Coronavirus lockdown: How about putting the chef’s hat on your kid?

Alisha Shinde
Friday, 20 March 2020

With children at home now, get them engaged in the kitchen and together, whip up some quick, lip-smacking recipes.

With the ongoing lockdown, many school-going children are at home now. For parents, it may be a tedious task to come up with novel ideas every day to keep the kids busy. Obviously, they cannot study the entire day and cannot often step outdoors to play, so what do they do when they are housebound? Reading books, drawing and painting, indulging in hobbies and so on can be part of the daily activity schedule. Add cooking to the list. Put on the chef’s hat and apron and churn out some delectable dishes along with your kid. Rest assured, there will be many smiles and high fives coming your way! 

Favourite food
Kiran Suvarna, executive chef, Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa, says that there are lots of easy and innovative recipes that will keep you and child engaged. “Along with opting for easy method of preparation, you can choose the right ingredients to make the dishes healthy,” he says, adding that his personal favourite is Buckwheat Pancake which is quick to make. 
  
He suggests that parents can choose a dish which is the child’s favourite and add a healthy touch to it. “To make it more fun, involve them in the cooking process. They will enjoy the food more if you involve them in the preparation process, allowing them to peel and mix stuff. However, avoid giving them tasks like cutting veggies with sharp knives and cooking on live fire,” says the chef. 

Parents can indulge in making pizza, pasta, frankie rolls, waffles and pancakes since they can be easily made with minimum ingredients.

Buckwheat Pancakes
Ingredients

  • Buckwheat flour...    150 gm
  • Honey...    2 tbsp
  • Baking powder...    1 tsp
  • Salt...    ¼ tsp
  • Buttermilk, shaken...    200 ml
  • Egg...    1
  • Pure vanilla extract...    ½ tsp
  • Butter, melted...    50 gm

 Method

  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Separate egg white and yolk. Beat the egg whites to soft peak consistency.
  • Beat the egg yolks, vanilla extract, honey, buttermilk, melted butter and whisk together with dry ingredients.
  • Then fold in the egg whites without overbeating the mixture as this process gives the pancake a fluffy texture.
  • Preheat the pan, brush with butter. Scoop a ladle full of the batter and cook until the base is golden brown. Flip over and cook further until done.

 Garnish

  • Mixed berries: Strawberries, blackberries, blueberry, gooseberry, raspberry.
  • Vanilla Chantilly Cream: Add fresh vanilla/ extract to whipped cream and whisk it to a soft peak consistency.
  • Caramelised Banana: Slit the banana into half, sprinkle sugar and blow torch to caramelise the texture on top.

A life skill
Krishnendu Banerjee, sous chef, 1st Story, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune, points out that parents must use  this opportunity to introduce the concept of understanding the ingredients and flavours and also nutritional values to children. “The more you involve them at a younger stage, the better they understand, be it selecting the right ingredients and even checking for their freshness,” he says, adding that this will make them interested in cooking which is a life skill. 
Banerjee adds that parents should talk to their children about the nutritional benefits of nuts, fruits, cereals and fresh vegetables and also make it a point to use them in cooking.

Nutty Banana Smoothie  
Ingredients

  • Banana..    .100 gm
  • Curd...    30 gm
  • Nuts (almond, cashew )...    4 gm
  • Honey...    5 gm

Method
Add all ingredients in the smoothie maker, blend properly and serve. For garnishing, you can add finely chopped nuts on top.

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