For quite a while now my 5yo has been a big fan of curry. I remember making a curry for him when he was about 12m old. It was an experiment and when he first tasted it, his eyes widened, his attention quickened and he wanted MORE!
When I say curry, I am talking about a mild, sweetish Indian style curry. Though I have to say that my boy has graduated to enjoying some spicy & fiery foods. So long as they meet his criteria – soft, wet and all mixed together – he’s willing to give it a go. He once insisted on eating the Thai green curry that I had made for myself – took the bowl and spoon right out of my hands.
It makes a big difference to introduce a good range of foods as early as possible. I enjoy cooking so I’m always keen to give my kids tasty, healthy food. Having a child on the spectrum though can mean certain (or a LOT) of restrictions. Their willingness to try new foods is not entirely down to your parenting or cooking (or non-cooking) preferences.
A speech therapist once told me that you need to present a new food to a child at least 20 times. There are many foods that I have presented more than 20 times and there’s just no way my boy is going near it. These days I’m fairly happy with the range of food L will eat. I’m aways trying new recipes and hoping that he might give something new a try. In the end though, the tried and true favourites are good to have as the backbone of your menu for the week, and curry is one of those for my crew.
When I recently mentioned how much all my boys (5y/asd, 2y & 14m) enjoyed curry, Neil from Pucks & Puzzle Pieces asked for some pointers. So…for Neil and anyone else who is interested, here is my first attempt at a food blog post.
Rose’s Kids Curry
Chop the chicken (I use either thigh or breast) into bite size pieces and dust with flour. Shake off all the excess flour. Warm some peanut oil in the pan and cook the chicken in batches until they are just starting to colour. Once cooked, set the chicken aside in a bowl.
Finely chop a small/medium brown onion. Add a pinch of salt and slowly saute the onion in a fry pan till soft. Don’t rush it, take your time & the onions will be sweet.
Add the curry powder and allow it to cook for at least one minute, stirring it into the onions. You may prefer to grind up your own curry powder, or use another brand. I used 2-3 heaped teaspoons in this version, but you should match this to your/your child’s taste. You can also supplement the curry powder with various spices – coriander seeds, star anise, cardamom – whatever inspires you.
Once you can start to smell the aroma of the spices being released, add in the vegetables you have chopped into small, bite size pieces. I use whatever vegetables I happen to have in the fridge, but always include pumpkin. Today I had carrots, corn, sweet potato, peas, zucchini, potato and pumpkin – but any combination will work.
Stir the vegetables so that they are completed coasted with the curry and onion mixture. Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes, then add some chicken or vegetable stock. I used 1 litre – it should look like this:
Once you’ve given it a good stir, bring it to a slow boil then reduce the heat, add the chicken and simmer for around 30 minutes.
At this point, get your rice on. I use jasmine rice, but you could use basmati or long grain. I use the absorption method which is super easy and makes perfect rice every time.
Keep checking on the curry every 5 – 10 minutes and give it a stir. The stirring is important as it helps to create the sauce. The pumpkin breaks down and becomes a part of the sauce and gives it a sweet flavour that the kids love – but…no added sugar.
You are done!
Here are the boys bowls, all lined up and ready to go. And…here’s how they went tonight!
I would love to hear from you if you do try this recipe out.
Also…here’s how my stove looks these days. The knobs are all off because L was obsessing over turning them on ALL. THE. TIME! He doesn’t any more!