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Posts tagged ‘Ethnic baby food’

Which aromatic spices are safe to introduce into baby’s diet?


Spices on spoons_crop_label
So you’ve mastered the basics and your baby is now accustomed to straightforward fruit and vegetable purees. Now this is where the fun begins! Adding different flavours into your little one’s meals and waiting in anticipation to see the look of pleasure on her face. With my little one, the pleasure on her face wasn’t so much about a smile, it was in her eyes; they would light up when she was enjoying her meal and she’d lean forward with mouth wide open for more. Equally she would spit out the food if she didn’t like it! The brutal honesty of children – you’ve got to love it!

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Weaning – How to introduce spices into a baby’s diet

Baby_how to
When I decided to introduce spices into my little one’s diet I did wonder about the best method to use when doing this. If I was to include two or three spices in one of her meals, how would I know (if she reacted to any of them) which one she was allergic to?

Thankfully this wasn’t an issue as my little one isn’t allergic to anything (that I am aware of), but at the time there was no way of knowing this.

So, better to be safe than sorry I say! I chose to follow the ‘four day rule’ as I did when I first introduced solid food into my little one’s diet. And I would ALWAYS recommend that you do the same. For example, introduce a spice cooked within food and serve to your little one. Then wait four days before introducing another one.

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Matter Paneer (V)

Well yesterday was definitely an experience I won’t forget! My first LIVE cooking appearance on the BBC. It was a nervy experience but simultaneously FANTASTIC; I had a great time!

BBC Radio Leics Interview

I was invited to appear on Rupal Rajani’s show on BBC Radio Leicester and was asked to prepare two recipes from my forthcoming book – Easy Indian SuperMeals for babies, toddlers and the family. Rupal requested her favourite meal – Matter Paneer, followed by a sweet dessert – Gajar Halwa.

My yummy Gajar Halwa recipe is sugar-less so is suitable for babies from 7 months and up. You can find the recipe here. And my Matter Paneer recipe is a delicious family meal suitable for children from one year and up.

Both recipes are very SIMPLE and only take between 20-30mins to cook – this includes preparation time! I however, had slightly less time to cook both recipes on the show as we got started 15 minutes later than what I was told, and I had to cook on an electric cooker! YIKES!!

Anyway, I got my head down, peeling and chopping carrots, chopping tomatoes, lightly frying the paneer all whilst being interviewed. ‘The hubby’ even got in on the action. Imagine his surprise when he got a microphone pointed in his face. HAHA… priceless!

It was a tall order but I managed to prepare both dishes with 10 minutes to spare. There were plenty of willing tasters at the BBC too who sampled both recipes. And the verdict – well there was plenty of ‘umm this tastes delicious’ comments flying around the kitchen which I was very pleased about, and within 10 minutes all the food had disappeared. My first LIVE COOKING SUCCESS!

For those of you who didn’t manage to tune in, you can read some tweet highlights below, along with the Matter Paneer recipe I cooked yesterday for you to try.

twitter feed

 


Matter Paneer (V)

A South Asian vegetarian classic, matter (peas) and paneer, a commonly used unsalted full- fat Indian cottage cheese. Once only available in specialist Indian grocers, is now readily available at most supermarkets. Paneer is protein-rich and an excellent source of calcium, essential for building strong teeth and bones.

Matter Paneer

Total preparation and cooking time: 20mins
Serves a family of four
Suitable for freezing

225g (8oz) paneer – cubed
50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp minced garlic
3 tomatoes – washed, chopped
1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric
100ml (31⁄2fl oz) of water
1 tbsp tomato puree
225g (8oz) peas – frozen, washed
Salt to taste (optional)
Red chilli powder to taste (optional)

 

Drizzle olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and lightly fry the paneer on medium-low heat until the cubes turn golden. Remove from the pan, place on a paper towel and set aside.

Using the same frying pan, add the 50ml of oil, cumin seeds, garlic and stir-fry on medium- low heat. When they begin to splutter add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 2-3mins. Then add the turmeric, water, tomato puree and allow the sauce to simmer on medium heat for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

Once cooked, add the paneer, peas, stir and simmer for 2-3mins until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove a serving for your little one and set aside. Then add salt and red chilli powder to the main pot and stir. Return to the heat for a further 1-2mins to lightly cook the chilli if you wish. Serve with roti.

 

Hardcover front cover
Recipe extract from Easy Indian SuperMeals for babies, toddlers and the family by Zainab Jagot Ahmed available for pre-order now from Amazon.co.uk.