This month, our featured book for Kids Cook with Books is Chaat and Sweets by Amy Wilson Sanger. It’s a rhyming board book that is part of the World Snack Series. Although it’s geared for toddlers, the rhymes and colorful and creative artwork captivate audiences of all ages. Readers are introduced to “chaat”, savory snacks that are often served from food carts and stalls in India and other countries in South Asia. We also learn about a variety of sweet treats from these same cultures. This month, in addition to our featured recipe (and suggestions for others to try), I am also featuring a simple kitchen science activity to try!
Join the Fun – Here’s How:
- Even if you have participated in the past, please fill in the form below, saying that you’re joining Kids Cook with Books this month.
- Get a copy of Chaat and Sweets using this link or from your local library.
- Read the book together…
- ….then bring the kids into the kitchen and cook our featured recipe together.
- I would LOVE for you to share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag: #KidsCookwithBooks and please tag me too (@whatscookingwithkids). Or, if you aren’t an Instagram junkie, like I am, then I’d love for you to share them on Facebook.
- Tune in early next month for October’s Kids Cook with Books.
Featured Recipe for Chaat and Sweets
Indian cuisine is complex and its flavors are layered with a combination of spices. Many of the traditional ingredients are not readily available at most grocery store chains, so instead, I am featuring a beloved beverage from common ingredients that the kids can make (almost) solo. If you’d like to try additional recipes, there are several others listed below for your family to try.
Kids Cook with Books, What’s Cooking with Kids
If you are new to Lassis, they are a yogurt-based beverage, much like a smoothie. Mango is the classic version of this sweet drink. If you plan to use fresh mango, be sure that it is very ripe or it will be too tart. Alternatively, you may use frozen mango, which is readily available at most stores and is easy to keep on hand in the freezer for other smoothies. You can easily find cans of coconut milk at the market. Store the extra in the refrigerator or freezer and add to smoothies or as a replacement for some of the cooking liquid for your morning oatmeal.
1 1/2 cups Greek or plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk or coconut milk
2 cups fresh or frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup honey, melted
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
handful of ice, if using fresh mango instead of frozen
- Wash your hands.
- Measure 2 cups of yogurt and pour it into the blender.
- Measure 1/2 cup of milk OR coconut milk and add to the blender.
- Measure 2 cups of mango pieces and add them to the blender.
- Measure 1/4 cup honey.
- Melt it in a microwave safe bowl and then add to the blender.
- Measure 1/4 tsp. cardamom and add to the blender.
- If you are using fresh mango, add a handful of ice to the blender.
- Put the lid on securely and blend until smooth.
- Pour into glasses and serve.
- Refrigerate leftovers, if you have any.
Want to Try More Chaat and Sweets Recipes?
While there are thousands of different types of Indian recipes you could try at home, most of the ones listed below are simple enough for your kids to make. The samosas and chum chum are a little more complicated, but you will definitely benefit from the assistance of your young sous-chefs!
- Homemade Naan, a simple flat bread
- Samosas, fried potato-filled pastries (from my friend Raghavan, an award winning chef and culinary TV show host!)
- Rice Kheer, sweet rice pudding
- Chum Chum, a sweet treat made out of paneer, or homemade cheese
Kitchen Science: Sprouting!
In American cuisine, it’s not common to sprout lentils, garbanzo beans or other pulses. In Indian cuisine, however, this procedure is very common and helps to make these ingredients more easily digestible. The photo above shows my sprouted lentils after the first day. After three days, the sprouts were over an inch long and they expanded to nearly fill the jar!
Give it a try! Here’s how:
- Pour 1/3 cup of lentils or dry mung beans into a quart-sized mason jar.
- Add 2-3 cups of water and let sit overnight.
- Drain over a colander in the sink and rinse several times.
- Add them back to the jar.
- Cover with cheese cloth and store on the counter, with no direct light from a window.
- Rinse them several times a day and over the course of a couple of days, they will grow little sprouts!
- Mung bean sprouts can be eaten raw, but if you sprout lentils, your belly would prefer if you saute them before eating.
- Do a little experiment! What happens to the color of the sprouts if you put them next to a window instead of where they were before?
2016 Kids Cook with Books Schedule:
- June: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
- July: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Don and Audrey Wood
- August: How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans, by David Larochelle
- September: Chaat and Sweets, by Amy Wilson Sanger
- October: Dim Sum for Everyone, by Grace Lin
- November: The Night before Thanksgiving, Natasha Wing
- December: Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto
(This post includes affiliate links, which means that if you use them to purchase any of these products, the price stays the same for you, but I’ll get a teensy commission to help pay for the costs of running this site. I truly appreciate your support!)
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