Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Deciphering ingredients

One of my New Year resolutions was to encourage my children to try new tastes. With the help of the Tesco app, I've been looking up new recipes to try, based on ingredients I already have.

Tonight I decided to cook Thai Green Chicken Curry, which is a meal I love but we never eat at home. The recipe included chicken, red pepper, baby sweetcorn, mangetout, and cauliflower, nothing too adventurous, and we used sugar snap peas instead of mangetout.

My plan to get the kids eating new tastes includes them helping me to prepare the meal, so they helped choose an onion (sniffing it to see what it smelt like) and broke the cauliflower into florets. They both stole raw cauliflower, sweetcorn, and peas to eat; I'm not about to stop them eating raw veg, even if it is before dinner!

I opened the curry paste and asked them to sniff it and tell me what they could smell. "Flowers and lemons" my 5yo son said (and my 3yo daughter said "green sauce" like a little sweetheart). I looked at the ingredients and told them the lemon smell would be lemongrass. "What's lemongrass mummy?". I could just see my son imagining yellow scented grass so did a Google image search so he could see a photo. And then we decided to google all the ingredients, including tapioca starch ("I'm sure it's very dull" I said, and yes it was like flour).

So, my new thing I've learnt today is about galangal. I didn't know what it looked like (a bit like Ginger root), or that it was related to ginger, and that it had a citrusy and earthy scent.

Image is taken from the website of the Narjeel Restaurant in Oman, which looks fabulous and if I ever visit Oman I will be sure to walk past and wave :)

And the curry was a success (hubs helped himself to seconds and he never does that), the kids ate chicken and cauliflower (oddly they're not keen on cooked baby sweetcorn or peas!), and my 3yo declared it "the best dinner EVER". And I got a high 5 from hubs for trying new foods. Surprised and pleased!

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