Starting a baby on solids is an exciting time for the parents.
I grew up in Pakistan watching the babies being introduced to table food by moms, grandparents and even older siblings. The food was lovingly smashed between fingers, before being placed gently inside baby’s mouth. I have wanted my children to enjoy Pakistani dishes just as much as we do. Starting them young ensures their palates get used to the taste (and the spices!).
I love this recipe that is a baby food variation to the much loved Pakistani dish khichri (a bland rice dish cooked with lentils, usually fed to anyone suffering from an upset stomach because it digests very easily).
This baby food version of khichri reminds me of this much-loved urdu short story for children:
Chirya laye daal ka dana,
Chira laya chawal ka dana,
aur donon ne mil kar banaye khichri!
Mama sparrow brought a grain of lentil,
Papa sparrow brought a grain of rice,
and together they brew some khichri!
I love repeating this as I feed the baby. Adds to the urdu fun!
Red Split Lentils – 1 tablespoon*
White Rice – 1 tablespoon
Butter – 1 tablespoon
1. Soak the lentils and rice in a cup for 30 minutes.
2. After 30 minutes strain away the water.
2. Heat the butter in a small pan
3. Add the lentils and rice and fry on medium heat for a minute.
4. Now add one cup of water and let it cook on medium heat for as long as the water dries.
5. Add more water if you think the mixture is not soft enough for baby yet.
In the end you will have a soft, mushy mix of rice and lentils that you can feed to baby after letting it cool a bit. This is a great base recipe. You can add so much to this. Sometimes I add chicken stock instead of water to let the rice and lentils cook. I also add carrots, pre-cooked chicken or potatoes to this. Experiment with combinations and see which one your baby likes!
*I buy my Red Split Lentils from Superstore in Canada. They are very clean and don’t need washing. Wash your rice or lentils well before use if needed.