This cookbook get its inspiration from Asterix & Winnie The Pooh
What do Goldilocks and The Three Bears, The Famous Five and Asterix have in common? According to cookbook authors Ranjini Rao and Ruchira Ramanujam, the answer is simple: good food. The Bengaluru-based duo that garnered popularity for their food blog Tadka Pasta, released their third title a few weeks ago — Book Worms & Jelly Bellies — put together entirely for children. What sets the book apart is that it’s filled with over 50 recipes inspired from children’s books.
“When we were discussing some ideas, we reminisced those earlier days in which we’d cook up a feast, with the help of our girls, based on Curious George or Princess Pigtoria, and throw a tea party for their friends for no rhyme or reason,” recalls Ruchira. “It made perfect sense to bring all of those things, along with our love for books, kids and food, into a full circle and create this book,” she continues.
The children’s titles covered include Winnie-The-Pooh and The Honey Tree (Honey-crunch Snack Bites), Alice in Wonderland (Psychedlic Pesto Pinwheels), Peppa Pig (Pretty Pink Lemonade) and closer home, Malgudi Days (Tangy Tamarind Pops). Appreciable for parents is the fact that the recipes have been divided not by soups, salads, desserts and such, but instead by the ages of junior chefs equipped to cook them. And this starts as early as three to five years.
“Children love sensory play and that’s what we hope to tap into, especially with this age group,” says Ruchira. And the dishes which only require easy tasks like using little hands to tear up herbs, a whisk here and there or moulding ingredients promise to ensure that parents playing sous chef will have a stress-free time as well. “It’s all fairly effortless and there’s no direct flame or sharp tools to work with for the little ones,” Ranjini clarifies to ease the fears of worrisome mommies.
Look forward to quirky introductions, easy-to-follow instructions and fun riddles that pop up along the way like: ‘What’s a dessert with the letters M-O-U-S-E in it?’
While Harry Potter could not be included in the list due to legal constraints, we had to ask if there was a recipe for butterbeer that we could use at home. And these ladies were happy to oblige.
2-3 tsps of butterscotch sauce + half cup butterscotch/vanilla ice cream + 1 cup club soda. Add a dollop of whipped cream on top for some additional indulgence.
Adult bloopers in the making of this book
While testing the Atta Cookies (The Magic Rolling Pin), I was thinking fondly back to my grandmother, who would bake cookies and cakes with a little pinch of traditional ingredients like elaichi and sonf, and ended up reaching for coriander powder in my pantry, instead of the fennel (sonf) powder. When the cookies were done, there was a distinct smell that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, until my daughter pointed it out to me! — Ruchira Ramanujam
Book Worms & Jelly Bellies is published by Hachette India. Price: Rs 399. Available in
leading book stores and online.