Recently, one of Kenya's teachers asked me to give a spice demonstration to his class. I love teaching kids about fruits, veggies and other foods, but never before had it occurred to me to introduce them to spices. Thrilled by the challenge, I took Kenya to our local spice store, which is populated with HUGE containers of the most beautiful, aromatic herbs and spices from all around the world. Kenya and I explored for over an hour. I couldn't believe how excited he was to taste and smell the wide variety of offerings on hand.
Kenya and I brought a sampling of our purchases to his class the next day and the kids were totally engaged by the vibrant colors, exotic smells and different textures. I wish I had brought a camera with me to take pictures of some of the faces Kenya's classmates made tasting everything from garam masala, to cinnamon, to pink peppercorns, to amchoor (mango powder that they ate like candy) and more -- it was priceless. The one spice all the kids seemed to enjoy was the mild curry powder. I was a bit surprised at the overwhelming popularity of curry with a bunch of four year-olds, but it inspired me to come home that night and make this simple dish.
I always recommend to parents that they start exposing their babies early on to all sorts of herbs and spices as they give even the most basic foods a ton of extra flavor. Herbs and spices also help expand little ones' palettes. Case in point, Kenya and Chloe always loved a touch of curry in their baby food -- probably one of the reasons they enjoyed this easy-to-make Chicken Curry so much!
Easy Chicken Curry (Serves 4)
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Small Onion, diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 lb Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless and cubed
- 2 Tsp curry powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 Medium carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1 Large Russet Potato, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 14 oz Can Light Coconut Milk
- 1/2 Cup frozen peas
Preparation1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and bell peppers, sauté an additional minute.
2. Add the cubed chicken, sauté for 2 minutes, stir in the curry powder, salt, tomato paste, carrots and potatoes until they are all coated.
3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove lid, add the frozen peas and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
5. Serve over rice.
white or brown rice