Nutritious ‘n’ Yummy Recipes for School Cafeterias

Nita Mehta

The importance of nutrition cannot be underestimated, more so for growing kids. Since snack break at schools is an integral meal-time for kids, it is important that they eat the right things. Here, award-winning cooking expert and cookbook author Nita Mehta shares three recipes for right nutrition.

Nutritious Hara Chillah

Pancake power packed with nutrition, texture and taste! The pancake (chillah) is made with soaked ground green moong dal.

Makes 10
1 cup hari tukda moong chhilka
2 tsp chopped garlic, ¼ cup chopped coriander, ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp garam masala, ½ tsp coriander (dhania) powder,
1 cup water

2 carrots – finely grated (1 cup)
2 cups grated paneer, 1½ tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp roasted cumin (bhuna jeera) powder

1. Wash dal well. Soak dal in 2 cups of water for 1-2 hours.
2. Drain dal.
3. Grind dal to a paste along with garlic, coriander, salt, garam masala and coriander powder in a mixer. Add 1 cup water. Grind again. Remove from mixer to a bowl.
4. Mix all ingredients of the topping in a bowl. Keep aside.
5. Grease a non-stick pan and heat on fire. Remove from fire and pour one karchhi of batter and immediately spread with the back of a karchhi into a 5” diameter round. Return to fire. Let it cook for a few seconds.
6. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the topping on the chillah. Press.
7. Pour 1 tsp ghee/oil on the sides and on top too, so that the chillah turns crispy. When you see golden brown patches, turn over. Cook till golden from both sides. Serve hot.

Crispy Dalia Tikki

Your kids and their friends are going to gobble up these bite-size, high-fibre, peanut-flavoured tikkis!

½ cup broken wheat (dalia), 2 boiled potatoes – peeled & mashed
1 cup finely chopped spinach, 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp peanuts – powdered, ½ cup milk, ½ tsp salt or to taste,
½ tsp garam masala, oil for frying

1. Roast dalia till golden in colour. Soak in a bowl with ½ cup milk. Keep aside for 1 hour.
2. Mix well – potatoes and all ingredients except oil including soaked dalia. Divide the mixture into small equal portions. Make a ball of each portion and flatten between your palms in the shape of a small tikki.
3. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry 2-3 tikkis at a time till golden and crisp. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Nutty Corn Burger

Corn, raisins and nuts take the humble potato patty to gourmet heights that even a child can appreciate especially when it is presented to him as a burger.

Makes 4
4 burger buns, 4 tbsp ready-made mayonnaise, oil for shallow frying a few red or green lettuce leaves – dipped in chilled water till serving time

2 medium sized potatoes – boiled and grated (1 cup)
1 cup frozen corn kernels – put in hot water for 2-3 minutes, drain and mash slightly
3 tbsp cornflour, 1 tbsp raisins (kishmish),
3 tbsp roughly crushed peanuts, 1 tsp oregano
½ tsp ginger paste, ½ tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp salt
2 bread slices – churned in a mixer to get freshbread crumbs

1. For pattie, mix grated potatoes, corn, cornflour, raisins, peanuts, oregano, ginger-garlic paste and salt. Divide the mixture into medium balls. Flatten them slightly to give the shape of tikki.
2. Spread bread crumbs in a flat plate.
3. Moisten tikkis with a little water.
4. Roll tikkis in bread crumbs to coat all over.
5. Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan. Shallow fry 2-3 tikkis at a time till crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper napkins.
6. Halve buns horizontally. Lightly butter if desired and toast on a pan till crisp from both the sides or grill for 3-4 minutes in a hot oven till crisp.
7. Place the bottom half of the bun on a serving plate. Put a lettuce leaf on the bottom piece. Place a hot patty. Spoon some mayonnaise, about 1 tbsp on each. Cover with the top half of the bun. Serve hot with ketchup and French fries.