Sensory Play- naan

Often the loveliest opportunities arise from life’s small problems. Having two little ones with some food allergies, our options are sometimes limited when it comes to buying some edibles such as naan (Indian flat bread)- which contains Ghee. As such, we have been making our own naan to go with our delicious lentil and tomato curry.

Letting little hands help with the mixing and kneading is an ideal opportunity to play with a dough which is safe to eat ( an important consideration when working with children under 3), smells great and (dare I say it ?) makes considerably less mess than it’s synthetic , luridly-coloured counterparts. It is a great opportunity for sensory play with children and allows them to really make something useful and delicious. We often also just make small bread rolls, but these can need more kneading if the resulting bread is to have a good texture.

Here is our recipe:

200g plain flour

1tsp sugar

1tsp yeast ( dried or fresh)

150ml warm water ( not hot)

1tbs olive oil

1tsp salt

  • Mix the sugar, yeast and oil with the water in a small measuring jug.
  • Weigh out the flour and put in a large bowl, mix in the salt
  • Add the water to the flour mixture and mix with your hands, add a bit of flour if it becomes too sticky.
  • Knead for around 5 minutes until you have a smooth and springy dough
  • Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a wet cloth and leave in a warm place until it is roughly double the size ( approx 1-1.5 hours.
  • When you are ready to serve, roll the dough out into a flat shape ( it doesn’t matter how big or small you make it) Place on an oiled baking sheet.
  • Put under a very hot grill ( broiler for the US/Canada folks) until it begins to blacken and large bubbles appear.
  • Turn the dough onto the other side and repeat, serve hot.

Another few ideas for sensory play…

Rice for texture
Bubbles, whisks, sieves and pans

Lentil and Tomato Curry ( Vegan and dairy free)

2 onions- chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic – chopped finely

1 tbs curry powder/curry paste ( we use medium but use what you prefer)

100g red lentils ( dried)

4 – 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

400ml vegetable stock

300g butternut squash diced ( I use a whole one)

  • Heat 2 tbs olive oil (light) in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic until the onion becomes soft.
  • Add the curry powder/paste and gently fry for 1 minute
  • Add the lentils and tomatoes and heat until at a gentle simmer. Put a lid on the saucepan and gently simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Add the stock and butternut squash- simmer for at least another 15 minutes
  • Serve with mango chutney and naan.
  • Enjoy !

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