Friday, May 15, 2009

Indian Dinner Date!

I turned to the local library to find some inspiration for dinner date this week, and the first cookbooks my hand landed on were for Indian food! The very first time I tried Indian, I got terrible food poisoning. So it's been a cuisine that's taken me a while to love to learn, needless to say.

I thought this dinner turned out well, but the girls had little interest in eating it. Lately, dinner dates have been working against us, and the girls are having trouble transitioning from playtime to dinner time. Abby had a little fish and some rice, but ignored the vegetables (that whole Month of Veggies thing didn't really do its job!). I think Neko ate pretty well, but I wasn't paying much attention (too distracted by trying to get Abby to stay seated at the table!). Lizzy devoured her plate of food and ate half of Abby's fish, as well!

Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce with Coconut Vegetables
Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce

4-6 Tilapia filets
14 oz can diced tomatoes
8 oz plain non-fat yogurt
12 oz water
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
salt & pepper

In a large pot, combine the tomatoes, yogurt, water, and all spices (with salt & pepper to taste). Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by almost half. Puree the sauce (either in a blender or with an immersion blender).

Preheat oven to 400F. Lay Tilapia filets in a 9x13 baking pan. Pour the sauce over the filets and bake until fish is cooked through and flaky (I was using frozen filets, and it was about 35-40 minutes baking time).

Coconut Vegetables
(This dish is like baby steps towards getting your child to like spicy curries!)

6 cups chopped mixed vegetables (we used sweet peppers, zucchini, carrots, and onion)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
1/2 tsp curry powder (add more depending on your child's heat tolerance)

Heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are tender.

Saffron Yogurt

This "dessert" was a complete fail with the big girls, though Lizzy devoured hers. Celeste and I really liked it, so maybe this is more of an adult treat! The cardamom and saffron flavors were intense and different. Celeste thought it should be sweeter, so I will give the amounts I used - but sweeten it to taste!

1 1/2 cups plain non-fat yogurt
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/2 Tbsp milk, warmed
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey (no honey for kids under one!)
1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Line a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter and set it up over a cup. Put the yogurt in the filter; let drain in the refrigerator for a few hours, until a lot of the water has come out and the yogurt is firmer. One of those gold coffee filter things works well for this, as you can see!:

Soak the saffron threads in the warm milk while the yogurt is straining. When the yogurt is ready, simply stir together the yogurt, saffron-milk mixture, agave or honey, and cardamom. Sweeten as desired. This is a great make-ahead snack, as the flavors are even more intense with time!


LaDue & Crew said...

Wow, the flavors sound intriguing! I really want to try the yogurt!

Tracy said...

you have the cutest blog name, i came here because of it!