Indian food is one of my favorite types of cuisine, and I love to experiment with Indian spices and ingredients, even when I'm making something traditional, like chili or grilled chicken. This week we'll try a menu of simple, flavorful Indian dishes that I think your whole family will love. It will also be nice to have some good ethnic food before the Thanksgiving extravaganza of boiled vegetables and turkey! We are doing everything mild this week, so you don't have to worry about it being too spicy for the kids.
Tuesday, November 16th:
Chicken Tikka Masala
Mixed Vegetable Curry (Add Shrimp $5)
Warm Red Lentils
Rice & Naan
Vegetarian Option: Paneer Tikka Masala
Kids' Option: Grilled Chicken and Potato Kebab (plain) - $5
Dessert: Pear Tart - $5
I love going out to an Indian restaurant with a big group of people and trying a little bit of everyone else's order! That was the inspiration behind this week's menu - you'll get enough for everyone to sample a bit of everything. That way, even if your kids are eating Indian for the first time, they can have a little bite of each thing - they may be surprised to discover that they love it all!
The Tikka Masala is a mild, tomato-based sauce loaded with flavor and chicken. The Mixed Vegetable Curry is a mild green curry mixed with broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, potatoes and snap peas - so healthy and tasty. I love lentils - they are so versatile and are always a nice change from pasta or rice. Plus, they are much healthier! These Warm Red Lentils are tangy, colorful and yummy - they will be great with dinner, and the leftovers will make a tasty lunch the next day. For vegetarians, or anyone who wants a change from chicken, the Paneer Tikka Masala is Indian cheese - it has the consistency of tofu and is very mild, so it just takes on the nice flavor of the tikka masala. The kids' kebob might be a good choice if you've got kids who resist trying new things. You can serve it with a little of the other things on the side, call it an Indian kebob (even though it will be very plain), and then later exclaim over how proud you are that he or she was adventurous enough to try Indian food! (I always try to convince my kids that they have already tried and liked whatever I am trying to get them to eat - it sometimes works!)
We spent a little time trying to think of an Indian dessert that would be a crowd-pleaser, but in the end we decided that a simple pear tart would be the perfect light ending to the meal. Fall fruit is so good, and this tart highlights the lovely flavor of a ripe pear - so tasty!
I hope you'll enjoy this week's tour of India - and if the weather holds out, you may even get to enjoy it on the porch!
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*I know (because I just googled it), Shangri-la is fictional utopia, not a place in India, but you will feel like you've been transported to another world when you open your dinner and enjoy the array of Indian delights!