Most of us could probably do with eating a little less meat and this dal feels like a more-than-satisfactory replacement. The spices are really mild, so don’t worry if your child isn’t accustomed to eating them.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 carrot, finely diced
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
200g (7oz) split red lentils, rinsed and drained
270ml (9 floz) tin light coconut milk
310g (11oz/2 cups) diced pumpkin (winter squash)
150g (5½oz) diced cauliflower
150g (5½oz /1 cup) fresh or frozen peas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
steamed basmati rice, to serve
plain yoghurt, to serve (optional – omit for dairy-free)
cooked pappadums, to serve (optional)
Tip The pappadums can have sharp points when broken so just watch your child with them. You might like to wait until he’s 2 years or older before offering them to him.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat.
Add the onion, ginger and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
Stir in the spices and lentils and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and 435 ml (15 fl oz/1. cups) water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir through the pumpkin and cauliflower, cover, and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, adding the peas during the final 5 minutes of cooking.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the lemon juice and coriander. Serve with basmati rice, yoghurt (if using) and pappadums (if using), on the side.
Cooking for baby? For a younger baby, blend together some dal and rice until smooth, or blend the dal and then stir through some rice for a more textured consistency. For an older baby, chop up the dal to a consistency that can easily be eaten with a spoon and stir through some of the rice.
Cooking for a toddler? Serve as for an older baby or as is.
Recipe taken from Something For Everyoneby Louise Fulton Keats (Hardie Grant, £20).
Photography by Ben Dearnley
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