One of the hazards of this kind of blogging, one that I have been anticipating all along, is that of finding a food or recipe that I find perfectly delightful, but that in all honesty my son finds less so. I have decided to remain honest as a blogger and admit when this happens, while still encouraging you to try it for your kids (or yourself). For one, my son happens to be very young and so I cannot test recipes for older children on him. Secondly, as we all know, children sometimes take a bit longer to warm up to new foods than we would. That doesn’t mean that they won’t get there. My doctor said I need to expect that it could take up to 20 tries (!!) before getting a child to accept a food. Now you might say that this sounds more like a process of wearing down the poor child’s defenses than warming him up to flavors, but I am assured that this is not the case. Nonetheless, I cannot expect my readers to wait for 19 rejections by my son before I declare a recipe worthwhile, so while I will take into account my son’s feelings about a recipe or food, I will continue my blogging all the same.
I suspected that when I set out this morning to make another Indian comfort food, this one called Khichdi, that we might have one of these one our hands. So here’s the thing: I find red lentils to be a wonderful baby food. Quick cooking, smooth, tasty, and filled with good nutrition. And yet so far I can’t seem to get my son on board with this idea. He thinks (for the moment at least) that red lentils are actually a pretty yucky baby food. I’ll keep trying though.
- 2 tsp oil or butter plus 1 tsp butter to finish
- 1/2 tsp cumin or masala blend
- 1/3 cup red lentils
- 1/3 cup white rice
- About 2 cups water
- A pinch of salt
Begin by heating the oil or butter until very hot. Add spices (most recipes call for whole cumin but I used ground masala, which has a nice cinnamon scent that I thought maybe baby would like) and allow to bubble. Add lentils and rice, and sauté in the oil for a moment. Some recipes call for the addition of other diced vegetables of your choice which you would add now. Next, add enough water to cover by about an inch. Simmer on low heat until mixture thickens and grains are well cooked. Season with a pinch of salt and a pat of ghee* or butter. Serve.
*Ghee, which is clarified butter, is actually a nice product to keep around since it doesn’t burn nearly as easily as butter, imparts an assertive butter flavor, and keeps for months in the refrigerator.