Enjoy An Easy Ethnic Supper

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Asians, the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, are adding new interest to mainstream fare. While Americanized Chinese food has long been a staple, more authentic Chinese dishes as well as traditional foods from other Asian countries are becoming more common on menus today. Among these dishes are Indian curries, which can be based on vegetables, fish, poultry or eggs, much like a stew. What sets a curry apart is the seasonings.

For the uninitiated palate, a curry can be a good starting point for exploring Indian cuisine. Begin by using a delicate hand with a mild curry powder and you may find your first experience one of delight at the light and somewhat sweet flavor that a small amount of the seasoning imparts. For a more robust curry, use more; for more mildness, add the curry after cooking, since heat intensifies the flavor. If you find you prefer more spicy hotness, work your way up to hot madras curry powder or garam masala, authentic Indian curry powder.

Curried Eggs and Peas is a good choice for a first sampling. Soothingly flavored eggs, peas and rice cut the bite of the sharper seasonings in curry powder, leaving a pleasantly mellow note. Give the finished dish more interest by topping it with chutney, raisins, nuts or shredded coconut, if you like.

Curried Eggs and Peas

4 servings

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (about 8 oz.)

2 teaspoons flour

Cooking spray

1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas*

1 cup thinly sliced onions (about 4 oz.)

2 teaspoons curry powder

4 hard-cooked eggs**, chopped

Hot cooked rice, optional

Parsley sprigs, optional

In small bowl, stir together yogurt and flour. Set aside.

Evenly coat 10-inch omelet pan or skillet with spray. Over low heat, cook peas, onions and curry powder, covered, until onions are tender and peas are heated throughout, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in reserved yogurt mixture. Gently stir in eggs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated throughout.

For each serving, spoon 3/4 cup egg mixture over rice, if desired. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

*Rap peas against counter edge to separate.

**To hard-cook, place eggs in single layer in saucepan. Add enough tap water to come at least 1 inch above eggs. Cover. Quickly bring just to boiling. Turn off heat. If necessary, remove pan from burner to prevent further boiling. Let eggs stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes for Large eggs. (12 minutes for Medium, 18 for Extra Large.) Immediately run cold water over eggs or put them in ice water until completely cooled.

To remove shell, crackle it by tapping gently all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Peel, starting at large end. Hold egg under running cold water or dip in bowl of water to help ease off shell.

Nutrition information per serving of 1/4 recipe without rice or optional parsley: 185 calories, 6 gm total fat, 214 mg cholesterol, 186 mg sodium, 375 mg potassium, 19 gm carbohydrate, 14 gm protein and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamins A, B12 and C, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc.

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