Monday, 9 September 2013

Tilda Kids Kitchen: a cooking session with Dhruv Baker

A week ago Eddie and I had an opportunity to spend a day at the Big Feastival. This was an event for both foodies and music-lovers who descended on the fields at Kigham for a celebration of all things culinary and musical. It was the third year of the Big Feastival hosted by the rock star Alex James at his farm together with Jamie Oliver.
As a foodie, I was very interested in the culinary side of the event, and the festival promised a good line-up for the gastronomic entertainment.
I was a guest of Tilda Kids, and was looking forward to a cooking demo at Tilda Kids' stand.

I was very impressed with how things were organised by Tilda Kids. Their show room was by far one of the best demo areas at the festival, with wide clean tables set up for the children and their parents, a lovely photo cut out with the characters familiar from Tilda kids rice packs and tables with kits for colouring.

We were greeted by friendly smiley staff and signed in for the first cooking session. There was a wonderful enticing aroma: Dhruv Baker was cooking the chicken jambalaya (it was very tasty, and if you are interested in the recipe, keep an eye on my blog, as the recipe post is coming very soon!).

The children's cooking session was a lively event. Dhruv Baker has a great rapport with children, it was a pleasure to watch him in action, he knows how to inspire and interact with the kids.

All the children present at the cooking session listened attentively and followed the cooking instructions. I was amused to observe how competitive some of the kids were. And their parents even more. Once all the tuna bites were rolled and shaped, Dhruv cooked them in the frying pan. Later the children ate with gusto the food they prepared. And then they started asking who did the best.

All children received a certificate that they cooked a yummy meal in Dhruv Baker's Cookery School.

Inspired by the cooking session, Eddie and I wanted to recreate the tasty tuna bites at home.
If you fancy to have a go, here is a recipe (reproduced with the kind permission from Tilda rice).

Tilli's Tasty Tuna Bites
1 pouch Tilda Kids Sunshine Vegetable Rice
1 x 120g tin tuna with sunflower oil, drained
50g mozzarella cheese, grated
4g chopped chives
20g egg, beaten, approx half an egg
fine breadcrumbs for coating
sunflower or vegetable oil for shallow frying

1. Mix together in a large bowl 1 pouch Tilda Kids Sunshine Vegetable Rice with the tuna, mozzarella cheese, chives and egg - using a fork to bring all of the ingredients together.
2. Divide the mix into 20g pieces, this mix should make enough for approx 15 bites.
3. Flatten into nugget shapes or round into balls and coat with fine breadcrumbs.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the tune bites until golden brown on all sides.
5. Serve with ketchup or other favourite dips.

My notes: I couldn't get to the bigger supermarket on the day we cooked the tuna bites, so couldn't find a proper block of mozzarella at the shop. The only available mozzarella was a bag of ready-grated cheese. Once I added it to the mix, I realised that I would never be able to make neatly-shaped bites, as the mozzarella was grated into the really long strings. There was no way I could shape the mix into the fish-shapes, as requested by Eddie.
To make the fish mix smoother and more manageable, I gave it a whizz with the hand blender. Then I managed to roll it into the semblance of fish-shapes. What do you mean, they don't look like fish? Well, I did try my best.
I coated all the bites in breadcrumbs and fried.
I confess these were the best fish cakes I had in a very long time. The combination of rice and tuna with cheese was really lovely, they were delicate and delicious.

I made a whole lot of differently-shaped tuna bites, as I didn't think my husband would particularly fancy the fish-shaped ones.
I had my tune bites with the Luchito mayo which has a great chilli kick.
What about my little man? He bit the fish tails, then commented that the fish didn't look like fish anymore. So much for the grateful child.

Visit Tilda/kids for more great recipes and fun stuff.

If you liked this post, you might want to read more about the event here: My busy day: Eddie at the Feastival.

Link up your recipe of the week


  1. That looks fabulous! I really like the way you've presented that, and I've just pinned it to my collaborative fun food for children board. I'd seen the festival through Jamie Oliver's Instagram feed but didn't realise what it was; I'll keep my eyes peeled for information about it next year.

    Nipping over via the blogsRus share thread.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! We really enjoyed the day at the Feastival. And Tilda Kids made us feel very welcome. Hope we'll be able to visit the next year.

  2. These Tuna bites look great, will definitely give them a try...Feastival looks great too, will have to look out for that in 2014 also!

    1. It was fun, and what's important, very child-friendly.

  3. Those look lovely and very artistic

    1. Thank you Alison, tell that to Eddie, my little critic. :)

  4. I love how you presented that dish! How do you find the time! lol The festival looked like LOTS of fun too! x

    1. Thank you Deb! Don't even think I cook arty-crafty things every day, lol.

  5. Wow what a fabulous opportunity. It looks like you had a great time. x

    1. It was very enjoyable, and my first festival too.

  6. I love the look of the fish bites. I bet they are delicious.

  7. I had to giggle at the comment about competitive kids and their parents ! :)

    1. Oh my goodness, there was one Dad at our table who kept spurring his daughter on to do it all perfectly, bless her

  8. What a lovely day out, Dhruv is lovely and great with children! I really fancy making the tuna bites,my husband would demand the fish shapes!!

  9. Great idea. My kids love fish but as a veggie I'm never sure what to do to keep it interesting.

    Thanks for linking up to #recipeoftheweek. Pinned and Stumbled. There's a new linky live now if you want to join in :) x

    1. Thank you, Emily! You're very creative, I'm sure your kids enjoy everything you cook

  10. Pam Francis Gregory29 October 2013 at 12:13

    This looks lovely and is very well presented.