Like most, if not all Indian mothers, I’m totally cuckoo when it comes to feeding my son. I’m constantly gnawed with worry that my son might be starving himself to death. That, deficient of nutrition, his brains might not meet the Ivy league standards causing his Godmother’s and Dad’s dreams for his future, to plummet with a thud. Now, into his third year, my insanity thankfully has considerably lessened. I still need a lot of work though. But compared to where I was during his first year, when I’d managed to drive the poor baby to gag at the very sight of a boob, I’ve come a long way. Forgive me all you future girlfriends of N, don’t take it personally if he’s put off or shows no interest at your assets. It is not you. It is all the doing of his ignorant first time Mommy.
Sadly, the initial years of torture at the hands of his mother also drove N to become the pickiest of eaters in the entire universe. It could be bad karma as well. I drove my mother crazy when it came to eating as a child. So, it was inevitable that fate would eventually gang up on me. Unbeknownst to fate however, was the viciously vengeful side of my ‘crazy’. For every food that N didn’t eat, I found another that he did, and soon disguised the former into the latter. Time was also in my favor, and I found it pretty easy to fool a toddler. I’ve gradually been reducing the disguise, and over a period of time this has helped him acquire taste for food he thought he didn’t like. Broken wheat instead of macaroni, veggie koftas instead of meat balls have slowly become some of his favorites
The following recipe is for a traditional lamb kofta dish. But I can’t help myself from saying this – For mom’s with picky eaters to feed, koftas truly have a lot of room to hide in tons of good stuff. Veggies, eggs, broken wheat, nuts to name a few. Phew! There I said it! These are just my suggestions. Please don’t be encouraged to become a loony like me .
Variations: A healthier option would be to use chicken or turkey instead of lamb for the koftas. But if you like to indulge in food like me, beef or pork works great too.
Ingredients (for the meatballs/kofta)
1 lb ground lamb
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
1 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste
2 tsp finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp finely chopped mint 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp black pepper ground
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp kashmiri garam masala
Ingredients (for the gravy)
One large or 2 med sized onions chopped to a mince.
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
3-4 tomatoes pureed
1/2 tsp cumin powder
4 tbsp almonds
1 cup fresh yogurt
1 tsp paprika (mainly for color)
1 tsp cayanne pepper/red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper
1 tsp kashmiri garam masala
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chopped cilantro
2 – 3 tbsp refined vegetable oil
salt to taste
I make a slight variation in the gravy for chicken or turkey koftas – I use 1/2 cup half & half instead of yogurt and replace 2 tbsp of almonds with 2 tbsp of cashew nuts