Monday, 2 June 2008

We interrupt with a small toe in Little Foodies India

I'm waiting on the arrival of some sumac and other things before we continue with Arabian days and nights. In the meantime we've had a very small glimpse of India. Not strictly true as we eat Indian food at least once a week, but it's the first time that we've really done it in a learning experience sort of way.

Our neighbours have a daughter, Little is very good friends with her, (she's a year older) and I think it's really lovely that they get on so well. Anyway her class is looking at India at the moment. I'd said that during the half term we could cook some Indian food together. We did this on Friday last week, I had planned on doing a lot more but earlier in the day while out walking in the woods with other friends, we got lost and were out for a lot longer than we'd originally planned. It's the first time ever that I really regretted watching series 1 and 2 of Lost before it went to Sky.

So, after rushing home and changing muddy clothes we began... I got most of the spices out on the table and we started by smelling all of them. Black cardamons smell woody and smokey. Green cardamons smell sweet and spicy, Cloves smell of Christmas. It was really good to see them smelling and describing what the various spices were like for them. We also compared the smell of the uncooked spices to how different they smell when cooking and cooked.

We then made a simple meal of fish tikka with basmati rice, salad and poppadoms.
The children mixed the tikka spices with yogurt, garlic and lemon juice before coating the fish with it. I then dry fried the fish before putting it in the oven to finish off. I got the children to wash the rice before cooking and explained why we do this. I then cooked some poppadoms. We also talked about why in England we automatically assume rice is served with all Indian food when in actual fact most Indian households would only serve it with a handful of things and be more inclined to serve chapati to mop up the dishes with sauce.

The verdict on the food. Our guest said it wasn't really to her taste but I give her lots of credit for trying everything and not just trying one mouthful and then leaving it, actually trying a few mouthfuls of each. She was also a very enthusiastic helper. Little and Small loved it and want to make it again. Great, as it was very healthy and dare I say slimming. No I dare not and take that bit back.
I also explained that most Indian families would have a spice holder like this one (can't get picture to load will try again) in their kitchen. Our guest will take it to school at some point this term when I've cleaned it and filled it with freshly ground spices to give the most impact to their nasal passages.

We'll re-visit India for some more in-depth learning and then we'll share some of the many Indian foods we cook on a regular basis and I'll also try to come out of my comfort zone and try cooking some new things. There are plenty of blogs that I can draw inspiration from Foodies Hope in particular, and also, Meeta's What's for lunch honey,also One Hot Stove, Fun and Food, Malabar Spices, and Saffron Trail. A lot of these ladies write for the Daily Tiffin, a good read but for all sorts of things, family and food among other things.


Asha said...

Oh,look at that little hand trying to eat the food, Indian way! Hope the food went straight into his mouth, not on the table like my kids do! :D
Tandoori masala looks really good, great color. Good job Amanda, I am sure kids in school loved tasting it too. Indian food is not that popular in USA as in UK. Enjoy!:)
Look at what I have this week at FH, bet kids LOVE to sink their teeth into these! Hope you make some for them, it's easy!

Marie said...

Delicious looking meal Amanda and I give you big kudos for trying this out with the kids. Your children have such adventurous palates! Mind you I had never tasted Indian food until I moved over here. (and I'm not going to tell you how old I was!! Suffice it to say OLD) I have since fallen in love with it!

David Hall said...

Superb to see you writing again Amanda! Lovely post too. I've just put up a South Indian curry, dead easy and really tasty.

Hope life is good.

Dave x

KJ said...

Yaaay India, I am looking forward to it already.

It's great that the little ones enjoy cooking so much. It's such a vital part of life.

Deborah said...

What a great way to learn more about another culture! I'm going to have to remember to do things like this when I have kids.

Charlotte at Great Big Veg Challenge said...

This is a lovely post Amanda. I think that your children are really lucky to be in a home where they are encouraged to try new things and travel through the food they eat.
And the colour of the sauce is fantastic!

Margaret said...

My favourite cupboard in the kitchen is the one with all the spices in - I just love them!
You do well getting your children trying new taste experiences.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Such lucky kiddos you have and their friends too!

Mansi Desai said...

Thanks for the nod here!:) tandoori masala sure looks scintillating, and I'm so glad you and your kids enjoyed indian food!! its tough to catch with kids:)

Jann said...

I am givig credit where credit is due-the little ones did a great job-how lucky they are to have you there by their side in the kitchen creating all these wonderful dishes!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Asha, they both love to eat with their hands we have to tell them all the time to use cutlery.

Hi Marie, thank you, I'm really proud of them because they are very accepting of trying different foods.

Hi David, thank you and your curry looked fab!

Hi KJ, it is a vital part of life and above most things we teach them I'll be pleased they can survive by cooking for themselves.

Hi Deborah, thank you, it's really good fun and the kids love it.

Hi Chalotte, thank you, it's good fun for all of us and we all learn something. Even if we're doing a country that I know quite well I always learn something new through our virtual travels.

Hi Margaret, thank you, I love all the spices but I have so many they're crammed in all over the place in a big hat box on top of the fridge, in a box in one cupboard and in a huge box in another cupboard. I should go through them and get rid of some, there must be some which are out of date by now.

Hi Tanna, thank you! xx

Hi Mansi, Thank you. Thankfully ours love it but they were introduced to Indian food from a young age so it's not a surprise to them.

Hi Jann, thank you, they loved doing it.

Thank you all for your comments.
Amanda x

Trig said...

Great stuff, Amanda. Now summer is here, why not arrange an "Indian barbecue" one weekend and get their friends in to help makes marinades for chicken and fish dishes.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Trig, Ah, I'm with you on that. We did a bbq on Saturday and went back on the Arabian theme. We had a butterflied leg of lamb which I cut in half. One half in lemon, garlic and rosemary, the other half in a spicy marinade. We made our own flat breads to serve it in (very proud I tell you) ha ha!

Amanda x

Anonymous said...

hi, the fish looked delicious.
i am going to watch the programme on the television next week about children who won't eat. they should be sent to live with you for a few weeks, i am sure you would soon have them enjoying food.

Anonymous said...

I love pappadams and North Indian cuisine.


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