Sunday, July 7, 2013

Simple One-pot Dal Khichdi

This was Athyn's regular lunch until recently. Now that he has a lot more variety, still most days of the week he has this, now with a little rice added to it though. Dhal Kichadi is a one pot meal most moms gives their baby once they turn six months old. This was given on prescription to him by the doctor starting 6 months. We were asked to add each vegetable one by one every 3 days and make sure he gets a complete balanced nutrition. Although any dal (lentil) is good to start with Moong Dal is the best for digestion.

A simple short cut to reading up on nutritional value of all vegetables is to pick a vegetable from each color, it does the job of making sure all the nutrients are in. Although I always believe in doing my research and keeping up-to-date on the knowledge front when it comes to baby, this trick I learnt in my pregnancy classes comes handy always.

So I add a variety of vegetables, started with carrot, pumpkin, ash gourd, potato, spinach, radish and tomato, one by one and by 7 months he was eating a good amount. I still add all of this everyday. Sometimes I have added Papaya or Apple too to give it a natural sweetness, although Pumpkin and Carrot does the job most times. Initially I gave him just the kichdi with vegetables, then added potatoes to it, slowly introduced broken rice (sold as rice rava) instead of potato and now (after 8 months) I use regular rice with it.

Method to make Moong Dal Kichdi

1. Wash three small tsps of moong dal and let it soak in water for few minutes while you cut the vegetables. (It is said that it helps remove the gassy-ness off it)
2. Wash, peel and cut the vegetables - add two to three pieces of at least 4 vegetables in a day
3. Wash the Spinach very well and chop finely.
4. If adding Tomatoes, deseed and peel the skin off, use only the flesh
5. Bring in 1/2 a teaspoon of ghee n optionally - cumin powder, turmeric powder, hing, etc. (I started adding these after 7 1/2 months but not regularly)
6.  Bring in rice if you are using, 6 small tsps (2:1 ratio with the dal).
7. Add enough water to cover the entire lot. Use limited water if using water vegetables like ash gourd that will give out water by itself. (you can also measure 3 times the rice and dal quantity and use, although it is only through repeated cooking I could get the right amount of water required with each vegetable combo)
8. Pressure cook for 35 to 40 minutes or 10 whistles whichever is sooner.
9. Mash with a hand masher when warm, so that it does not require blending. There is absolutely no need to use a mixer or blender even if baby is as young as 6 months. 

Try to keep the Kichdi at a proper consistency after mashing. Alternatively, you can remove the excess water if any before mashing and add it if necessary. This helps to make sure the Khichdi is not too dry for the baby to swallow or too watery to make big mess! Trust me, the more watery the more messy it is to feed, especially cos our babies are as curious about the texture of the food they eat as the taste :)

As your baby grows older, you can increase the quantity of rice and dal in the same ratio. Substitute Moong Dal with Toor Dal too.


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