Children can be notoriously fussy to feed. Unfamiliar tastes, textures and aromas can cause youngsters to balk at the very same food that you might find delicious and full of flavour. With its variety of spices, the idea of serving up Indian cuisine, no matter how much the adults of the house might enjoy it, could be an absolute no-no in the home of a young, fussy eater.
However, this doesn’t need to be the case. If you start gently with your Indian food introduction, carefully choosing tempting kid-friendly recipes, then you may create a multi-cultural foodie. Even better, as your children become increasingly familiar with Indian cuisine, they may be able to join you at the family-friendly time of lunch on your next visit to one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants. After all, the many thousands of children of India can’t all be wrong…
Top Indian Starters for Children
Indian starters are renowned for their scrumptious selection of small, bite-sized, savoury snacks. These snacks, also known as chaat, are sold on roadsides all over India, usually with a serving of tasty, tangy chutneys.
A great snack for children is the classic samosa. Usually only mildly spiced and filled with soft, mashed potato and peas, these little parcels can easily be picked up and tackled by little hands. Avoid any strongly spiced chutneys and choose a mild and creamy raita or mint dip as an ideal accompaniment to ensure even the slightest spice on the tongue can be effectively soothed. Paper thin papadums can be great fun to break up but are more suitable for older children that won’t hurt their mouths on the crispy corners.
Top Indian Mains For Children
The iconic dish of the Indian menu is, of course, the curry. But it is a good idea to pick a mild dish to help children become accustomed to the taste. Daal makhani, a popular vegetarian option is a buttery, lentil dish cooked with tomatoes and onions until soft and cream in consistency. Children will enjoy dipping pieces of absorbent naan bread into this daal.
Tandoori chicken is also a great option for children with some rice on the side. The playfulness of eating with your hands (very Indian) will make the meal-time fun and the yoghurt marinade is delicately spiced – enough to introduce some Indian flavour to young palates without being over-powering.
Top Indian Desserts for Children
Dessert is the easiest part of the meal to order as Indian desserts are sweet, tasty and very kid-friendly. Luxurious kulfi – the Indian take on ice-cream – is a good bet to please children whilst for something a little more exotic, kheer is a popular Indian rice pudding created from dried fruit and nuts mixed with coconut milk. A healthy alternative is a sweet and refreshing yoghurt and fruit lassi. The classic mango recipe will give children a taste of India’s favourite fruit_ and top off an Indian meal delightfully.
Turn your meal into an adventure for children by talking to them about the various foods, customs and culture of India. With the right, kid-friendly menu selection, you can help your children learn to love Indian cuisine as much as you do.