A basic baby friendly daal that takes minutes to make
MY POOR MOTHER! WHEN I WAS LITTLE THERE WAS SUCH LITTLE READY-MADE VEGETARIAN FOOD ON THE MARKET
Linda McCartney entered into distribution in the UK in 1991 followed by Quorn in 1993. Until then (and to be honest, a long time after) my mum relied heavily on things like lentils and chickpeas to provide our protein. At the time, nutrition wasn't something I knew or cared much about; give me alpahabites sandwiched between two slices of Mighty White for the love of god! One way to get around my objections however, was adding cheese to lentils, a flavour combo I now add to Elsi's! Below are two versions. One vegan friendly and one veggie, with a cheesy dose of nostalgia. Trust me on this!
For those interested, the lovely wooden bowl is by Bamboo Bamboo.
INGREDIENTS FOR VEGAN VERSION
Serves one hungry toddler and a few spoons for mum. Increase the amount if you want to freeze additional portions, although you may need to adjust the spices.
Suitable from 9 months
- 1/4 cup of Red Lentils
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- A sprinkle of Cumin Seeds
- 1/8 tsp Garam Masala
- A small pinch of salt (if over one)
- A good grind of Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
- 3/4 cup Cold Water
- 1//2 tsp Coconut Oil
- Garlic Powder - optional
First rinse your lentils under running water and pick out any small stones or debris that sometimes find their way into the packet. Then pop them in a small saucepan (you’ll need one with a matching lid) with your water and spices. If you prefer you can keep back the cumin seeds to toast and make a tarka with at the end but this way is quicker and less fussy. Put your lentils on the hob and bring to the boil on a medium heat, skimming off any foam that appears as that can cause gas (not something baby needs)! Once you’ve skimmed turn the heat to the lowest setting, give them a stir and put the lid on. Set a timer for 10 minutes and after that time give them a stir. If the water is drying out you can add a splash more. Continue cooking for a further 5 minutes with the lid on and then you should have reached a puree consistency. Turn off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. I often add a shake of garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt but I will leave that up to you! The nutritional yeast ensure your baby gets some elusive B12, always a good thing!
METHOD FOR VEGETARIAN VERSION
As above but instead of the nutritional yeast and the coconut oil stir in a half a tsp of butter and a tablespoon of cheddar cheese. You might need to loosen the mix with a splash of hot water.
To ensure all the goodness from the lentils is sufficiently absorbed serve with a plain portion of rice like basmati .