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35 + Recipes for Kids Meals

Food pics

Not mine, but pinned!

I love these when I have to reach out for food ideas for Varun.

See the link below for recipes and how-to’s.

http://pinterest.com/rutujak/kids-food-ideas/

I am going to try the Peacock or the fishes this weekend. What would you try???

Everyday Chicken Meatballs

Chiken meatballs 2

I mentioned that I made two types of meatballs for my June Daring Kitchen Challenge – Mutton Apricot meatballs and Chicken meatballs. This post is about the chicken meatballs. Simple and easy to make, they can be cooked ahead on weekend and added to your salad , pasta or in a sandwich. They are perfect as appetizer with some mint chutney at an open house or a potluck.

The flavors in this recipe are inspired from Northwest Frontier Province of Indian subcontinent  – whole coriander seed pods, cumin seeds and red chili powder. The flavors though can be easily altered to taste.

I sometimes flatten them into nuggets and pan fry with a crumb coat. Either ways it’s a wonderful back up to be stocked in your freezer for those busy weeknight when you want something yum for dinner but don’t have energy to tinker around in the kitchen.

Chicken meatballs

Chicken Meatballs Recipe

  • 1 lb chicken breast ground
  • 3- 4 garlic pods finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced green chili
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 inch root ginger freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4- 1/2  teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon – garam masala 
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon – Oil (for frying)

1. Mix all the ingredients well (except oil for frying). Form meatballs and set aside.

2.Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the meatballs  for a couple of minutes on each side till golden brown.

3. Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil

Serve warm. Or store in an air tight container in fridge once cool.

The Daring Cooks June Challenge: Mutton Meatballs With Apricots

Kebab

Long long ago in mid May, the Daring Cooks posted there June Challenge on Meatballs from around the world. Meatballs being a family favorite,I wasted no time in making them. In fact I made 2 types of meatballs.

They were made and devoured the first weekend after the challenge was posted and amidst all other things never mentioned. Not on the Daring Cooks internal forum nor here when the “day” we can go public with our challenge.So, while it’s still June I must correct this oversight.

One of my friends mom had made these Turkey meatballs stuffed with apricot and light spiced gravy a few summers ago. They were really awesome. Juicy, flavorful with the sweetness from the hidden apricot. Spices from the northern state of Kashmir – cardamom, saffron and cinnamon. Or so, I recalled of that dinner.

When the challenge was posted, I decided to use spices common to the northern state of Kashmir and extend that to the flavors of Silk Route. Ingredients sourced and recipe built from a variety of sources – memory of that turkey meatball, lingering taste of kafta kebab and shammi kebab.

Here I had a recipe that was great on paper.When I actually made it, it turned out a bit dry and not so juicy. An egg or two should help with that problem. I was hasty and added the kebab to the gravy before they achieved their golden – brown color. Cooking them in gravy instead of adding at the last-minute to get the flavors to meld was another rookie mistake. Here is a modified recipe that I am sure would work. I just need another free weekend to re-try this.

Kafta kebab

Mutton Meatballs With Apricots Recipe

  •  10 – 15 dried apricots soaked in water for an hour, seed removed
  • 1 lb Mutton or Turkey mince ( use ground and mix of dark and light meat to make juicy meatballs)
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 3- 4 cardamom pods , shelled and seeds powdered
  • A pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 3 -4 cloves of garlic finely minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoon oil for frying

Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  •  2 inch  cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 Red Onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • Salt to taste

Make Meatballs

1. Mix all the ingredients listed except the oil and mix well. Adjust seasonings per taste.

2. Form the meatballs, stuffing an apricot in the center of each. Set aside.

3.Heat oil and fry the meatballs on medium-low flame till golden brown. Set aside.

Make Gravy

1.Heat oil. Add spices once the oil is hot but not smoking. Add onions and fry till cooked through. Add yogurt and let onions cook in this yogurt base.

2. Crumble a meatball in the crazy and cook through so that the gravy thickens.

3. Add salt and adjust seasonings to taste.

To serve

1. Add the meatballs to the gravy and cook together for few minutes till heated through.

2. Serve warm with rice or rotis.

Enjoy!

Home Made Mango Juice

MangoJuice

What do you do with the skins of mangoes and the seeds after enjoying mangoes? Discard it. Don’t you dare! They are perfect for making mango juice. Its anyways what most of tetrapak mango juice makers use with a bit of real pulp to make “real mango juice”. Added sugar, color, preservatives and god alone knows what else to increase shelf life, add color and make it smell like real juice.

It’s just very easy to make homemade juice from left over skin and seeds. I get to control the quality of mangoes , amount of salt and sugar and can spice it up with flavorings of my choice ( paprika, cumin powder or red pepper). The color and the taste are all natural.

I used Alphonso mangoes as they are my personal favorite but any other would work just fine. Just add  more sugar if the mangoes are bit tart. also, use less water if you like your juice to be thicker.

This is perfect to be hydrated on summer afternoons when plain water is just a bit meh.

Homemade Mango Juice Recipe

  • Skins and Seeds of 4 mangoes
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust based on how sweet the mangoes are)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper  or paprika or cumin powder

1. Turn the skin inside out. Soak the seeds and skins in a bowl of potable water for 10 minutes with sugar and salt. If you are not squeamish, give the seeds and skins a good rub. The juice and even some pulp will be released as you soak.

