Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kids Special: Indian Vegetarian Bento Box # 8

Peas poha, Papaya and Pomegranate

  1. Protein - Peas
  2. Carbohydrates - Poha
  3. Fruits - Papaya and Pomegranate
  4. Vegetables / Snacks - Peas
Poha is rich in iron and a good source of carbohydrates. This was a simple preparation:

Wash thick poha in water and set aside. In a hot wok, take a tablespoon of oil, add cumin and mustard seeds. Next add finely chopped onions and curry leaves. Add washed frozen peas. Sauté till the onions are translucent. Add a pinch of turmeric and add the poha and salt. Quickly sauté for 3-4 minutes and it's ready! Sprinkle coriander on top. 

Papaya is a great food for kids, rich in vitamin A and C. It improves immunity and aids in digestion.

Pomegranate is a good source of fibre, vitamins K, C and B9, potassium, and antioxidants. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Kids Special: Indian Vegetarian Bento Box # 7

Idli's, Orange and Raisins
  1. Protein - Urad daal in idli
  2. Carbohydrates - Rice in idli 
  3. Fruits - Oranges
  4. Vegetables / Snacks - Raisins
My daughters school has a Wednesday menu option of idli's and boy am I happy about it. I use a ready-made batter from a local udupi restaurant but grind your own if you are so inclined. I don't make instant rava idli because the urad daal version gives me a chance to add protein in her diet. 

Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and wedges are a fun way to eat as well. Deseed them properly and make smaller wedges. 

Raisins are high in iron, calcium and vitamin A. It also has B vitamins and is a high calorie food, giving instant energy for busy toddlers! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kids Special: Indian Vegetarian Bento Box # 6

Potato patties, cantaloupe, watermelon and Spinach and sesame Mathri 
  1. Protein - Trace amounts in Mathri 
  2. Carbohydrates - Patties and Mathri 
  3. Fruits - Cantaloupe and watermelon
  4. Vegetables / Snacks - Spinach 
Potatoes take form of patties in this box. They are a simple recipe:

Boil potatoes, peel and mash. Add salt, mix well and form patties. Shallow fry in a little oil or ghee. Ready! 

The yellow and red fruit for benefits of both. Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A and C. Watermelon is rich in lycopene.

This tiffin has a 'hidden ingredient' - spinach. Mathris are readily devoured so why not add spinach and sesame seeds to make then more nutritious. The recipe was in the previous post. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spinach and sesame Mathri

A healthy alternative to store bought fried snacks. The taste of spinach is completely hidden and it adds a lovely color to the mathris. I made a batch with different shapes, some round pooris, few sticks, a couple of hearts and some diamonds. 

2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup spinach purée
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup oil (any oil is fine)*
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
Peanut oil for frying*

Make a well in the dough and add the oil, black pepper, cumin powder, sesame seeds and salt. Mix well with fingers to incorporate the oil all through the flour. It should make a stiff ball when pressed in a fist. Add the purée to form a tight dough, like a parantha. Add water if needed to bind the dough.

Put the cooking oil to heat.

Roll out the dough into thin and small pooris, about 2 inches in diameter and 1 mm thick. Prick with a fork or make gashes with a knife to prevent it from puffing up while frying. Alternatively you can roll the dough into about 2 mm thick rotis and cut into diamonds. Prick these with a fork as well. Discard the uneven edges. With this type of thick roti, you can make sticks, batons or even use a cookie cutter to make different shapes. The slimmer shapes do not puff up much but all the broader shapes need to be pricked to avoid puffing. 

To check if the oil is done, put a small pinch of dough in the oil. If it rises to the top along with bubbles in the oil, you are ready to fry. Do not overheat the oil, if it is smoking, switch off the heat and let the oil cool a little before frying. 

After putting a batch in to fry, lower the heat. Frying on medium - low heat will result in a crispier Mathri. 

When they turn brownish, remove from heat. These will be darker than the plain AP flour ones but they are healthier! 

Serve as a snack in the tiffin or at home when hungry. 

*You can use ghee instead of oil as well
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