Thursday, 19 November 2009

Cooking with Children - Tarka Dal and Naan Bread

I love cooking and more than that I adore cooking with my children.  I love watching them measure, weight, pour and get excited about the tastes and textures of the food we grow, make and eat.



MiniMad and I made dal and naan breads last night, a real store cupboard meal, which is warming, filling, inexpensive and meat free, oh and it is also dead easy too, especially with a little prep work.

Firstly I rinse and soak the lentils, we use split yellow ones (chana dall??), they need at last 40 minutes. I used 200g ish for all four of us.

Then we make the naan bread to prove.

We use a recipe from Anjum Anand and all I will say is once you have made and tasted them there is no going back to shop bought ones.

250g plain flour
2 tsp Sugar
half tsp salt
half tsp baking powder
2 tbsp veg oil (whatever you have to hand)
130 ml of milk.

I basically put all the ingredients in our magimix and then let it do the work, but you could do it by hand kneading for about 8 to 10 minutes.

The turn out in to an oiled bowl, cover with a hot damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for an hour.

Then roll them out (or get the children to do it, as I do - slave labour is OK) in to naan shapes and prick with a fork (approx 4 or 5) and preheat the grill as hot as it will go with a heavy baking tray under it.  You cook them on the hot baking sheet for 1 - 2 mins each side. 

You can brush the finished naans with butter if required, you can also cover with seeds prior to cooking.




Now for the dal

There is two ways of adding the flavourings to the lentils, cook them separately and add at the end (we do this) or add them whilst the lentils are cooking for the last 10 minutes.  I dont have a fixed recipe, we kind of use what we have, this is a mix of Keith Flloyd and Anjum Anand.

last night we used

Cooked and frozen onions from the freezer (whenever we see inexpensive onions MadDad chops and cooks a load and pops them in to freezer bags for me, as I can not deal with the tears involved), so approx 1 onion chopped, diced and softened.
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
chili (either fresh or dried), we used dried, but only a small amount so was OK for all.
20g of ginger (again fresh or frozen - we have some in the freezer) in small strips
Garlic 2 cloves crushed
3 large tomatoes (we used paste, but you can used tinned or fresh)
three quarters tsp ground turmeric
1 half tsp ground coriander
three quarters tspn Gram Marsala (we batch made it in a coffee grinder, but you can buy premade)

Cook onions, add cumin seeds, ginger, chilli's until golden. 

If using fresh tomatoes puree with the garlic and add with the powder spices and 100ml of water and cook.

If using tinned tomatoes no need to add the additional liquid.

I cook the lentils in about a litre of water and give them a good mix to break them up near the end of cooking (approx 40 mins) and then drain if necessary and add to the curry.

Enjoy, we always do and yes both the minimads cleaned their bowls, they love curry and I am so pleased as it is one of our favorites for using up leftovers!!


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6 comments:

dottycookie said...

That sounds yummy. If they like cooking, have you tried making pasta with them? Apparently you can do it with a rolling pin though it might be a bit time consuming for them to do all of the rolling! Mine adore it.

Pippa said...

I love making naan breads and Top Ender is quite keen on making them too, although she likes to eat hers with Sausage Casserole!

A Modern Mother said...

My daughter LOVE naan (who doesn't) but I had never thought of making it ourselves. I think we may try this over the Christmas break. Thanks!

Erica said...

I'll definitely be giving that naan a go, sounds scrummy. An ideal cooking project for little ones, Ta

Dawn/LittleGreenFingers said...

I think I could manage the naan bread with the kids and it's got to be less chaotic than our usual cake baking. However, I imagine they'll be less keen on licking out the bowl afterwards...

Linda said...

I can't tell you how impressed I am that you can make naan breads! I thought they came with a Sharwoods wrapper attached, I will revisit this post and study it carefully. xx

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