Monday, April 13, 2009

Beef Curry with Condiments

If you've been reading the posts prior to this one, you know that I've been featuring my friend, Jane, and her family of four this week.

I've posted Jane's shopping list, then tips on how she can save money on that list, then late last week I went shopping at Whole Foods with Jane and shadowed her, collating more tips for saving on your grocery bill.

Along the way, I've suggested meals to make for a family of four using the items from Jane's shopping list.

So far the meals are Shrimp & Tomatoes & Garlic Mash. Jane's husband made this dish after I posted it and apparently it was a huge success with the kids, aged 12 & 10.

Mini Tortilla Pizza, which another reader said she was looking forward to making with her two young daughters.

And today my meal suggestion is Beef Curry with Condiments.

Jane and her family are from London so curry is one of their favorites, even with the kids.

London, like Melbourne, Australia--where I'm from--has a large Indian immigrant population and Indian restaurants and food are popular in the same way that Mexican restaurants and food are popular in the U.S

Depending on the age of your kids, you might temper the heat of the curry you make.

If it's too hot, children will not enjoy curry, or any really spicy food for that matter; their taste buds are just not that sophisticated.

With that in mind, my method below for easy curry can easily be manipulated to suit your family.

Beef Curry with Condiments
(Using ingredients from Jane's list)

1) Chop a large onion and mash one garlic clove, saute in oil.
Note: Even though this is curry, I still use olive oil; I tend to use it in all my cooking. You could also use ghee--clarified butter--or light oil, like canola.
2) Add a big or little scoop of Patak's Curry Paste - depending on how spicy a curry you want. Stir curry paste into oil and onion over low heat.
Note: You may recall from my post
Stocking Your Condiment Pantry that this is the paste I have in my pantry, and recommend for flavor and ease-of-use. It comes in mild and hot.
3) Chop several potatoes and carrots, add to pot and stir well.
4) Add cubed stewing beef, and stir coating meat in curry paste.
Note: You can substitute beef for chicken/turkey, or fish, or shrimp or lamb.

5) Place lid on pot and let the beef and veggies cook slowly in their own juices for about 45 mins.
6) Around the 30-min mark, I added some frozen peas and corn, and some apple sauce. The apple sauce intermingled with the pan juices creating a rich, sweet and spicy curry sauce.
Note: Sweet vegetables (like peas and corn) and fruit like apples and banana, and or dried fruits like raisins and currants, and shredded coconut are great flavor pals for curry because sweet counteracts the heat and spice of curry.

To Serve: Rice is a great accompaniment to curry, as is millet or couscous. Then as you can see in the picture at the top, I served sides of sliced apple, sauteed bananas, nuts, lemon and yogurt.

Yogurt is a great flavor pal to curry because it's cooling, as is sliced cucumber. In fact, yogurt-fruit drinks, like Mango Lassi, and side salad are great cooling pals to spicy curry.

When I was a kid, I loved the sides my mother served with curry it made the meal fun, colorful and different.

Keep in mind that kids may end up making more of a meal out of the sides, so be creative; your children will enjoy the meal so much more.

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