Curried cauliflower and chicken stew

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

I often talk about my sisters and my father in my stories, because they’re good stories: my sisters and my father have a wit I often wish I had, and they’re very, very funny. Half the jokes that I tell that make my friends laugh are either impersonations of them, or repeating things they come up with. My mother, on the other hand, though she can be funny, is better characterized by her kindness, by the way she looks at you in a way that makes you immediately feel like you’re all right. It’s surprisingly difficult to describe kindness, though, in a way that doesn’t sound maudlin, and so often I find that fewer of my stories revolve around my mother than they do around my other family members. But it’s my mother who teaches me to be kind, to think twice every time I am angry and a mean thought passes through my mind, to remember that you never know how far your act of kindness (or meanness) can go. “Life is long and surprising. There will be people you forgot who will end up being the most important people in your life in 20 years. Be good to everyone.”

One of the things that I took for granted when I was younger was how my mother went out of her way to give food away, particularly to fellow workers others often looked over. She’d break bread with the bus driver, offer birthday cupcakes to the janitor, or invite the maintenance man for lunch. “There is no better way to welcome others than to share your food.” As a current hermit crab who is around the age that she was when when I saw her do that, I admire how she does something so naturally that I actually find quite difficult to do. Today is her birthday, and when I went on facebook, I found a picture of her with her teachers (she’s a principal) around a table of food that she cooked to celebrate. For the woman who always makes room for an extra person at the table, this is for you.


Adapted from Williams Sonoma:

  • yellow onion (small, coarsely chopped)
  • 2 tbsps fresh ginger (chopped)
  • garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more, to taste)
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 can unsweetened coconut milk (13 1/2 fl. oz.) – scoop out four tbsp of the cream of the coconut milk
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into large cubes)
  • 1 head cauliflower (cut into florets)
  • 1 cup peas (trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • rice (Steamed, for serving)


In an every day pan with a cover, heat the oil. In  food processor, process teh onion, ginger, garlic into a paste and add it to the oil. Saute for five minutes. Add curry powder and salt and mix until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk with the chicken. Bring it to a boil, then cover and bring the heat down to a simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and add the cauliflower and peas. Cover again for 20 minutes in simmer. Serve with rice.


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