Sunday, May 15, 2011

Teaching Geography with Cous Cous

This is an absolutely gorgeous dish, that I must share with you. I wanted to try cooking a couscous dish which is not really common for us. And it turned out marvellous! My kids enjoyed making and eating it so much - they asked for more. Here's the recipe - and as always, be flexible if you need to be.

This is my own recipe. I hope you like it.


What you will need:

CousCous soaked  in water

For 2 adults and 2 kids

CousCous - 200 grams
A little salt
A little butter

Prepare the CousCous first.

Typically, a lot of couscous comes pre-steamed. 12 inch Stainless Steamer SetMy box said to only add the couscous in a pot of hot water.

But, I, thought, differently. I soaked it in water for about 5 minutes and steamed it for about 10 or 15 minutes. Add in the salt. Add butter when about to serve. The butter melts into the couscous.

The Chicken Dish

It's really up to your own imagination
But here's mine for the trying:

Chicken meat diced
3 onions sliced
3 cloves of garlic sliced
mixed vegetables - carrot, corn and green peas which you can get in the supermarket
capsicum - green, yellow and red
1 potatoes diced
Vegetables, Capsicum
sliced chili
you can add other vegetables as well like aubergines and zucchini
1 tablespoon of paprika or chili powder
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
salt to taste
Saute onion
Saute the onions and garlic
Add the chicken and potatoes
Add the paprika and turmeric powder
Add in the vegetables
And salt to taste.

Add flavour
All ingredients cooking
And you are done.

Mixed vegetables

Teaching Notes

Explain to the children about cous cous and the countries it comes from.
Show them the atlas.

Couscous is a North African (like Morocco) dish of semolina traditionally served as with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.

Couscous is a staple food throughout West Africa, Sahel, France, Spain, and the Canary Islands, Portugal, Madeira, Italy (particularly in western Sicily's Province of Trapani), id as well as in Turkey, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, the Middle East and India.

For parents,

Did you know that Couscous is among the healthiest grain-based products. It has a glycemic load per gram 25% below that of pasta. It has a superior vitamin profile to pasta, containing twice as much riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and foliate, and containing four times as much thiamine and pantothenic acid. In terms of protein, couscous has 3.6 g for every 100 calories, equivalent to pasta, and well above the 2.6 g for every 100 calories of white rice. Couscous contains a 1% fat-to-calorie ratio, compared to 3% for white rice and 5% for pasta
Completed Dish - Ready to Serve

Happy Teaching and Cooking!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Drumsticks - What do you teach a 40 year old?

My mom asked my brother who is almost 40 to buy a kilo of drumsticks. My brother is not a kitchen or a cooking person. My mother says its probably her fault for not teaching him. And thus this story at 40 years of age ....!

My brother goes to the market and heads for the vegetable section, ignoring his wife's views that his mom meant something else! He not only was looking for the drumsticks but a kilo of it.
And of course, he does not find them. And refuses to acknowledge that mom could have meant chicken drumsticks! He tells his wife 'was there any other drumstick she meant - i dont think she meant the sticks for drums!' It did not even occur to him that mom could have meant chicken drumsticks!

This is chicken drumstick as opposed to vegetable drumsticks
This are the dangers of not teaching our kids around the kitchen - even if it is basic. And yes, you guessed it, we did not have chicken drumsticks for dinner and neither did we have the vegetable drumsticks for dinner. But my brother is the brunt of all jokes now!

What is vegetable drumsticks or murunga?
The tree is everlasting with slender bark and small leaves.
Vegetable drumsticks which is typically used in India, and mostly the indian community in curries and vegetable dishes. The fruit or pod has lots of health benefits - energizes and has high contents of vitamins and minerals. Its leaves also make a great vegetable dish. Some even drink its juice.

As always, refer to wikipedia for more information on murungah.
Some researchers have stated that the the leaves is equivalent to 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges plus 4 times the calcium in milk,  3 times potassium in bananas, 2 times the protein in milk and 4 times the vitamins in Carrots.

Cooking suggestions:

1. Include them in curries - chicken curry, vegetable curry and such
It cooks fast - you can add them when you put the chicken in

2. The leaves - stir fry with onion, ginger and garlic and some herbs if you wish

Happy Cooking and Teaching!