Feeding my kids in Goa.
So, it’s not the easiest of tasks, especially for me as i love to cook (and eat) but i also love making sure the kids eat a balanced healthy diet, it’s hard enough when you live in London and have everything under the sun available in every shop and an online shopping establishment ready to go in one click. So in India? where you are not really sure what you have available and everything you eat needs to be thought through and made from scratch.
On the one hand Goa is amazing for a foodie like me, i love the fresh ingredients, fresh fish, spices, lots and lots of veggies and local indian restaurants. For the kids it’s a bit of an experiment, and trying to make healthy, nutritious food that they will actually eat isn’t straight forward, even eating out could be a hit or miss.
Elay is much more adventurous and willing to try new things and even some spicy food. Nina is very picky so i try my best to hide the ‘problematic’ ingredients (anything green really) by mashing, blending and smoothing them into the key ingredients.
We don’t eat meat at all, we rely mostly on fish so things like sausages, burgers or chicken are not really available – and these are the things the kids used to love back in London, even if in small quantities.
When you eat in local Indian restaurants, the food is quite spicy so limits what the kids can order but we try new things and encourage them to give it a go, and they have. Nina for example loves idli and dosa that are made from lentils and rice, ground together to create a sour tasting mixture that is then steamed or fried. both of them will try different kinds of Dal – lentil mixed curries and they love Bangda, Indian mackerel – especially the ones my neighbour makes fried with chilli and rava (semolina).
One of the most common street food in India is the Samosa, pockets of dough filled with potatoes, peas and spices, fried in oil and sold really everywhere.
Chilling on the beach after school there is a local guy called Kumar who comes around on his bike selling his wife’s samosas, the kids run happily to him and buy a snack. for Nina the samosa is too spicey and although Elay eats them i wonder how much nutrition is really in them so i decided to make my own! healthy, not spicy, either fried or baked and for the grown ups i add the best chutney i have ever tasted, spicy and sweet to go with the samosas and give that extra spice.
What you will need
For the samosa dough
- 2 x Cups of wholewheat flour
- 1 x Cup of Chickpea flour (Garam/Beasan)
- 3 x Tbsp of olive oil
- 3 x Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 x Tbsp salt
- 1 x Cup of warm water
For the filling
- 1 x Cup of fresh peas cooked until softened – the peels will come off when cooking, remove them from the water. You could use frozen peas – then boil them until tender.
- 3 x Medium potatoes + 2 Medium sweet potatoes (the Indian ones are white) boiled and mashed
- **Optional – 1 x carrot cooked and mashed
- 2 x Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 x Onion grated
- 1/4 x Tsp mustared seeds
- 1/4 x Tsp cumin seeds
- 1 x Tsp turmeric
- 1 x Tsp salt
- If you would like to add some spice 1 x Tsp garam masala
Let’s get started
- Place all ingredients for the dough in a bowl and mix until you have a nice soft but firm dough, place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes
- Place cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes and cooked peas in a bowl and mash well until they are a smooth texture (this is where i hide the ‘green’ things)
- In a pan heat some coconut oil and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, mix for a minute and add the grated onion, mix together until the onion is golden, not too much
- Add the veg mixture, turmeric and salt and stir together on a low heat for about 2-3 minutes until it is all mashed together
- You can taste the mixture, add some more salt if needed and leave to cool
- Divide the dough into 4 balls and using a rolling pin roll each part into 1 cm thickness
- Use a cookie cutter or a bowl 10cm diameter to make round shapes
- Place some filling in the center and you can make 2 shapes:
- The Empanada shape (my Argentinian heritage) – fold the round shape over, wet the edges with some water and tighten, using a fork you can make some shapes on the edges
- The Cone shape – make a cut in the dough and overlap creating a sort of cone, place some filling in the middle, wet edges and tighten to close the shape
- Keep going until all the dough and filling is used
- You can bake the samosas in the oven on greaseproof paper on 180º for about 30 minutes until golden brown or you can fry them in vegetable oil, heat the oil, place the samosas and flip when one side is golden brown
- Baking is healthier, frying has that extra taste – your choice entirely
- Serve hot and Enjoy!
- In a Blender place:
- A fresh whole bunch of coriander
- 1/2 x Cup of fresh grated coconut, if you can’t get fresh use dried coconut
- 1/2 x Green or red chilli (or whole if you like spicy)
- 1/4 x Cup of water
- 1/2 Tsp salt
- 1 x Tsp of Tamarind – not the paste, the actual thing
- 4 x Garlic cloves
- 4cm Ginger
- 1 x Tsp Jaggery or date honey if you can’t get Jaggery
- Blend together to a smooth paste and dip your samosa YUM!