Due to quirk of my son’s letter reversal, his father’s day card actually appears to read ‘Happy Fatnes Day’, well maybe by using Flora Cuisine with its 45% lesssaturated fat than oil, that might not be the case!… Okay, sorry, cheesy opening link there, but I was very keen to do this post for Flora UK. I'm a member of Collective Bias and Social Fabric and for this sponsored post the idea was to choose a recipe from the Flora website and cook it. I was planning to get the kids to cook a father’s day meal anyway, so this seemed an ideal opportunity to choose something to cook together.
The kids very quickly settled on curry, because ‘daddy likes curry, it’s his favourite’. Not a bad plan actually. Curry has many things to recommend it when cooking for and with kiddies. I refuse to believe that kids won’t like curry ‘because it’s hot’ or something. No reason to assume that children like bland food is there? Whilst you may want to hold back on the Scotch Bonnets, I think a bit of chilli in food is delicious and over the years I’ve been gradually adding a bit more spice, so now they enjoy food with a bit of a kick. Don’t let them handle the raw ones though, kids cannot be relied upon to keep their fingers away from their eyes/nose/willy/ etc etc…
So, we did some online research, about which you can read a bit more here. But you should know there’s a rather cool free digital onlinebook thingy on the Flora site here, which has animated ‘fwippable’ pages and some really nice sounding recipes in it, and it was from this book that we hit upon the Keralan Prawn Biryani.
Now this dish has a bit of authenticity about it. I use ‘curry’ as a catch-all term for spicy saucy dishes, but from a culinary perspective it’s pretty meaningless – although I like this rather loose definition. A Biryani, however is an actual thing. A couple of things appealed to me though: the use of Flora Cuisine to do the frying – I haven’t used it before, but it worked really well and I didn’t actually miss my oil; and the rice for the recipe is cooked in the microwave. Maybe that doesn’t sound very authentic, but it does mean the kids could do most of the cooking here and it really does work.
One of the reasons I wanted the kids to do the cooking is because my son had the rather ace idea of opening a restaurant for Father’s Day. Pop-up restaurants are all the rage, so we opened Restaurant 104 for one night only. The kids picked the menu, cooked, set up the table and wrote the menu. There was lots of good opportunities for Alex to practice his reading, writing and maths during all this too, which is one of the reasons I love cooking with the kids – list writing, label reading, numbers on scales and measuring jugs – all good learning opportunities! I often get some of the ingredients weighed out and prepped when cooking with the kids, I'll gradually let them do more themselves until I can put my feet up and wait to be served!
So, anyway, good recipe and Flora Cuisine a very easy substitute for oil, I’ll definitely be trying out some of the other recipes.
Back to the Curry, one of the main things curry has to recommend itself to kiddies is all the stuff you have with it. Here's my list of nice things to have alongside your curry:
- Mango Chutney - the pied piper of curry accompaniments, it will draw your children like a highly addictive drug. That’s because it’s pretty much jam, isn’t it really? And any main meal that includes a blob of jam is going to go down well. I buy the cheapest, naffest Mango Chutney and put a sensible amount out in a pot on the table to prevent jar-frenzy at mealtime. Progress to the nice stuff after your kids have passed Curry Eating Level 1.
- Kachumber – a lovely name for that mix of tomato, cucumber and onion you often get with Indian food. Brilliant for kids because: they can make it, it’s colourful and it’s cooling if you are hitting them with the heat. We usually keep it simple with diced toms, cucumber, bit of onion, lemon juice and fresh coriander if we’ve got it in.
- Poppadoms. A sneaky secret for you…You know those packs of uncooked poppadoms you can buy? The ones that say to deep fry them? You can microwave them. Oh yes! Easy, easy, Keep for ever in the cupboard, not oily, small enough for kids, much healthier for you, bit of a dream. Just bung a couple in the micro and cook for 1 minute.
- (Sort of) Raita. Again, good for the kids to make. We either grate a bit of cucumber into some plain yoghurt and add a squeeze of lemon or, to my shame, I sometimes stir a blob of ready-made organic mint sauce into yoghurt – super easy and (honestly) super delicious
- Home-made Chapattis – So much easier then you’d think! I’ll post a recipe.
- A Coriander plant – Just stick a supermarket one on the table and let them pick off the leaves – lovely!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and their client. #CBias #SocialFabric. Any outrageous claims made about the effects of mango chutney on children at mealtimes are entirely subjective.