Occasionally I get emails from moms just going veg and faced with the conundrum of what to feed their kids. So today, inspired by our play-guests–Nimai (who was outside picking camphor berries and loquat leaves) and his little sister Kamala Sundari–I decided to photograph our picnic, which took place in front of the animated Ramayana playing on the television. Hey, they’re on vacation!
The kids were really happy with the simple lunch I served them and that is why I am sharing it with you. Nothing fancy. No hard labor. Just elbow macaronis cooked with broccoli, hing, salt and a lot of buttah. Dalma–yellow split moong dal with vegetables…kind of like split pea soup with a whole lot of ginger and mustard seed. And the highlight of the meal–at least according to the kids’ reaction when I plopped it in front of them–were the papadams.
Papadams come in many sizes and varieties. Today we had plain urad dal papadams, big size. They are available at Indian stores, are not at all spicy and cook up very easily. You can either toast them over a gas flame by holding the papadam with tongs, moving back and forth over the fire. Or, as we did today, you can deep fry them for a better than potato chips effect. And healthier, too! Urad dal is a good source of protein and iron. And papadams are such a successful crossover food that even picky eaters won’t know they are getting a dose of Indian culture along with all those health promoting nutrients.