Sweet and Sour Curry Sauce for Chicken and Fish Recipe

My husband and I didn't grow up with the same type of cooking at all. He grew up with some Eastern European cooking as well as South African cuisine, and I grew up with food from around the globe, but with an emphasis on Asian cooking, with a little Middle Eastern and European and American cooking thrown in. The first year we were married, so many times my husband would throw his hands up in the air, shake his head sadly, and ask me "Why don't you just make normal food?"
Well, to me, what I was making was normal food; we'd have Chinese food in our family at least once or twice a week. I had no clue what types of foods my husband would consider normal, and asking him yielded no results; he doesn't remember names of food...
As a newlywed, in a desperate attempt to please my husband's tastebuds, I called up my mother in law and begged her to teach me to cook like she did, so my husband would have his "normal foods".

This recipe is based on my mother in law's recipe for "curry fish", with my changes to make it healthier and more frugal. I use the sauce generally as a topping for chicken breast, not fish though, like she usually does.

Today is actually the first time I wrote the recipe down to keep it for posterity. I must have called my mother in law up at least 5 times for this same exact recipe, and each time, she starts off the same way "First batter fry your fish" and I say "No, skip that part, I'm using it for chicken" and then she starts reciting the recipe from memory... and after the first 3 ingredients, says "Hold on, now let me get my cookbook; I can't remember the rest."

So here it is, Mommy's "Curry Fish" recipe, a delicious sauce for chicken and fish (and also tastes really terrific on rice).

Sweet and Sour Curry Sauce for Chicken and Fish

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup pineapple juice (approximately the amount of juice in one large can of pineapple chunks or rings)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp salt or less.

1. Chop your onion into really small chunks. Pour boiling water over it to cover and let sit for a few minutes. Pour off the water, and then repeat with more boiling water, and then strain.

2. Put your onions in your pineapple juice, add the bay leaves, and bring to a boil.

3. Mix 1/4 cup cold water, 2 tablespoons starch, curry powder, lemon juice, and honey/sugar. Mix well until no clumps remain.

4. Add to the pineapple juice and onions, mix well, and wait for the sauce to thicken.

5. Salt to taste.

6. If desired, add pineapple chunks. My husband prefers without the fruit pieces, so I sometimes leave it out.  (Because of this, when I make this dish, I usually just buy canned pineapple juice as it ends up cheaper.)

7. If using to prepare chicken, spread the sauce over raw chicken breast cutlets, then bake until they change color- approximately 10-15 minutes usually. If using over fish, first batter fry your fish, pour the sauce over, and then serve cold.


Note: If you want to, you can leave out the pineapple juice in this recipe and increase the water, honey, and lemon, but I don't have exact amounts to give you.

Was there some adjustment at the beginning of your marriage, each of you with a different opinion which foods are "normal"? Did you grow up with similar cuisine or vastly different, like I did? What type of food do you generally prepare for your family now- foods that you grew up with, foods your husband grew up with, or pretty different than the foods from both of your pasts?
For the record, right now my husband thinks my food is normal, and has learned to appreciate my "ethnic cuisine", and is happy that I'm starting to cook again for my family. (Until Tuesday, we got meals daily from the wonderful women in our community.) The foods I make now are predominantly the same style as the foods I grew up with, just a little healthier, but I've also explored new cuisines. I still only make foods from my husband's childhood rarely...
Are there any recipes you got from your mother in law? What were they? Have they become staples in your house?

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Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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