Comfort food comes in all flavors and cuisines. This Top Chef Kids recipe is a snack with Indian flair that's perfect for a cold day.
Meeru Dhalwala has been written up in the New York Times and is known for elaborate, non-tradition Indian cuisine, but she likes to keep it simple at home.
In an ordinary kitchen with ordinary ingredients, extraordinary things can happen.
"What I call it, 'is what is your groove.' Because if it's a philosophy, it becomes serious, right? And at home, cooking can't be that serious. It has to be the groove in which you're comfortable, but you've got to make that effort to create the groove," Meeru said.
Meeru's groove connect her entire family through food. She and her reknowned chef-husband Vikram Vij believe in the power of home cooking so much that they wrote a book about it.
Her youngest daughter Shanik is more than a sous chef -- her name inspired Meeru's restaurant in South Lake Union, elevating and redefining Indian cuisine. But at home it's all about tradition.
"My mom's cooking, I never even realized it, right, it was my emotional security blanket as a child," Meeru said.
So they're making on her mother's specialities, chickpea pudding with almonds.
"It's a combination of yummy and it's healthy for them. It's almonds, it's chickpea flour and it's milk," she said.
Almonds provide the crunch, but chickpea flour provides the flavor.
"It is so, so high in protein, in iron, and my favorite thing of all -- fiber," said Meeru.
So many good things from so few ingredients. Shanik melts butter in a pot and add the flour.
When the mixture becomes smooth, it's time for milk.
The ingredients come to a rolling boil and need constant attention as they thicken. It's an ideal hang-out time for the family.
"I think whoever cooks it should not clean it, because they already worked to cook it," said Shanik.
The last ingredient is sugar, though it can be added earlier.
"Cooking is so emotional, right? It's really, when do you feel like doing it? Especially with Indian food, it is definitely not rocket science," Meeru said.
It is delicious. In just half an hour, they've created a warm, sweet, comforting snack.
"Home cooking is all about comfort, right? And that is really it. If it makes you feel comfortable, then it's fine," said Meeru.