Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Art of Cooking Tip # 6 How to teach cooking to your children ?


“Mom! I am so hungry! What is special for dinner?”
“Yeah, I know. I have kept the cooker. Will do fresh Rice and Sambar.”
“Again rice and sambar? Mom why don't you prepare some snacks or special dishes?”
“Putta, even I am tired. I had prepared puris in the morning no? Now you eat rice.”
“Who wants to eat rice? If you are tired, you are preparing rice no? Instead prepare something special.”
“Preparing rice is simple. Since morning I have been working at home and office. I am too exhausted. Please don't make fuss.”
“I won't make fuss if you prepare what I like. Else let us order some pizza.”
“ Just on Sunday, you have ordered Pizza. You know it is so unhealthy.”
“So what, at least it tastes better than your rice.”
“You are grown up. If you are so particular why don't you prepare something yourself?”
“Oh mom, I am so tired and you are asking me to prepare. All my friends have special dishes everyday, only you are like this.”
“Go ask your friends. At least I prepare fresh hot food in the evening too. In many houses they make only fresh rice and eat with the sambar prepared in the morning.”
“But why should we eat like that? I am going to sleep. I am not hungry. I don't want anything .......”

Sounds very familiar?
 Is this your story too? Don't worry. You are not alone. This is the scene in almost every household, especially where mothers are working. Both mother and children are right in their own perspective. Mothers are exhausted after a hard day's work at home and office and for the children this is the age to eat, relish and enjoy. Ordering outside food everyday is not a healthy choice. You are tired like hell but at the same time you don't want your child to sleep on a hungry stomach. Is there any solution? Yes sure there is. Only thing is it needs involvement and participation from both the mother and the children.

In Ayurveda it is clearly stated that eating heavy  food in the night is a strict no no. And the dinner should always be light, healthy,consisting of fruits and fresh vegetables and should be eaten at least two hours before one goes to bed. So here are the recipes for your healthy dinner and also for PEACE AND HARMONY AT HOME.

The preparations can better be made on a Saturday or Sunday. Involve the children in making the preparations, as better the preparations, tastier and healthier the food will be.And the children will relish the food because they are involved and also start appreciating the time and effort that goes into cooking.
Preparation Time                                1  hour
Cooking Time                                     10 minutes

Ingredients :

Group 1

Fresh cleaned mint leaves      1 bunch

Tamarind pulp                       1 cup

Soaked soft jaggery              1 cup
Jeera                                  1 tablespoon
Black pepper                        1 teaspoon
Green chilli                          2-3 ( according to your taste )
Salt to taste

Make a nice green chutney with all the above ingredients and store in a tight jar in the fridge.

Group 2

Freshly washed, sieved and nicely cut coriander leaves  1 bunch
Finely grated carrots  10
Nicely chopped cucumbers     4
Nicely chopped onion            4

Group 3

Freshly washed, sieved and nicely cut Spinach leaves    2 bunch

Freshly washed, sieved and nicely cut Methi leaves       2 bunch

Prepare all the above and keep in air-tight containers in the fridge.

These three preparations can be made once or twice a week and can be used over 3-4 days. It is here that the children's participation is required.As they love these dishes they would participate eagerly. Make them understand that together you both can work on 1 or 2 days and enjoy special food for rest of the week.

Preparations :

1. In a bowl add the above ingredients in any combinations you prefer, mix well and squeeze half a lemon. Then mix thoroughly with either puffed rice, corn flakes or Khakra,garnish with coriander leaves and serve. Children can garnish theirs with sev or Congress Kadlekai.
2.Make round slices of cucumbers, marinate them with the green chutney, top with the carrots, cucumbers and onions and coriander leaves, sprinkle sev and relish.
3.Like cucumber, you can prepare the tomato chat with the above ingredients.
4.To add variety, you can serve Masala Nippattu with the above ingredients to your children.

5.Mix puffed rice with Menthe Hittu, Chutney pudi, salt and groundnut oil. Mix chopped Spinach or Methi and onions and it will be a healthiest dinner for you. Or else you can alter puffed rice with corn flakes or telu Avalakki.
6.Yet on on odd day, you can use the above ingredients  to prepare fresh veg sandwiches. Let you imagination run wild as you have everything ready and handy and it is only a job of mix and serve.
Close the dinner with a cup of curd rice or a glass of Lassi or Butter Milk or a bowl of fresh fruits. Rest assured that yours will  be the healthiest dinner with the happiest children.