We each have certain foods that evoke strong childhood memories, taking us back to a time when we sat at the family table, feet dangling several inches from the floor, while we waited for our mum or dad to serve up their specialty. For some, that might be a warming chicken noodle soup or a pan of spiced apple crisp. For others, maybe it means the family mac ‘n cheese recipe or grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in tomato soup. For me, it’s my mum’s chicken and potato curry, served with basmati rice, tomatoes, cucumbers, bananas (don’t knock it ’til you try it), mango chutney and naan bread.
Several weeks ago, a group of Utah food bloggers were congregated at Barbara’s (of Barbara Bakes) house for a baby shower for Maria (of Two Peas and Their Pod). As food bloggers tend to do, we spent a good portion of the evening talking about and eating good food – that is, when we weren’t telling Maria stories of birthing nightmares while still reassuring her that everything was going to be okay. Why do we do that to other women? Anyways, Heidi (of Foodiecrush Magazine), who has a gift for getting people to tell their stories (there’s a reason this woman is in journalism), had all of us revealing our favorite dishes from childhood – dishes that our mums and dads would make regularly, dishes that were their specialties. As interesting as the food itself were the memories that went with it. So, what do food bloggers do with material like this? We blog about it, of course.
Here are the Family Food Flashbacks from the other bloggers. Be sure to check them out – you won’t be disappointed:
From FoodieCrush: Presenting Heidi’s mom’s recipe for Weinerschnitzel
Presenting Barbara’s mom’s recipe for Homemade Pancake Syrup with Utah Scones
From The Vintage Mixer: Presenting Becky’s mom’s recipe for Garlic Southern Cheese Grits
From Food Finery: Presenting Tiffany’s recipe for Mom’s Hominy
From Everyday Southwest: Presenting Donna & Sandy’s mom’s Corn Fritters with Maple Syrup
From Taste and Tell: Presenting Deborah’s Chile Relleno
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my mum grew up in Jamaica before moving to Canada in her teens. Growing up surrounded by aunts, a mother and a grandmother who embraced cooking with a variety of spices, my mum earned a palate and appreciation for spicy, savory dishes. This curry is known amongst family members and friends, and has been requested too many times to count over the years. As a kid, the best part was eating each spoonful of curry with basmati rice, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and bananas (a Jamaica influence, I suppose). Topped with dollops of mango chutney and raita (a cooling yogurt sauce with grated cucumber and ground coriander), each bite was a little different and had tinges of sweet and savory to complement the heat. To sop up the gravy, we used naan bread and our tongues. Yeah, just kidding. But it was that good.
To bring everything full circle, the Le Creuset pot seen in these photos is the same one used by my grandparents to make their curries. It is now in my kitchen and I use it with pride, knowing my grandparents served dishes made with care and love for many years.
(Several people have asked me about the saucepan seen in the photos. It was handed down to me from my grandparents, but it is the classic Le Creuset Signature Round Wide 3-1/2-Quart Dutch Oven. It has held many curries over the years and works beautifully for this stew.)
This curry can be mild or spicy, depending on the type of curry paste you use. The brand my mum and I use, Patak’s, is available in mild and spicy. Pick your poison.
Heat canola oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add apples, green onions and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until apple begins to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
Turn heat to medium-low and add Patak’s curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
Turn heat back to medium and add chicken thighs and 1/2 cup water. Cook, turning chicken frequently, for 10 minutes. Add coconut milk and turn chicken to coat.
In a small bowl, stir together cumin, coriander and 4 teaspoons water to make a paste. Stir into the curry. Add cayenne pepper, if desired. Season with salt.
Add potatoes, cover pot with lid ajar, turn heat to low to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and the gravy thickens.
Serve with basmati rice, naan, raita, mango chutney and diced cucumbers, tomatoes and bananas.
Other curry recipes:
Indian Simmer’s Lamb Kofta Curry (guest post on Cookin’ Canuck)
Sips & Spoonfuls’ Hearty Meat Curry
ecurry’s Malai Koftan/Cheese Dumplings Simmered in a Creamy Sauce
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 2 Gala apples, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jar (10 oz.) mild curry paste (I use Patak's)
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 4 tsp water
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 8 small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Heat canola oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add apples, green onions and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until apple begins to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add Patak's curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Turn heat back to medium and add chicken thighs and 1/2 cup water. Cook, turning chicken frequently, for 10 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and turn chicken to coat.
- In a small bowl, stir together cumin, coriander and 4 teaspoons water to make a paste. Stir into the curry. Add cayenne pepper, if desired. Season with salt.
- Add potatoes, cover pot with lid ajar, turn heat to low to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and the gravy thickens.
- Serve with basmati rice, naan, raita, mango chutney and diced cucumbers, tomatoes and bananas.