Kids Can Cook!

So my daughter made dinner last night! (Oh how I have dreamed of this day!!) I sprung the idea on her last minute when she announced/bragged she didn't have homework.
It was the first time we made this chickpea and cauliflower curry but I felt confident that it was an almost foolproof recipe....almost! Which in my opinion is a good recipe to start with when a beginner cook is in the kitchen.

This recipe offers a little chopping practice, a delicious blend of spices and a fairly easy, straight forward one pot cooking method.

What to keep in mind when kids are in the kitchen...regardless of their age, beginner cooks (and even experienced ones like me) will make a mess...buts its usually nothing that can't be cleaned up!

I wish we could say this was a staged picture!
Also beginner cooks don't have the experience to recognize that a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper is too spicy for our very medium spice tolerance. So be sure to review the recipe and the amounts of each ingredient - which I didn't pay attention too....oops!

They will be a lot slower than you...just try your best to be patient. We all started out being slow.

They may also need very basic instruction or help with every step including stirring. Important tips to stirring/mixing well:
  • stir along the bottom and sides of the pan or bowl
  • almost try to turn over the ingredients - so the ingredients at the bottom are now at on the top
  • ingredients should look evenly distributed 

So we ended up with a delicious slightly too spicy dinner. My trick to cut the spiciness is to add some plain Greek yogurt - which helped a bit. But I also "googled" ways to cut the spice and found some other interesting suggestions:
  • make more sauce to help dilute the spiciness
  • add some citrus or vinegar to help cut the spiciness - this is an common trick used in Thai cooking
  • add some nut butter can also help to dilute the spiciness and won't change the flavour too much - I tried this with the leftovers and it did work. It made a sauce a bit thicker which we liked but you could always add some water to thin it.

If you've tried one of these or have another trick to help cut the spiciness of a dish please share - we'd love to learn new tips!

Chickpea Cauliflower Curry
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut in florets or bit-sized pieces
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (this is where I would start and add more as you like)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt 
  • 1 bay leaf

  • Mix curry powder, paprika, ginger, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt in a dish and set aside. 
  • Heat oil over medium heat and then add onions. Saute onions for about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic to onions and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add spice mix to onion and garlic mixture and mix well. Cook until fragrant (until you can smell it) about 2 minutes. 

  • Add in peas, chickpeas, cauliflower, coconut milk and bay leaf. Stir well.

  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but crisp.

  • Serve on its own or over cooked brown rice. 
Shannon RD

Original recipe came from here.