Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Why Curry is Good for You and How to Get Your Kids Into It



“Wait, what? Curry can be good for me? And my kids might eat it?” This is a pretty common response to this kind of headline, but it really shouldn’t be. 

There are a lot of benefits in many of the common ingredients in Indian food and there are some amazing flavours kids will love, not to mention some cooking techniques that are loads of fun to do together. It just takes a little bit of a re-think about how we view Indian food and it’s role in our lives.


After chatting with the lovely Almara from https://www.zarirestaurant.co.uk/ in Crawley (who also runs master classes for people wanting to learn about cooking curry) we created some top tips for families. These may just help you enjoy some great new flavours, make some wholesome food from scratch and get some health benefits too!

Hot not Hot

Let’s get this bit out of the way first. Curry doesn’t need to be spicy in term of heat. While millions of brits love a brutally hot curry after 10 pints that is very different from most real Indian dishes. So kids need not fear a curry nor should anyone who doesn’t like heat…it really doesn’t have to be hot, at all!

Healthy

Here is a quick run-down of some super healthy Curry ingredients

Vegetables and Pulses – It is an obvious one but so many curries are naturally veggie and vegan and contain all sorts of healthy veggies. But don’t forget the mighty lentil common in a Dhansak and many other dishes. It’s actually hard to think of another main food group like this that has so many veggies and pulses apart from Mexican maybe.

Tumeric – This might yellow powder really needs to be part of your life more often! It has great anti-inflammatory effects which can help a number of conditions. It is a strong antioxidant so can help increase your bodies strength in dealing with bad stuff. It is linked to improved brain function, lower risk of heart disease, and potentially preventing cancer and even treating it. While some of these things are still being researched it is well worth bringing the big “T” into your diet more often!

Cardamom – These little husks are just bursting with flavour but there is more to them! It has been linked with helping stomach and digestive problems, heartburn and also bad breath! Alongside turmeric it is also being used in research around treating skin cancer.

Mustard Seeds – more common than you may think in Indian food. These little seeds can be ground up and can help with arthritis, muscle pain and asthma!

This is just a few, add in garlic, ginger, spinach and so many other common curry comestibles and you have yourself a super meal not just super food!

Getting Kids to Eat Curry

This isn’t always easy, and it is naive to think otherwise. But, it can be done and once they get into it they love it. The colour is often an issue yellows and browns are often not something kids will go for. But a lot of kids like rice so that can play a big role. Try simply doing some chicken or potatoes or another veg they like in just some turmeric and a tiny bit of mild curry powder. If that’s too much, then cumin potatoes with turmeric can work a treat! Very mild, and with a touch of cream can be really quite a treat. As they get more accustom to it you can add in cardamom and other spices like ground coriander to bring in more flavour. Keep in mind none of these have any heat at all!

Get Making

What better way to get kids eating than to get them making! Pakora and onion bhaji are pretty easy to make and super messy which is always fun! Here are some links to try:


The take home here is get some gram flour, get some veggies and get that mixing bowl out! You can just whip up a batter and blob it onto a baking sheet. You do not have to deep fry them! You can also use a little coconut oil in a pan and shallow fry if you have a really good non-stick pan.

Why not try making some breads! Not exactly authentic but grab;
-          120 grams of strong brown flour
-          Pinch of salt
-          Pinch of sugar

Then drip water in until you have something akin to playdough just heavier. It should not stick to you and it should have got all bit from around the bowl. Kneed it for 10 mins until smooth then rip into egg sized lumps. Roll SUPER thin on a floured surface…really thin! Then chuck in a dry super-hot pan for a few seconds each side! You will be amazed how good these are! The kids love them! They are perfect for dipping and mopping up.

Hooray for Curry


It has a lot going for it when you remove the idea of a Friday night fat filled drunken curry and start thinking fresh ingredients, home made family friendly meals! 

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