Cooking, reading recipes, measurements good for literacy

International cooking classes great practice for literacy skills and yummy

Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye photo  Kiran Heda treated the cooking class members to a lovely curry during the International Cooking Series offered by Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s Immigrant Settlement Services program in June.

Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye photo Kiran Heda treated the cooking class members to a lovely curry during the International Cooking Series offered by Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s Immigrant Settlement Services program in June.

By Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye

It has been a tasty year of food adventures in 100 Mile House.

The International Cooking Series offered through Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy’s (CCPL) Immigrant Settlement Services Program included Filipino, German, Indian, Swedish, and Swiss teachers sharing their favourite recipes from their home countries.

We had folks from all over the South Cariboo and beyond come out to chop, stir, sauté and fry. A few lucky people even got the chance to mill their own flour.

Reading and understanding recipes is one of those little ways many people practise their literacy skills each day.

The classic cookbook may have been replaced by a computer in some households, but they both have one very important thing in common: letters, words, numbers and punctuation. They come together and are organized in our minds, so we can bake the perfect loaf of bread or find a new way to use up all the zucchini from the garden.

Using recipes is also a fun and interactive way to learn a second language and we had many people come to the cooking classes who speak English as a second or even third language. A wealth of knowledge and techniques from around the world were shared and cross-cultural friendships were made.

To say the Indian cooking class in June was very popular is an understatement. More than 40 people attended, and although it was so crowded, it was impossible to be hands-on with each dish; participants all left with Kiran Heda’s recipes to try at home.

Kiran may be a dentist by profession but she impressed with her culinary skills.

Reach a Reader and share this recipe with a friend or try it yourself for a healthy vegetarian meal.

Rajma (red kidney beans) curry

This was translated by Kiran Heda from a family recipe.

 

Ingredients

(To be cooked with Rajma)

1 cup red kidney beans

2 Tbsp. split red lentil (Chana Dal)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 tsp. green chilies (optional)

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 tsp. grated garlic

2 cinnamon sticks

2 cloves

2 pods cardamom

 

Ingredients for curry

2 Tbsp. Canola oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup tomato puree

1 tsp. red chili powder

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1 tsp. coriander powder

1 tsp. cumin powder

1/4 tsp. garam masala

1/4 cup yogurt

1/4 cup milk cream

Salt to taste

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

 

Procedure

Soak red kidney beans for 7-8 hours in water.

Drain water and add all the ingredients “to be cooked” with Rajma and add 3 cups water. Cook Rajma on low flame for 30 minutes.

For curry, heat the oil in pan and add chopped onions and sauté. Then add tomato puree, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala and sauté for three to five minutes or until excess oil appears on the borders. Then add yogurt and milk cream and mix everything.

Add all of cooked Rajma into the curry and cook for three to four minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and enjoy.

Kimberly Vance-Lundsbye is the CCPL Immigrant Settlement Services co-ordinator.