11 September 2013
I'm not a fan of dumbing down food for kids. My girls (9yo allergic to dairy/egg/nuts/kiwifruit, 4yo allergic to...ahem...authority!) are great foodies, with big appetites, and will happily scoff everything listed on this blog. They never get a chance to be bored or fussy. That's not to say I'm whipping up complicated, internationally-flavoured dishes every night of the week. I'm a working mum and sometimes I chastise myself at having made pasta three times in a week (I at least aim to not serve it up two nights in a row).
I mention all of this because when re-creating this dish, as with most Indian curries, there were at least 5 different spices, and that's not counting the chilli. Many parents have marvelled at my girls' ability to 'handle' curry. Though it can be hard to believe, spice does not equal heat. Yes, it can be foreign on the tongue, and a little peculiar when it hits the back of the throat, but it's by no means HOT. So while you might need to allow for maturity to appreciate chilli in a dish, by no means should you be foregoing the other spices. Your kids not used to it? Well, they weren't used to peeing in the toilet either, but they eventually got there because you persisted.
Eating behaviours are no different to any other learned behaviour when it comes to kids. As with pretty much all elements of parenting, persistence is key and variety is most definitely the spice of life. So do your kids a favour and set them up with a curious and appreciative palate by varying their dishes regularly. This is even more important when they're limited by foods because of serious allergies.
And finally, a curry or stew is quite simply one of the easiest things for kids to eat, especially little ones. Manageable mouthfuls, not much chewing required, they can feed themselves, and you can make it all taste damn delicious.
300g potatoes, parboiled, peeled & cubed
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 knob ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground chilli (this one is definitely optional)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup water
a few tablespoons of fresh chopped coriander
Fry onion, garlic and ginger with spices until onion is soft. Add potatoes and toss for 5 minutes, then add tomatoes and water, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add chickpeas and coriander, warm through and serve.