Some of the best memories from my summer vacations growing up in Mumbai were learning about good food and simple cooking.
Many of these memories were created with my maternal grandma, lovingly called ‘mamaiji’ (read more about her in this post) who pulled out all stops to create daily meals and treats; many of which catered to our sweet tooth and love for cookies and chapat crepes, french toast and jellies and puddings.
Mom being a chip of the ole block would fill our time off school with food experiments at home – like chocolate cake baked in an unbelievably small electric oven, as well as homemade paneer and fresh ghee, Parsi fried Bombay ducks and lentil-n-meat dhansak…While my foodie Dad was known for his meat kathi rolls and Chinese chop sueys, along with Parsi classic potato frittata and boiled egg toasties sandwiches.
What I’m really trying to say here is that a love for food and good eating are created very early in a child’s memories. And we often underestimate the significance of these habits on our kid’s future lifestyles – especially since our next generation of tech whiz kids will be more challenged than we could’ve ever been!
As with everything else in the world of parenting, it’s all about ‘monkey see, monkey do.’ No words can replace what our kids will learn from our actions, our habits.
With that in mind, this summer, I’m creating a series of blog posts cooking ethnic foods with my two boys now in their tween years (8-12 age group). They will be in the kitchen with me each week, as we learn together – test and cook up new real-life usable dishes from different world cuisines, presented to you every Friday.
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July 3rd: We begin with ‘10 Things to Consider While Cooking New Cuisines with Kids’
July 31st: Persian – Shirini Murgh Polo (Chicken & Zereshk Pulao) from cookbook ‘Niloufer’s Kitchen: Persian Fusion’
August 7th: Thai – Pad Thai Noodles from Azlin Bloor’s video-based ‘Noodle Mastery Course’
August 14th: Parsi Fish Cutlets from cookbook ‘Parsi Cuisine: Seafoods’ (right in time for Parsi New Year!)
A quick note: Each of the books and video courses, mentioned above, have been personally purchased by me (with the exception of the Turkish cookery course, which was a heartfelt gift to us. Ozlem is a wonderful ambassador of Turkish food and happens to be a very dear family friend).
Oddly enough, except Ozlem, I’ve never met any of the other talented recipe creators and cooking instructors in person! Each of their creations stand on their own merit and are worth every penny spent. Plus they are more usable than the dusty ‘expert cookbooks’ sitting on my shelf.
If you’re looking for inspiration for summer kebabs, chutneys, raita and spicy bites…check out our new cookbook ‘Tikka Tikki & Spicy Bites’ filled with equally practical and usable recipes.
See you next week with the first post in the series…