Nora's nosh

7th April 2006 at 01:00
From Nora's Dinners

Coriander chicken curry

Try serving this with naan bread, mango chutney and basmati rice, all of which you can find easily at the supermarket.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tablespoons of coriander seeds (or 2 tablespoons of pre-ground)

2 tablespoons of cumin seeds, (or 2 tablespoons of pre-ground)

1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (or half a teaspoon of pre-ground)

1 tablespoon of butter

1 medium onion

12 chicken thighs, skinned and boned and cut into four pieces each (you can buy them pre-skinned and boned if you prefer)

2 tablespoons of curry paste, such as Madras

1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped as small as you can

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

Salt and black pepper

A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

2 tablespoons of creamed coconut (block form), chopped (you can keep the rest in your fridge in an airtight container).

1. If you are grinding your own seeds, do this first. Either grind them in a pestle and mortar or in a bowl with the end of a rolling pin.

2. Peel and chop the onion as small as you can. Melt the butter in the saucepan over a medium heat. When it has melted, add the chopped onion and cook until it softens. Add the cut chicken thighs, and fry until the chicken changes colour. This will take about two minutes on each side, and helps the flavour and to get the cooking going.

3. Add the curry paste, ground seeds and ginger to the saucepan and stir well. Cook for a few minutes to improve the flavour before adding anything else. Stir in the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 25 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it does not dry out - add some water if it does. If it is cooking too quickly, turn down the heat a little.

4. After 25 minutes, cut a piece of chicken thigh in half. If it is not pink inside, then it is cooked. Get an adult to help you check that it is all fully cooked. Stir in the coriander and creamed coconut and mix well.

Taste with a spoon to check if you need to add salt and pepper. Don't burn your tongue! If you are serving the curry with rice, put this in the bowl first with the curry on top.

Alex's verdict The recipes in Nora's book are simple and easy for a child to get his or her head around, and as well as that it teaches you about keeping healthy, eating vegetables and how to have a balanced diet. I would recommend this book to a child who wants to have a go at cooking for themselves. I tried cooking a coriander chicken and chocolate brownies. They were quick and easy instructions, although sometimes lacking in detail. The end result was tasty!

It's not as bossy as other cookery books. It was exciting trying to fry chicken and put in all the spices. Nora has drawn in diagrams and graphs of healthy diets. She has also underlined the important food such as bread and water that we need throughout the day. I eat quite healthily, but then I go to school and see kids with lots of crisps and fizzy drinks and it makes you want to have some as well. Sometimes you feel like saying, "hey mum can I just have a bit of junk today", so Nora's book helps kids to realise how important it is to have at least one healthy meal a day.

The book also has good illustrations and even tells you how to clean up the mess after you cook, although you could just get your parents to!

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