On the 1st of May 2016, we organized a children’s cooking class at Penang Funmers Life Market . Children learnt to cook chapati and dhal curry from scratch. Our session started with children cleansing their hands. Children were provided with an introduction to the dishes. Preparations for the dhal curry such as cooking of the lentils, we used organic lentils for this session. Precooking involved soaking the legumes, boiling and blending them provide that rich flavor and consistency.
As the lentils has already been prepared, the garnishing which involved frying a mixture of cumin, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds with organic curry leaves in coconut oil. Indian cuisine have a better aroma and flavour when cooked in coconut or mustard seed oil and also aids in digestion. A child remarked with excitement, “The aroma is so good!” when the mixture cooking in the oil. The sensory perception of children is particularly stimulated by the process.
Next, we proceeded to make the flatbread chappati dough. It requires thorough kneading. Children enjoyed the activity of feeling the texture of flour and oil. They also had quite a lot to do after kneading. They were required to roll out circular chappatis. A grandparent accompanied her grandson in the workshop. It was amazing to see their teamwork and how they benefited from working together.
Playing with fire
There are many concerns about children handling fire when cooking. The supervision of a vigilant adult is definitely needed but this must be balanced with enabling the child to experience a very essential part of life. Handling fire can be done safely and when it is age appropriate. For example, we had a 4 year old who was fearful of putting the chappati into the hot pan. Gradually, we managed to allay her fears and helped her do it in a safe manner. In the end, she managed to put the chapati on the flat pan confidentially. She managed to overcome her fear and enjoyed the process of cooking.
Feedback from participants
” It is more fun when children cook together, it become a fun family activity.”
” I hope my child helps me with cooking dinner after this.”
We hope to see the little ones and you again for the next cooking lesson. Stay tuned for our up coming cooking lessons designed for children!
Cooking is fun!