Brinjal Pasta

A combination of white sauce with tomatoes and brinjals creates an indulgent deconstructed lasagne. Like lasagne, this dish takes some time to prepare but is absolutely worth it!

Free from: Nuts and Sugar. Vegetarian. Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large brinjals (or 8 small), butter, 1 large onion, 1 carrot, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp paprika (or ¼ tsp chilli powder), 3 tsp coriander powder, 6 medium tomatoes (or 500g plum tomatoes), 4 tablespoons flour, 2 cups milk, 400g pasta.

For the brinjals:

  1. Chop 2 large brinjals (or 8 small brinjals) into bite sizes. Coat in 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter and a sprinkle of salt.
  • To fry on the stove: Pan fry on medium heat with the lid on, stirring regularly. Keep the lid on when not stirring. Cook till softened.
  • To fry in an air-fryer (preferred method): Fry for 5 minutes on medium heat. When the air-fryer stops, do not open the air-fryer for a few minutes to allow the brinjals to steam and soften. Then turn the air-fryer back on for a further 5 minutes. Repeat cooking and steaming until golden and soft.

 For the sauce:

  1. Chop 1 large onion and 1 carrot. Fry with a drizzle of olive oil on medium-low heat till browning.
  2. Add 2 garlic cloves – chopped or crushed. Fry for another minute. Add 1 tsp paprika (or 1/4 tsp chilli powder) and 3 tsp coriander powder.
  3. Peel, de-seed, and chop 6 medium tomatoes (see page 49 for methods of how to peel tomatoes). Add the tomatoes to the pot and salt to taste. Allow to cook with the lid on till tomatoes soften.
  4. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree (or use a potato masher).
  5. Add 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 4 tablespoons butter to the pot. Fry the flour until it smells toasty (about 2 minutes). Keep stirring. Add in 2 cups of milk, a little at a time. Allow the milk to absorb into the flour before adding more, to prevent lumps from forming. Keep stirring vigorously.
  6. Combine white sauce, tomato sauce, brinjals and 400g of cooked pasta. Best served a side green salad.

by Natasha Subbiah

For more recipes and tips on how to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, follow me on Facebook.

Chickpea Korma

A mild saucy curry made with cashew nuts.

Suitable for young children and up.

Free from: Sugar, Wheat, Gluten and Dairy. Vegan. Serves 5

Ingredients

  ¾cup cashew nuts, 1½ cups chickpeas sprouts, 1 medium onion, 1 bay leaf (optional), 3 cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp chilli powder, ½ tablespoon cumin powder, ½ tablespoon coriander powder, ½ tablespoon garam masala, 4 tomatoes, 1 red or green bell pepper, 6 sprigs coriander (aka. cilantro – optional).

Special Equipment: Blender, food processor or grinder.

Preparation: i.     Soak cup of cashew nuts in water for 2 to 8 hours.

  1. Sprout chickpeas to yield 1½ cups of chickpea sprouts.

Method

  1. Boil chickpeas till soft. Alternatively, use a pressure cooker to save time.
  2. Fry 1 finely chopped medium onion in oil/butter/ghee on medium heat with 1 bay leaf (optional).
  3. When the onion starts to turn golden, add 3 cloves of garlic – minced or crushed, with tsp chilli powder, tablespoon cumin powder, tablespoon coriander powder, and tablespoon garam masala. Add more oil if necessary and fry on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leafy and add in 1½ cups of boiled chickpeas, a red or green pepper (chopped) and salt. Allow it to fry while preparing the tomatoes. Add a splash of water if necessary.
  5. De-seed, peel and blend 4 medium tomatoes. Add in the tomatoes, and salt. Allow to cook on medium heat for just a few minutes while prepping the cashew sauce.
  6. Add the soaked cashew nuts to a blender with ¾ cup of water and 6 sprigs of coriander (optional) and blend. Add the cashew cream and cook with the lid off for a few minutes to intensify flavours and thicken sauce. Taste to correct salt.

Best served with a side green salad and rice. Smash chickpeas for babies.

Recipe from “How to Get Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables” by Natasha Subbiah

For more recipes plus tips on how to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables, follow Natasha Subbiah’s page on Facebook.