What you will find in this post?
- Tips on how to feed your kids while traveling
- Homademade rasam mix recipe
- Tips on how to make the rasam in a microwave, stove while staying in a hotel
I love to travel so is my 4.5 year old boy. We were planning to do an international trip after my daughter’s first birthday. We were waiting for her to be little over a 1 year to start organizing long trips. But in the meanwhile,we braved our way to Lake Tahoe when she was 10 months completed. That was just 4 hour drive from San Francisco. We managed it well as we stayed in a cabin posted via AirBnB. The moment she turned 1, we made a short trip to Disney Anaheim for the Christmas break. That took 8 hours by road. I shared details on what I packed for the kids in this post. Please grab the pdf for “Travel Check List” in the same post. You should click on a dropbox link to download it.
In December last year, we were making plans for a long trip in early 2015. When I am on a vacation, the last thing I want to deal with is seeing my child get sick, tired and cranky. It makes it so uncomfortable for them as they cann’t sleep or eat properly. Nothing feels like home right. So to prevent anyone from falling sick, I always carry some quick fix homemade ready mixes. It is always easy to whip something quick in the hotel room (microwave) or AirBnB apartment (electric/gas stove) and feed the hungry kids. During our trip to Disney, we were totally drained by the time we reached the hotel. We were dead tired because of the heat, long lines and crowd. It was Christmas break and you can imagine how Disney would be on those 2 weeks.
My kids lost it all. I cann’t imagine sitting in a restuarant with two cranky, sleepy kids. As we stayed close to the theme park, we will drive to the room to eat something homemade. Trust me, this will make their night and yours smooth and fine. Dinner done by 9.00 PM. Everyone on the bed by 10.00PM. Sounds nice right!
Even during our trip to Israel, I packed two sets of homemade South Indian Spices Mixes for the kids (rasam mix and sambar mix) apart from homemade puffed rice masala (pori / bhel ) and popped lotus seeds masala (phool makhana). I made rasam and sambhar on alternate days. We booked apartments through AirBnB so I knew that we will have a decent kitchen to whip a quick meal for them. On most days, I served them freshly made rasam with rice. In Israel, we stayed 4 nights at every city(Haifa, Galilee, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv) so I shopped at the local market as needed. I will buy one lemon and one tomato as the rasam I make on Day 1 was used until Day 3 or until we moved to the next place. I stored the rasam and rice in the fridge along with yogurt, milk and fruits. Instead of fresh lemons, you can also buy orange juice or lemonade and add them to the rasam broth.
We shopped for the following on the day we arrive at the destination:
- Small packet of frozen vegetables (go for the smallest one)
- Packet of salt
- Potato chips
- Lemons as needed
- Tomatoes as need
- Fresh fruits and yogurt.
The other most important thing that we forget as parents is to give kids yogurt everyday. Probiotics are very important for them to have a healthy bowl movement. You don’t want your kid to be constipated or have a loose tummy while you are outside, right? Please make sure to carry probiotic powders as well. Once you figure out the child is having loose tummy, mix it with milk or yogurt and feed them. That’s what I did. Even though yogurt had good bacteria, it is necessary to supplement the body with additional probiotics to set the intestional flora right. You need to treat fast as you don’t want those precious vacation days to go waste.
I used my readymix rasam powder which I made on the previous night of the trip. It was an easy, cheat recipe. I made the spice mix with lentils, peppercorn, mustard seeds, curryleaves, cumin and coriander seeds and asafoetida. You can make this rasam in 10 minutes. My recipe calls for adding the spice powder, chopped tomato, water and salt. Once it comes to a rolling boil, I will let it cool a bit and add lemon juice to it. This is one of the best food that saved my kids from falling sick. We also let them taste local delicacies but they will just munch on very little amount.
In Israel which was our most recent vacation, my 4.5 years old boy tried falafel, pita and hummus too but as a mother I always felt that he didn’t eat well. So when we reach home I will feed them rasam and rice. I also used poha like Gerber rice cereal. When mixed with hot water, it becomes mushy. I mixed rasam and fed that for my daughter. The spices in the rasam prevents kids from having any upset tummy and also helps to combat cold. So I feel that we can definitely take the effort to pack all the safe travel food for our kids. For rice, I found jasmine rice and long grain rice in the supermarket. We used them both to serve rasam.
I also carried little ajwain (carom seeds) in a small Ziploc bag. On some days, I will boil it with water and we will drink it like regular water.
Overall, we managed to enjoy the trip without anyone falling sick. We made great memories and my kids enjoyed the trip.
If you are on a road trip and you are a vegetarian, then carrying an electric cooker or electric stove along with all the spices and utensils are one of most feasible idea. My inlaw parents arrived in the US 2 days after our arrival from Israel. I cooked tomato-lemon rasam, potato fry and rice for lunch and left to work. I used the same readymade rasam mix I used during the trip to make it as it was quick and easy. Since I made this at home, I made a tadka/thalippu with ghee, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Then added the spice mix, tomatoes and water. Once it reached a rolling boil, I switched off the flame and added lemon juice. I made them prior to coming to work. It saved my time in the morning.
- 1 cup toor dhal / yellow split lentils
- 20 curry leaves
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp peppercorns
- 2 dry red chilli
- 4 tbsp cumin seeds
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 4 tsp asafoetida
- Dry roast toor dahl, curry leaves, peppercorns,dry red chili, cumin seeds, coriander seeds SEPARATELY. Once cooled, gring them together to a smooth powder.
- Dry roast the mustard seeds and add them to powder. We want to keep it whole. DONOT GRIND THE MUSTARD SEEDS.
- Mix in turmeric powder and asafoetida and pack it in a ziploc bag.
How to make rasam during travel?
- Pour 500 ml water to a pot, add 1/4 cup rasam mix, 1 chopped tomatoes and bring it to a boil. It will take 10 minutes in a stove. If you are using a microwave, cook in a bowl that has a wide mouth (like the one in the picture) for 5-8 minutes on high.
- Remove from heat and add juice of half a lemon and salt. Check for seasoning. You can add crushed peppercorns if needed.
- Serve hot with rice, steamed vegetables and chips.