It’s time for another addition of International Food Fun!
By the end of last summer, I was in a really deep rut when it came to meal planning. I was cooking the same old stuff that I knew the majority of the family would eat, and it was getting boring. I challenged myself to try a new, international recipe once a week to see if I could find more foods my family would eat. It’s been hard to keep up with the once a week part of the goal, but we have been trying new foods from around the world.
Bionic Man and I both enjoy Middle Eastern and Indian foods, but haven’t found a restaurant we really like for these flavors since we left Germany. When one of Ben’s co-workers with Indian heritage recommended a new restaurant to us, we went there in a hurry. There we tasted the most delicious curry. It was so good it was poetic. Since then, I have been determined to replicate these foods for my family, but I was a little intimidated by the long list of ingredients in the sauce recipes I found.
Target to the rescue! While shopping at my local Super Target, I discovered a shelf of Indian simmering sauces in the international food aisle. For $2.50-$4.00 and the addition of some meat, I can easily serve my family curry in a hurry. And, thanks to Pinterest, I’ve learned to make my own naan bread, too.
Here’s the easy, easy way I make Shrimp Tikka Masala with Naan Bread:
1. I buy a jar of this stuff. (Two if I want to have leftovers.)
Target also has their own Market Pantry brand of Tikka Masala sauce, which is about $1 less and equally good. We have also tried the coconut curry sauce, which I thought was great, but was not given the stamp of approval by my children. (Admittedly, the color was a little off-putting, and Bionic Man’s unfortunate comment about baby diapers during the meal did not help. But that’s a blog post for another day.) Tikka Masala is mildly spicy–definitely not hot–and a pleasing red color that won’t scare the children.
2. I decide what kind of meat I want to use. In this case, I used shrimp, but chicken is also an excellent choice. Plan to use a pound of thawed meat per jar of sauce.
3. I prepare the meat. In the case of shrimp, they should be peeled and deveined. Chicken should be lightly browned in a pan on the stovetop (unless it will simmer in the crockpot for several hours, and then you can just skip that step.)
4. I open the jar of sauce into my trusty dutch oven, add the meat, and then simmer over medium heat on the stovetop until the meat is cooked. This doesn’t take long for shrimp or chicken tenderloins, about 20-30 minutes. I would be cautious about shrimp in the crockpot, but chicken is delicious when simmered for 4 hours in this sauce. It smells heavenly either way.
5. While my tikka masala sauce is simmering on the stove, I make the naan bread and basmati rice.
My kids love naan bread. They say it’s better than garlic bread. It really is very easy to make, especially when I use my trusty electric griddle. (Only kitchen appliance more highly favored is my Kitchenaid mixer.) I follow this excellent recipe and accompanying tutorial to make my naan bread. I recommend brushing the bread with garlic butter. For the basmati rice, just follow the instructions on the box. (Totally the same as making regular rice.)
6. I serve up the tikka masala on basmati rice with naan bread to scoop it up into our mouths. Delicious!
Feeling adventurous? Here are links to some of the other international foods my family has enjoyed:
I’m sharing this recipe at the following places: