Today was the first day of a kid’s cooking camp that I’m leading this week. There are 24 student chefs between the ages of 9 and 12 in the class who are all full of energy and excited be cooking. I plan to share as many of the recipes that we make as possible in order to help more people get excited about cooking at home and to share ideas for how to get children involved in the kitchen.
The theme for the week is recipes from around the world. Today we “went to India” and made Veggie Samosas, Naan, and a Sweet Potato Coconut Curry. The kids loved the naan and most of them also really liked the curry. I’ve included those two recipes below. They go really well together since the naan can soak up the lovely curry sauce.
This bread has a delicious slightly sweet flavor. We used regular flour and it came out just fine. I would also recommend adding only 4 cups of flour and then kneading more in until it forms a smooth dough. Mixing up the dough is quick and fun for kids, so with a little planning and good time management it can be easy to include as part of your meal. Dough also stores well for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator (let it rise once before putting in the fridge), so you can mix up a batch and then just take out what you want to use for the evening and start at step 7.
- 1 (2 1/4 tsp.) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy.
- Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth.
- Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise.
- Let it rise about 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume (less is okay, but if you let it rise longer the bread will be lighter).
- Punch down dough, and knead in garlic.
- Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray.
- Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes (again less is okay, but longer makes for lighter bread).
- During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
- At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle.
- Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned.
- Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over.
- Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
Sweet Potato Coconut Curry
This recipe is extremely versatile. We used Napa cabbage instead of the bok choy, left out the carrots and the lemon grass, used only one onion instead of two, used about double the amount of ginger, added some other spices (cumin & coriander) and it came out great!
- 4 slices fresh ginger root
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks lemon grass
- 2 onions, sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 14 fluid ounces water
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 carrots, cut into thin slices
- 3 baby bok choy, sliced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- In a blender or food processor, grind the ginger root, garlic, cashews, lemon grass, and onions into a paste. (We didn’t do this. Instead we chopped the onions and sauteed them first. We then added the spices, finely chopped ginger and pressed the garlic through a garlic press.)
- Heat olive oil in a medium wok over low heat. Stir in the blended mixture. Gradually mix in the curry powder.
- Place cubed sweet potatoes in and stir to coat with spice mixture. Add in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender. Add other veggies when about 5 minutes remain on the cooking time for the potatoes.
- Season with salt and sugar.