International Dinner Project: India

India Dinner Night

Sunday, 15 April 2012

I think the boys are starting to get used to this whole international dinner idea now, the weekly shop with the “Country Chooser” to get the special ingredients, along with the special treat of $1 pick-n-mix candy at the end of the shopping.

We had to go to a special health/specialty food store this week to find rose water and besan (chickpea) flour, and Ryan was really interested in all the things on the shelf, asking questions and actually having fun shopping. And now that he’s learning to read he helped me by trying to find the first letter of the item we were looking for. Mission accomplished!

At the end of the trip he said to me “Mummy takes this long shopping (hands held out at full stretch), Daddy you take this long (hands pressed together).” Haha, I love the way he thinks and the way he phrases things. One of his thoughts that comes to mind “Dad, a sneeze is an explosion that doesn’t kill you.” Priceless – and yet factual.

Okay on with dinner… I decided we may as well stay away from the usual suspects, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka etc, and opt for something a little different. I did consider making the naan bread from scratch as well after my success with the Mongolian Bing Bread, but it looked like I would run out of time… so I cheated a little and bought pre-made.

We tried something a little different tonight, instead of surprising the boys with the dishes we chose we let Ryan choose, from my short list, to get him even more involved in the process, so he could own his choices for the night – which might make convincing them to try everything a little easier – and it did seem to work – or it could just be that Indian cuisine is pretty tasty!

Steamed Chickpea Bread—————————————
Entree:
Besan Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea Yoghurt Bread)
—————————————

I thought this might  be interesting for the boys and something that they might be quite open to. It’s a chickpea flour dough with yoghurt and some spices, including saffron (my god that’s expensive stuff!) The it is steamed and drizzled in a mustard/curry oil and served with chutney.  It was supposed to be served with a Cilantro (Coriander) Chutney, but I opted for a mango chutney, as I thought that would spin the boy’s wheels a bit more and I was right, we finished a whole jar of chutney with this meal. Ryan wasn’t keen at first but after a couple of tentative tastes, he and Sam dived in. Success!

Ryan’s Rating: 8/10

Ryan with his big meal—————————————
Main:
Chicken Dilruba (Chicken in a yoghurt and nutty milk spiced sauce)
Naan bread
Rice
—————————————

The boys were straight into the naan bread, which they’d never had before, mainly because we never given them Indian before because, they shun any meat with sauce – which pretty much covers most indian dishes, so I thought we may be in for a hard sell tonight.

So the naan was a success, and rice they know all about – so initially it was only naan, rice and chutney on their plate, once they were comfortable with that, I popped a single piece of chicken and said they had to try just one piece, a couple of “aww Dads” later and they were gone, Ryan polished off another 6-8 more and Sam almost as many – so we were happy with that – chicken with a sauce all over it – consumed – that’s a leap for both of them! Almost forgot to add – no leftovers for me tomorrow, the kids are getting much better eating malarkey!

Ryan and Sam’s Rating: 8/10

A doughnut battter in Sweet sugared rosewater syrup—————————————
Dessert:
Jalebi (String Doughnut in Rosewater syrup)
—————————————

This one was a bit of a failure in terms of aesthetics, although it tasted fine! You’re supposed to create a lot of little loops of batter, but mine ended up more like  a funnel cake, so my batter was either too runny or too thick, I can’t tell which.

Before we cooked it I was calling it the “swirly doughnuts” to create some excitement about the dinner for the boys. Sam loves doughnuts, Ryan is more a savoury kind of guy, they both tried them, it’s just Sam kept trying them again and again… so another success – although the desserts usually are.

Ryan and Sam’s Rating: 8/10

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5 thoughts on “International Dinner Project: India

  1. Another successful evening by the sounds of it. The boys are getting better all the time at being adventurous with their eating. Loved the shopping comment from Ryan. He comes out with some priceless things.

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