Source for this image here.
Our themed mealtimes are working brilliantly! Everyone is getting a chance to enjoy their favourite meals, and we are enjoying the different cuisines from all around the world. It's a little more adventurous than our usual menus, but we have all agreed that we think we'll stick to eating like this most weeks - it's been great fun so far.
Tonight is "curry night" and although the picture you can see above is not actually our dining table it will indeed look very much like this. Authentic Indian meals are often served in this way, with many different dishes from which to choose. There are many different types of Indian cuisine - depending on the region, the traditional foods are quite different, and some are much more spicy than others. As a family we don't usually eat very spicy food, but my husband and son, Papa and Cubby Bear, do like curries and so to make the meal enjoyable for everyone including those of us who aren't quite so keen on very spicy food, I've decided to prepare our evening meal in very much the same way as the meal shown in the picture and provide lots of variety for all our differing tastes.
We are having 2 different sorts of rice - plain and a simple pilau rice dish. We will also be having a vegetable curry made from cauliflower and potato, and a dhal dish, a delicious curried chicken pitta pocket dish and these simple naan breads - which are so easy!
To make the naans all you need - yes, really - is 200 g self rising flour and 150 mls warm water. Start this dish the night (or morning) before you wish to eat it. Place the flour and water in a large bowl and leave to soak for at least 6 hours. This isn't strictly necessary but I always soak my grains before using them. After the soaking time is up, tip the mixture (it will be very sticky) and knead on a floured board for about 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour or water to get it to have the right consistency - it should be like bread dough. After 5 minutes of kneading, place back in the bowl, cover, and allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours in a warm place (your laundry airing cupboard is ideal).
Now heat your oven grill, and take the risen dough out of the bowl. Knead again for a couple of minutes, then divide into 6 equal portions. Shape these into flattened tear shapes about the size of your whole hand, then place on a greased baking sheet and grill at a distance of about 6 inches from the heat source. They will need to be turned over a couple of times. If you wish you can brush them with melted butter or a little olive oil, however I just sprinkle a little water over ours, and for the final grilling I add a little ground sea salt. They puff up beautifully as they cook, and are best served while still puffed up and warm. Yum!
Along with these we will also have some condiments including chopped cucumber and yogurt, pickles, chopped cilantro (coriander) and mint. I am really looking forward to serving this meal tonight!