25 June 2019

3 Top Tips for creating a curry feast the whole family will enjoy

​Here, Jane Rylands from the kitchen appliance manufacturer Belling, shares her top tips for creating a South Asian-inspired meal that every member of your family will love.

3 Top Tips for creating a curry feast the whole family will enjoy

Here, Jane Rylands from the kitchen appliance manufacturer Belling, shares her top tips for creating a South Asian-inspired meal that every member of your family will love.

We all have a handful of recipes that we've cooked for our family time and time again, because they can be thrown together at a moment's notice and always go down well. But it's easy to fall into a rut, which might mean that you, your partner, and your kids get a little bit bored and start craving new flavours. To avoid this from happening, why not spice things up by treating your family to a curry feast every once in a while?

This is guaranteed to keep things interesting, as there are so many different types of curry you can make. Plus, there is a whole host of sides and garnishes you can choose to serve, which means you can switch things up every time. But how can you ensure your whole family will enjoy these South Asian-inspired meals? I'm going to share my top tips here.

Start mild

If your family aren't particularly familiar with South Asian cuisine — and particularly if you're cooking for young children — I would always recommend starting with a mild dish like a korma, tikka, or dopiaza. Just because they aren't spicy doesn't mean they're bland. Each of these curries is still make with rich and flavourful ingredients that will help to ensure whatever you decide to serve up is incredibly tasty.

Don't be tricked into thinking that adding any kind of spice will make your curry hot, either. Many of the ingredients you'll find in the spices aisle of your supermarket aren't actually spicy at all — the likes of garam masala, cumin, and turmeric will simply add more flavour (rather than heat) to your dish.

If you find that your curry has gotten a bit too spicy while you're still cooking, there are some ways to turn down the heat. BBC Good Food recommends using some tricks like adding coconut or cream and possibly even a pinch of sugar.

Slow cook to maximise the flavour

The slower you can cook your curry, the better, as this will help to amplify the flavour and lock it into every piece of meat and veg you've added to the dish. If you're cooking your curry on the hob, once you've combined all of the ingredients, turn the ring or cooking zone down, add a lid to your pan, and leave it to cook away for at least half an hour, regularly checking on it and giving it a stir to prevent it from bubbling over or burning. If your cooker has a slow cook option, you could even pour the contents of your pan into a casserole dish with a lid and leave your oven to work its magic for up to two hours.

Use ingredients your family are familiar with

If your family have never really eaten much curry, you can make it seem more familiar to them by creating yours using ingredients they already know and love. For example, use their favourite meat, whether that's chicken, lamb, or beef. You can also pick and choose which vegetables you use — if you're following a recipe, there shouldn't be any problem with substituting some of the ingredients for others that your family know and love. Just make sure that you aren't taking anything integral out. For example, dopiaza is literally Persian for "two onions" which means, if you decide to make this curry, you won't want to leave the onions out!

Personalise your portions

If members of your family have different dietary requirements — perhaps your daughter is a vegetarian, your partner sticks to a dairy-free diet, or you have a particular food allergy — you can take advantage of the fact that curry's particularly easy to customise. Instead of cooking one big batch, it might suit you better to make two or three. Then you can use the same core ingredients but swap certain elements out to keep everyone happy.

You can also pick and choose which sides and garnishes you serve. For example, if you can only eat gluten-free food, you might forego the naan bread or shop around for one you can eat. And, if anyone in your family is lactose intolerant, you might want to swerve the traditional yoghurt dip, or make your own with free-from ingredients. Because curries are so easy to personalise, they work incredibly well for multi-meal households.

So, there you have it: my three top tips for creating a curry feast that your entire family will enjoy. By starting with a mild but flavourful dish, cooking it slowly to bring out the flavours, and using certain ingredients that you're all familiar with, you'll keep everyone happy.

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For inspirational curry recipes, why not try one of these delicious dishes: