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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Healthy Cooks in the news!

Front page of the Virginia section of the Roanoke Times, Tuesday, Feb 24, 2010:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Indian Red Lentil Dahl

Today we made Indian Red Lentil Dahl. Dahl is the Indian name for any member of the legume family - lentils, split peas, chick peas, beans, etc. Dahl recipes are traditionally made fairly thick and may be served over rice or with flatbread and a vegetable side dish.

A local Indian restaurant, Taza, donated freshly made warm Indian Flatbread for us to try!

Most of the kids tasted the food - and everyone who tasted it, liked it!

The kids really enjoy peeling and cutting the food and they loved seeing and smelling all the spices. We showed them the whole spices and let them have a turn with a mortar and pestle so they could grind them up.

We played traditional music from India and shared pictures from some books about India that we borrowed from the library.

Here's the recipe:

Indian Red Lentil Dahl

2 1/2 cups Red Lentils (or brown lentils, yellow split peas or green split peas)
4 cups water
1 TBS oil
1 onion, diced
1 red or green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger root (you can just peel and cut off a little from the end, then freeze what you don't use)
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes, with juices
2 small or 1 large potato, (or sweet potato) peeled and cut in small cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 TBS curry powder (or prepare your own curry blend - see below)
Fresh cilantro, minced (optional)

Curry (use this OR pre-made curry powder)
In traditional Indian cuisine, whole spices are roasted, then ground, and are added to the dahl. A simpler method is to use already ground spices to make your own curry. Below is a combination of ground spices that work well in this recipe:

2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground corriander
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

Saute the onion and bell pepper inthe oil for about 5 minutes
Add the ginger and garlic and saute for another minute
Add the canned tomatoes, lentils and potatoes and 4 cups water.
Bring to a boil. Turn heat down, and simmer.
Add the curry salt, pepper and red pepper.
Cover and let the mixture simmer until all of the water is absorbed, adding additional water if necessary and stirring on occasion until the mixture becomes thick.
Serve with cilatnry on top (optional) and eat with Indian flat bread (or try whole grain flour tortillas or pita bread)