might mean her mouth is watering.

Try this one.  You will like it and you can make it.  Trust me.

Seafood Curry in a Hurry

This easy curry takes the hard work and fear out of curry.  It is quick, simple and a great way to introduce “spices” and seafood to your little ones.  You can adjust the spices to suit your palates.  Serve with sautéed spinach or your favorite steamed vegetables.  For a vegetarian version use tofu and/or any vegetables you (and your kids) fancy.

Serves 2 adults and 2 kids

Ingredients

1-2 tbsp canola, olive or safflower oil

1 lb shrimp or any firm fleshed white fish like snapper

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp curry powder

½ tbsp cumin seeds or powder

1 tsp coriander powder (optional)

½ tsp chilli powder to taste (optional)

1-2 tsp salt (to taste)

1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk

Juice from 1 lemon (optional)

Method

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and add chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute and then add all the spices and salt.  Fry for another 2 minutes to “cook” the spices
  2. Add the seafood of choice and coconut milk and simmer for 8-10 minutes
  3. If using, squeeze the juice of one lemon on curry and serve with rice

Curried Chicken Drumsticks with Carrots

My friend Colleen swears by this recipe and has made it regularly for her family since I gave it to her along with a jar of curry powder.  Colleen is an impressive mother of three (boys!!) who not only manages to somehow feed all her boys remarkably well but also has them eating some pretty exotic flavors.  She does her job with the organizational skills of the consultant she was in her past life and I am convinced there are spreadsheets and Microsoft Project charts lurking in the background.  Grocery shopping has been outsourced to her husband on Saturdays (brave woman – whenever I send my hubby to the store there is at least one disaster and always too much money spent) since Colleen plans the meals a week in advance.  I have one kid and am far less organized – maybe I need some of those charts!

One of Colleen’s sons, Luke is Ria’s preschool mate and I am convinced the kid has some Indian or at least Asian genes somewhere.  Here’s the Luke story that convinced me of this:  A few months ago, my mother-in-law and I made pakoras (or bhaji, Indian spiced fritters) for the teachers’ lunch and after school at pick-up time I tried to convince Luke to eat some leftover pakoras.  “Here Lukey, try these, they are really yummy and crunchy and just like french fries” (clever marketing – what kid doesn’t like french fries?).  I was all proud of myself as Luke smiled at me and grabbed TWO. (damn, I’m good!).  He took a big bite and said to me “These are pakoras!”  Nice talking down to the kid, Simran.  Colleen, you are doing something right!

Curried Chicken Drumsticks with Carrots (adapted from Everyday Food)

Little fingers love drumsticks.  When I am particularly strapped for time, I use bagged baby carrots.  This dish cooks itself in the oven and I line the baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.  Curry powder is available at most grocery stores and is a blend of spices and has nothing to do with curry leaves.  It can be made at home by blending spices of your choice or bought cheaper at Indian grocery stores (Jai Ho in SF)

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 chicken drumsticks, skin on

1-2 tbsps curry powder (use more or less based on how your kids will deal with it)

2 lbs carrots, cut into equal sized 2 inch lengths (or use baby carrots for less work)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

2 limes zested and juiced

1 cup brown or white rice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place chicken and carrots on a large rimmed baking sheet; season evenly with curry powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use your hands to make sure carrots and chicken are well-coated with spices. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, turning chicken and carrots after 20 minutes.
  2. Make rice in a rice-cooker or saucepan.  Once ready, scatter the lime zest over the rice.
  3. Transfer chicken and rice to a plate. Sprinkle lime juice on top. Fluff rice gently with a fork; serve with chicken and carrots.