A few years ago,I used to drop my grandson at school. Everyday, as he and the other children walked to the classroom with their huge schoolbags swinging from side to side, I used to feel a twinge of pain. Such heavy burden for such small kids!
Every child has a right to be a child, to frolic with abandon, to dream, to imagine, to discover, to make lifelong friends and most of all to savour the innocence and purity of childhood. Our system puts a premium only on studying by rote. It makes no allowance nor gives space for different aptitudes, skills and strengths. Peer pressure and parental expectation bring tuitions and structured extra curricular activities; eating into their free time and suppressing their natural spontaneity and gaiety. Should we not as caretakers of these children – voiceless, powerless and dependent – usher them into a world, full of promise and hope? Where his or her unique personality and talent is nurtured with care and allowed to fully bloom?
Children need to develop strong roots to be able to soar high with healthy wings. We await a new dawn!!
My grandson loves burgers. A great way to get him to eat his vegetables is to put a cutlet in a buttered bun, with a splash of ketchup and a cheese slice. Cutlets are an all-time favourite snack, especially at tea-time and when guests are expected. It can be made with almost anything – beans & carrot, chicken, fish… My husband used to go to Indian Coffee House only to eat his favourite spicy and crisp beetroot cutlet. This is a beetroot & carrot cutlet, from my friend’s recipe collection.
Preparation Time – 30 mins Cook time – 30 mins Serves – 4
- Potatoes – 2 large
- Carrots – 3 medium
- Beetroot – 1 medium
- Onions – 2 large ,minced fine
- Garlic – 10 cloves,minced fine (optional )
- Ginger – 1 small ,minced
- Green Chillies – 2 (cut small)
- Curry Leaves – 1 stalk (leaves cut fine)
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp
- Pepper – 1/4 tsp (freshly ground)
- Egg* – 1
- Coriander Leaves – 1 stalk (cut fine)
- Oil – 3 tsp
- Bread Crumbs – as may be necessary
- Salt – to Taste
- Oil – to deep fry(as required)
* Vegetarians can use a mix of corn flour & maida diluted in water instead of egg to dip the cutlet before coating in breadcrumbs.
Method of Preparation:
- Pressure cook whole potatoes, whole beetroot and whole carrots . I keep it for two whistles
- When it cools down, separate the vegetables from the water.
- De-skin & mash the potatoes, carrots and beetroot
- In a heavy kadai, heat oil, add garlic and saute. Add the onions, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and continue to saute for another 5 mins
- When onions become transparent & light-brown, add powders and coriander leaves
- Add mashed vegetables, salt and stir continuously and mix well. Saute till mixture is dry. Keep aside to cool.
- Divide the mixture into balls, each the size of a lime; pat and shape them into cutlets (approx.16 in no.) and dip in beaten egg. Coat with bread crumbs & deep-fry in hot oil till golden brown.
Serve hot with ketchup, bread and onion rings.
- Note -Instead of pressure cooking the beetroot and carrots, another method is to peel and grate them and saute it with the onions.If needed add a little water and cook till dry.Now add mashed potatoes and proceed as above.
- Pan – frying the cutlets is a healthier option with less oil.
Quick Sweet – Boil together in a heavy bottomed pan, besan ( gram flour) – 1 cup,coconut- 1 cup, ghee – 1 cup, milk- 1 cup and three cups sugar. When the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan, transfer it to a butter or ghee coated vessel. Cut into squares while still hot. This sweet is better known as Seven Cups.
Quick Tip – As soon as you buy fish or chicken for use in the following days, clean it, rub in salt, turmeric and masala (if needed) on it. Divide it into portions to be taken each day. Mark it and label it . Store in Ziploc bags. Keep in freezer.