Tiny steps in the kitchen

Updated: 10 April, 2020 11:03 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Now's the ideal time to introduce and encourage your children to enjoy cooking. Here are three simple recipes to get them going.

Pizza paratha (under-10s)

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Home chef Ananya Banerjee, who conducts cooking workshops for kids, says that with a pizza paratha, parents can take their children's help in assembling the dish after the paratha is made.

Ingredients

For the paratha:

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

For the toppings:

  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/4 cup green and red capsicum
  • 1/4 cup steam cooked baby corn, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp pizza sauce (substitute with tomato ketchup)
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese
  • Oil to toast

Method

Prepare the paratha dough. Mix the onion and capsicum, and add salt. Set aside for five minutes. It will let out water; strain it. Now add oregano and chilli flakes. Mix well and set aside. Now, make two lemon-sized balls. Flour the surface and roll the dough thin. Spread the pizza sauce on one paratha. First sprinkle 1 tbsp of cheese. Now, spoon the topping, and sprinkle more cheese. Heat the tawa; carefully place the paratha on it. Drizzle oil and cook on both sides until golden brown spots appear. Cut into wedges and serve.

Muffins (10- to 12-year-olds)

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A child can try this recipe all on their own, from beginning to end. But parents should make sure that the kid is wearing gloves.

Ingredients

  • 200 gm all-purpose flour
  • 200 gm castor sugar
  • 150 gm butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp milk

Method

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric beater till pale and light. Add one egg at a time and keep beating. Add vanilla essence and mix well. Sift all the dry ingredients together ie flour and baking powder, and keep aside. Add the dry ingredients little by little to the butter-sugar-egg mixture and mix it with a cut-and-fold method. Add milk and give it a good mix. Pour this cake batter into muffin moulds lined with paper cups (tweak it with chocolate or jam). Bake the muffins in a pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes at 180 degree C or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Frost the muffins with
prepared frosting.

Masala pasta (teenagers)

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All the ingredients necessary for this masala pasta, in all likelihood, are already available in people's kitchens, and Banerjee says that pasta is anyway a favourite among teenagers.

Ingredients

  • 1 small cup of dry pasta
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, cubed
  • 1 capsicum, cubed
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp each (turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and garam masala)
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • Pasta water
  • Grated cheese
  • Salt to taste

Method

Boil the pasta along with some carrot cubes and salt. Drain and keep aside. Retain some pasta water (the starch in the pasta water helps smoothen and thicken the sauce). Heat the oil in a kadhai. Sauté garlic, onions and capsicum. Add tomato ketchup. Add the masala powders, and sauté for a minute. Add the pasta water and cook to make a smooth sauce. Finally, add the drained pasta and cream, and mix well. Sprinkle cheese
on top.

Dos and don'ts

Ananya Banerjee
Ananya Banerjee

  • Keep children at a safe distance from a live flame, and supervise them.
  • It's best to get plastic knives for chopping and cutting. They are sharp, but less dangerous.
  • The kid should be taught how to safely pick up hot utensils, and be careful about oil splashing.

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First Published: 10 April, 2020 09:59 IST

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