Kids have small stomachs. So every time they eat something, it takes the place of something else they’ll be turning down. It’s hard to convince kids to eat the healthy food they need to fuel their growth so I do my best to ensure most of the food they eat contributes to a healthy diet.

To this end, I like a hungry kid at dinner time. A hungry kid is more likely to try something new. When the kids have had a snack before dinner, they’re less likely to dig in.

Getting the kids to dig in wasn’t a problem tonight. We had Vegan Richa’s Lightly Spiced Yellow Lentils and Rice from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook. I love this book.

The smell of Indian food is irresistible to me. And Richa makes it attainable in my kitchen – no small feat! Tonight I even attempted her roti recipe!

making roti
Rolling out the rotis.

This was my first time making roti – it’s not authentic because I’m making due with whole wheat flour and all purpose flour as opposed to the flour that is used to make roti in India but Richa’s methodology made excellent rotis that were enjoyed by all.

making roti
The roti puffed up in the heat of the skillet.

The process involved cooking the flattened dough in a very hot skillet. The roti is supposed to puff up like a balloon, according to the instructions. I did manage to get them to puff up a bit – but not evenly. Nevertheless, they were delicious. Maybe I need some practice.

lentils, rice and roti
Lightly Spiced Yellow Lentils and Rice with roti on the side.

Tonight is our busy night with only a short window for eating before heading out for activities. Having a one pot meal like this makes meal prep easy and as long as the flavours are mild, it’s a quick meal for the kids to finish. They used the rotis to scoop up the lentils and rice.

red lentils and rice
The red lentils and rice were mild and delicious.

The lentils and rice are very mild – so I knew the kids would enjoy them. Sometimes I will take my changes on a more flavourful meal but on busy nights, I’m more conservative with my meal choices. This recipe was a good fit.

I followed the recipe with few exceptions. I haven’t been able to find asafetida in the stores in my region – I’m curious to know how it will change the flavours. I omitted the chile (for the kids’ sake) and chopped the onions in large pieces to make it easy to find and pick out for the kids. I didn’t have the petite yellow lentils so I used red lentils.

It was a delicious dinner. At one point, my picky eater said, “My tummy is full but I’m not listening.” He proceeded to finish his third roti! When I asked them how is dinner, they both exclaimed: “Awesome!” High praise indeed!

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