2. Squeeze off excess water from seeds and skins in a separate bowl. Discard the skins and seeds now. Retain the juice – water.

3. Add the juice from step 2. into bowl from step 1.

4. Add black pepper or cumin powder. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let this cool in the refrigerator.

Serve chilled with ice or as is.

Mango Pistachio Filled Whole Wheat Crepes For Mother’s Day

IMG_0406_Resized

Mangoes are in season and what could be more fun that mango themed brunch for Mother’s Day? Mango and pistachio filled crepes, Green Mango Panha, salt and paprika sprinkled raw mangoes and mango panna cotta! A little sweet, a little bit savory. Something filling and something crunchy.

If mom’s in your family are mango lovers, mango and pistachio filled crepes will make their day! These are easy to make, with mostly pantry staples. Replace the mango with any other fruit (berries, pineapple or peaches!) to customize it to mom’s taste. Almonds could easily replace pistachios if that’s what you have on hand. It’s a very versatile recipe.

Healthy and fruity it brightened our morning. Even Varun loved them – though I suppose kids can eat anything with honey.

IMG_0400_Resized

Note On Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, use milk with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar to clabber the milk. Set aside for 10 minutes and you have buttermilk. Else use yogurt and water in 1: 3 proportion. For this recipe use 1/2 cup yogurt and 1 1/2 cup water. Mix well and then use as indicated in recipe.

IMG_0389

Mango Pistachio Filled  Whole Wheat Crepes Recipe

For the Filling

  • 1 cup Mango Pulp ( Fresh or Canned)
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger minced (optional)
  • 1/3 rd cup pistachios roughly chopped

For the crepes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg separated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Butter milk

Garnish

  • 1 tablespoon  pistachios finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes (optional)

1.  Make the filling by mix mango pulp with candied ginger and cooking it in microwave for 3 – 4 minutes till slightly thickened. Set aside to cool in a bowl. Keep the pistachios chopped in another bowl.

2. Sift and mix all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda, salt and sugar.

3. Cream the egg yolk in the butter for a minute. Add vanilla and buttermilk and whisk again for 10 seconds.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white. Make an effort to do this as it will result in light crepe. If you are in a rush or don’t want to use an extra bowl, feel free to whisk the entire egg in step #3.above.

5. Add the flour mix to the butter milk – egg mixture and stir. You may have small lumps which is fine. Now add the egg whites and with a light hand stir them in the batter.

6. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a flat non stick skillet. Once the skillet is heated through, ladle a serving spoon size batter in the center of the pan and immediately spread it using circular motion with the back of the spoon. Just like making a dosa.

7. Reduce the flame to medium high. Flip after it is cooked / browned on edges – about a minute. Cook on other side for 30 seconds.

Flip back. Fill the crepe by spooning mango pulp in the center. Sprinkle pistachios. Carefully fold or roll the crepe. Remove from pan and set aside in a serving dish.

Repeat for the entire batter.

8. Garnish with coconut flakes and pistachios. Serve Warm with some fresh mango slices and honey.

Puff Pastry From Scratch

Puff Pastry

I made Puff Pastry from scratch! And without a kitchen aid stand mixer it was no fun. A whole lot of kneading. But it was oh so flaky, buttery and crispy that the store-bought one is no match.

I wanted to make some paneer puffs. The puff pastry at Q – mart looked dubious not to mention expensive so I decided to make on my own. Also, as I replaced half the flour with whole wheat flour I felt it was a wee bit healthier than all out all-purpose flour.

The reason puff pastry puffs is the butter. When cold butter in the puff pastry dough is put in a really hot oven, it steams up which causes the dough layers to separate. So for a good crispy puff don’t skimp on butter and don’t forget to pre-heat the oven really hot.

Give this a try if you are crazy like me. Else, just go out and buy some. Its way easier to buy than to make. But like all things homemade its waaay better than store-bought.

Pssst…Stay tuned for the paneer puffs. Made with homemade paneer they were creamy, spicy and delicious.

Puff Pastry Recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter , cold and diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water

1. Mix salt and sugar with all-purpose flour. Add 1/4 cup butter and the flour together till it forms a coarse meal.

2. Add remaining butter, lemon juice and whole wheat flour. Mix well. Add 1/4 cup water and knead. The mixture will be dry and shaggy. Add water one tablespoon at a time and knead till it all come together in a dry rough way.

3. Now start kneading with heel of your palm. Knead for 5- 6 minutes at least although 10 minutes would be preferred.Now the dough will be more smooth.  Add more water if necessary to get the dough together.

It should be stiff dough.

4. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 – 60 minutes.

5. Once out of the fridge, now its time to form layers. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Keep one in the fridge as you work on the other.

Roll out the dough in shape of a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Fold it into thirds lengthwise like an envelope. Then roll the envelope along the short side.

6. Turn this roll 90 degrees and then roll out into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Fold and roll like above.

Repeat the same process twice more.

If at any time you feel the dough is being soft ( as the butter is melting), put it in a bowl, wrap it with plastic wrap and put it back in fridge for 10 minutes or so and then continue.

7. Once the final roll is formed, it is ready to be used in your recipe of choice. Or it can be frozen at this point. Wrap in plastic wrap and then freeze.

If frozen, thaw for 24 hours in refrigerator before use.

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