Cashew Chicken Curry

Adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com

When you’re a parent and especially when you have young kids – unsolicited advice from strangers is something you tend to get frequently. “You should put more clothes on your kids – they must be freezing”, “You shouldn’t let your kids eat that sucker”, “When I was raising kids we didn’t have television, your generation watches too much tv”. Though they might be right – keep it to yourself! In my opinion – unsolicited advice from strangers is one of the more aggravating things of being a parent. When I want your help…I’ll ask!

That being said…here is some unsolicited advice!  Don’t avoid giving your child food because you think they won’t like it! I can imagine there are many parents out there with young children who won’t eat anything. Then a sibling comes along and all of a sudden they are forced to eat what’s on the table?! This happened at my house. With Molly, I catered to her every taste. I did not give her tomatoes because I thought they were too acidic, I avoided peanut butter way past a necessary time, I didn’t give her fish because… I’m not sure why?! I didn’t give her steak because I thought she’d choke. The list goes on. And any of you who knew me while Molly was young will agree (though please don’t!) that I was a bit of a paranoid hovercraft first time mom!

Then Kasey came along. I’m not sure why I did it differently, but I started exposing her to food at a much younger age. I think that I realized the kids will eat what they are exposed to. At Kasey’s third birthday, I asked her what she wanted for dinner, “Shrimp and mushrooms, please!”  Success!

By the time Lucy came along – I’d finally realized that part of the picky eater problem was because of lack of exposure. Lucy will eat most anything I put in front of her. In the summer we will devour a big juicy tomato dipped in hummus. But some days I still make the same mistake, oh, they probably won’t like this. And then they’re asking for seconds of our dinner! I made a salad for lunch with honey mustard dressing – Kasey and Lucy devoured it. Who knows if it was just because it was mine? But still – they’ve come a long way.

I can’t fault Molly for being the kind of eater she is.  She is still pretty good, she will eat avocados and broccoli and steak and salmon. She just doesn’t want anything mixed together – make a nice chicken and rice dish – if it’s mixed it won’t fly! Maybe she takes after her dad a bit – but we’re coming along.

This curry dish was passed along to me by my mom. I’ve been waiting to try it for fear the kids won’t like it – but I finally decided to practice what I preach and serve it up for dinner. We ate it over roasted cauliflower – it was delicious!! But a normal side would be a basmati or jasmine rice. The kids didn’t eat much of it – but they all tried it anyway! So here’s a delicious curry dish that your kids might not like…but give it to them to try anyway. They might surprise you!

 

Ingredients:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bit size pieces
1 large onion
1 15 0z can of diced tomatoes
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt (plain regular yogurt is fine, too)*
¾ cup cashews, finely chopped or pulsed in food processor
1/8 cup butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves (1 if you like easy garlic)
1 tbsp ginger
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
3 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper (less if you are serving it to kids)

Serves 4-6

Do-Ahead Strategies

1. This whole recipe can be made a day in advance – just leave out the yogurt and cashews. When getting ready to serve the meal – let the dish sit uncovered for about 15 minutes before reheating it. Reheat over a low heat for about 10-15 minutes so that you don’t overcook the chicken. Then add in the yogurt and cashews.

Recipe

1.  Melt the butter and olive oil over low heat in a large saucepan or heavy bottomed pot that can fit all the ingredients.  When the butter begins to foam – add the garlic, onions, and ginger. Saute, stirring occasionally until soft about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the curry powder, cumin, salt, cayenne (if using) and stir until mixed with onions, garlic and ginger.

3. Then add the chicken, tomatoes with their juice and cilantro. Bring chicken mixture to a boil, then simmer softly for 20-40 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces). Beware of overcooking, so check frequently to make sure your chicken isn’t getting over cooked. Once finished remove from heat and if making ahead – let cool and then put in the fridge.

4. If serving right away – add yogurt and cashews. Stir chicken until mixture thickens – about 5 minutes.

5. Serve over roasted cauliflower or over a bed of coconut basmati rice.

*You can use 3/4 cup coconut milk instead of the yogurt if you prefer dairy free. Remember to vigorously shake the can before using.

 

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