One of our food resolutions this year is to help Sara explore different cuisines of the world. Our kids are so lucky to be growing up in a world where food from other countries is easily accessible to them in whichever part of the globe they are in. A lot of them also have friends from different nationalities and that presents them with a great opportunity to taste what their friends eat at their homes. Some of them are also reading and learning about different countries in their geography or history lessons. Picking up a country of her choice each month, knowing a little more about the food that grows there, the recipes that are made in the kitchens there and trying out the cuisine is what learning and growing is all about. I am hoping that exposing Sara to new foods through this fun exercise that we play with the globe kept on her bookshelf will help expand her palate.
If you’d like to join us: Help your child choose a country each month. Read about the vegetables and fruits that are grown there, the national dish/es of the country, the recipes that it has shared with the rest of the world. There is a wealth of information/ recipes available online else just give me shout out and I will be there with Sara to assist you.
We began our culinary journey by inviting some of her friends over for a taste of India and it sure was a lot of fun. The little ones who come from different countries had fun learning about India, smelling the different spices, putting together really simple recipes and ofcourse relishing them at the end. This post couldn’t have been published at a better time than this. Today we celebrate India’s Republic Day.
My little chefling and I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Republic Day!
We chose really easy and fun to work with kind of recipes. Mango Lassi (the children learnt about the National Fruit), Paneer Tikka (we saw and smelt different spices) and pani puri (because trying to put one whole pani puri in your mouth is super fun!).
Note: Like with all recipes please be around when the children are “cooking”. Depending on how old the the kids are they can help you with the chopping, measuring, mixing, marinating, blending and ofcourse assembling.
- 1 cup of fresh chopped mango pieces
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 1 cup chilled full fat yoghurt
- A couple of ice cubes
- Chilled water (if you want to thin down the lassi)
- In a blender, puree the mangoes with honey and cardamom powder.
- Add the yogurt and ice cubes. Blend till the everything is mixed well.
- Pour the mango lassi in glasses and serve.
- For the skewers:
- 250 gms paneer/cottage cheese, cubed
- 1 large red bell pepper, cubed
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, cubed
- 1 large green bell pepper, cubed
- 1 medium size onion, cubed (optional for kids)
- For the marinade:
- 200 gms yogurt
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp carom seeds
- 1 to 2 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin seed powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp dry mango powder
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- juice of half lemon
- 1 to 2 tbsp oil
- Prepare the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk the yoghurt till it becomes smooth. Add all the ingredients into the yoghurt and mix well.
- Add the vegetables and paneer to the marinade.
- Leave it to marinate for atleast 2 hours or more in the refrigerator. Upon taking it out allow it to come to room temperature (I made another batch before the kids came).
- Preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius.
- Next skewer the vegetables and paneer alternately on to the skewers on a rack or simply arrange the paneer inside a baking dish. Brush some oil on the veggies and paneer.
- Grill the tikkas for a total of 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Remember turn the paneer and the vegetables around.
- Sprinkle some chaat masala on the paneer tikka and serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.
- 12 readymade pani puris
- For the sweet chutney:
- 1 tbsp amchoor (mango powder)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- For the stuffing
- 1 potato, boiled, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp chaat masala powder
- 1/4 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1/4 cup sprouts
- 1/4 cup boondi
- For the pani
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala powder
- 2 cups of chilled water
- For the sweet chutney: Soak the amchoor in water in a pan for about ten minutes. Remove lumps. Add sugar, salt, chilli powder and roasted cumin powder and put in on the burner. Bring it to a boil and lower the heat. Cook for five minutes and allow it to cool.
- For the stuffing: In a small bowl, mix the potatoes, onions, coriander leaves, cumin powder, chaat masala powder, sprouts and boondi. Mix well and keep aside.
- For the pani: In a blender add all the ingredients and at first add little water and blitz. Transfer the green paste to a large bowl. Add 2 cups of water. Mix well. Check the seasoning.
- Assembling the Pani Puri: Crack the top of the puri with a spoon. Add 2 tsp of the boiled potato-onion filling in the puri, add a little of the sweet chutney. Fill the puri with the pani and enjoy.
It was a very colourful, spicy and delicious evening and I can’t wait for us to begin learning about new cuisines and revisiting the ones we already know about through this new series on the blog.
A very Happy Republic Day to everyone!
Images: If you like any of the pictures on the blog and would like to use those please write to me. I put in hours of work behind each post and would love to share it with you but it would hurt me if use those without my permission. Just ask!