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Monday, November 8, 2010

International Food Night - Indian

We have this tradition at our place of every now and then having an international food night.  Actually it was my sister who came up with the idea and we happily adopted it.  The monkey boys have a map of the world pinned up in their room.  They pick a country and we find out about it during the day and prepare a meal for that night.  We decorate the table and dress up as best we can.   We haven't done it for ages but the monkeys had been nagging and so on the weekend we did Indian.  I love Indian food and luckily we live right near West Footscray which has a strip of terrific Indian shops with groceries, clothes, DVDs, restaurants and all things Indian in Barkly St.

In the morning the kids made Indian flags and maps to decorate the room.  Later, we decided on a menu and the little monkeys and I headed to West Footscray to get the groceries - and most importantly for them, choose the desserts.  We got side-tracked by the clothing shops and the monkeys tried to convince me to buy them entire outfits including bracelets.  Much to the horror of another customer in the shop who informed me she would be ashamed if her boys wanted to wear girls' things.  Luckily my monkeys were too excited by the sparkle and dazzle to notice what she said.  They were eventually happy enough with bindis to decorate their foreheads and some candles for the table.  We had a great time exploring the shops and came back with papadams, bread, samosas, ingredients for dahl and a selection of little sweets.  I've learnt with these nights that if I want to have any fun I have to compromise and not try to make everything myself.

When we got home I set to work making the meal and the monkeys looked on the internet at images from India and gave me the 7 day weather report.  We made papadams together (watching them explode is pretty exciting for kids) and they set the table.  They were very excited when I suggested we all use the very special glasses.  We lit incense and dressed up and played Indian music and ate a lovely feast.  And everyone ate lots and tried new things including spicy samosas and happily ate red capsicum! 
Chana Dal and Funugreek Leaves

I've cooked lots of dahl but tried a new recipe from Footscray Food Blog which was terrific.  It was Chana Dal and Funugreek Leaves.   I only added a smidge of chilli though because I didn't want to put the kids off.

I didn't manage to use anything from the garden - does a sprig of mint for garnish count?
Mangos are in season at the moment and I bought a box the other day when I was at the market to share with a friend.  The mango lassis I made for the kids were a big hit.  Here's what I did.

Mango Lassi
Mango Lassi
•  2 mangos
•  1 cup plain yoghurt
•  1 tbs caster sugar
•  1/2 cup milk
•  ice
•  sprig of mint to garnish

Place chopped mango, yoghurt, milk and sugar in a blender and blend until very smooth.  Remove to a jug.  Place ice cubes in the blender until crushed and then mix with the drink.  Place in the fridge to chill.  Pour to glasses and decorate with a sprig of mint.

8 comments:

  1. Yay, I'm so glad you liked it! It's quite unusual, isn't it.

    I love the ideas of themed food nights! What an excellent idea.

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  2. What a wonderful idea and the little monkeys have had their tummies' and their minds' fed. Clever mummy!

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  3. Hey, my five year old boy chose Tinkerbell shoes over Ben 10 the other day, real boys can wear pink!

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  4. What a lovely idea! And delcious looking food. My nearly 5 year old's favourite colours are pink and purple.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this wonderful meal, it looks soo good.


    Tyra

    The greenhouse in Tyra’s Garden

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  6. What a lovely way to get the little ones involved! I do love a good Indian feast and yours looks divine! :)

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  7. Looks yummy the dahl and the lassi look inviting enough. Great idea to try different meals and dress it up for the little one.

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  8. How fun! I used to do something similar with my husband, Italian night, Moroccan night, etc...however my daughter recently became aware that there are different countries, and cultures etc. What a fun teaching tool. I will be following in your footsteps.

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