Your kids may not be as familiar with Indian dal as they are with stir-fried rice, but if they ate Indian as often, they would like it just as much. I love Indian food, but like a lot of adults have eaten more of it out than at home. It’s super easy to make though, and will introduce your kids to spices. Here is one of my favorite dishes perfect for introducing kids to Indian flavors—sag paneer. I asked Chef Jon Ashton, who grew up in England eating curry and dal and he gladly obliged.
The sag paneer will have any kid eating spinach. Simmered with spices and stirred with cheese, it’s heaven sopped up with big pieces of Naan bread available in every grocery store now. Dal of course is lentils, and there are as many kinds of dal, as there are kids. Here is one made with red lentils. I’ve also included Jon’s Indian-Syle Grilled Chicken which is not authentic Indian, but utilizes a lot of the same spices and will round out the meal.
Next time you’re going out with the kids, instead of getting pizza or burgers, take a trip to an Indian restaurant. Most of them have buffets, making it easy to try all sorts of dishes. Or take a trip to an Indian market. You’ll be surprised and delighted how inexpensive rice, beans, spices, and certain produce is, and the kids will have fun looking at everything.
—By Jill Melton, Editor