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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Baby Food Recipes: Indian Lentil Stew

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Lentils, rice and veggies in a “stew” are one of the easiest meals to make for your little one. In India, it’s called “khichdi” – but it’s basically the same as an “Indian Lentil Stew.” I like mixing in some spices to give it additional flavor, and throwing in a variety of veggies to make it a one-pot meal.

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You can make it in a crock pot, a pressure cooker, or let it simmer on the stove for hours, there’s very little prep work and a lot of downtime with this recipe.

Essentially, the ingredients are: 2 cups of lentils (any lentil is fine, I’ve used red lentils, yellow split peas, and “moong dal” which you can get at the Indian store), 1 cup of white basmati rice, brown rice or quinoa, a combination of 2-3 bags of veggies (1 bag of carrots, 1 bag of peas, 1 bag of green beans, broccoli, spinach, etc.), and 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp garam masala, and a pinch of salt.

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Just throw it all into a pot on the stove, bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer for hours. Or, throw it all into a crock pot and simmer on high for 4-6 hours.

Then I just mash it all up, and serve with 1-2 tbsp yogurt for a healthy and delicious meal! Sometimes I mix this recipe with my broccoli, spinach, cauliflower puree, and Layla gobbles it up.

I think this might be her favorite meal yet!

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This is another one you can make in bulk and freeze in ice cube trays, or store in the fridge up to 5 days. You’ll end up with a delicious, healthy, one-pot meal for your little one!

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5 from 1 vote

Baby Food Recipes: Indian Lentil Stew

Lentils, rice, and veggies in a “stew” are one of the easiest meals to make for your little one. In India, it’s called “khichdi” – but it’s basically the same as an “Indian Lentil Stew.”
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Baby Food
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 20 ounces

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of lentils any lentil is fine, I've used red lentils, yellow split peas, and "moong dal" which you can get at the Indian store
  • 1 cup of white basmati rice brown rice or quinoa
  • 6 cups of water
  • A combination of 2-3 bags of veggies 1 bag of carrots, 1 bag of peas, 1 bag of green beans, broccoli, spinach, etc.
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Whole milk organic yogurt for serving

Instructions

  • Put water, lentils, rice/qunioa, veggies, and spices into a large pot on the stove.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer 1-3 hours until it's the consistency you like, stirring occasionally.
  • (Alternatively, put all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours)
  • Mash up, freeze in ice cube trays or store for 5 days in the fridge.
  • Serve with whole milk organic yogurt.

32 responses to “Baby Food Recipes: Indian Lentil Stew”

  1. Hi Anjali !
    I recently discovered your blog while surfing for healthy baby food recipes for my 9 months old daughter. Your baby food recipes are wonderful!!
    Can you list some ideas for seasoning baby food/purees.
    Being a vegetarian what can I add to her diet to increase her protein intake?

    • Hi Mayuri! Thank you so much for reaching out to me and for your kind words about my blog! In terms of seasonings — you can literally use any mild spices and flavors you like! Some of my favorites include: all the Italian herbs and spices – oregano, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, etc.; Warm spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala; and Sweet spices like ground cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, ground ginger, etc. A tiny tiny pinch of any of these spices should be ok to add to fruit or veggie purees or other foods you give her! For protein – at 9 months, her primary source of nutrition should still be formula or breastmilk — and she should be getting plenty of protein from there. Once she hits 12 months, her primary source of nutrition will move towards solid food and away from formula/breastmilk, so for protein in the toddler years I recommend these foods (provided there are no allergies): Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt, Nut Butters (Almond, Peanut), Beans and Lentils, Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Sprouted Wheat Breads, Ground Flaxseed (can be mixed into oatmeal), Organic Whole Milk, Tofu and Tempeh, etc. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  2. Hi Anjali,
    Do you have the recipe for lentil water (daal pani)? My baby is 6 mo (5 mo adjusted), underweight and has several issues including milk & soy allergy, constipation etc. I’ve introduced solids as per our Pediatrician’s suggestion. Ped doesn’t want me to give him rice due to possible constipation concern, so I could not give him khichdi. He also wanted me to give him high protein food. So I introduced purees of pea, chicken, turkey etc none of which my baby liked. I know red lentils are protein rich. Was considering giving him watered down lentil soup. Do you have a recipe or can you please suggest how to make it palatable to a baby who I fear is turning out to be pick eater?
    Thanks!

    • Hi! I have a few ideas/thoughts for you:
      1) You can give your baby khichdi but make it with quinoa instead of rice. Also do a ratio of 2:1 dal to quinoa in the khichdi. Then it will be even higher in protein than regular khichdi and you can avoid the rice.
      2) For a “daal pani” type of recipe – you can actually take this “Indian lentil stew” recipe, omit the rice from it, add more water and puree until smooth. Then it will basically be a high protein, high nutrient version of daal pani!
      Hope that helps!

  3. Hi Anjali,
    I had this in mind that cooking in bulk and freezing it is much easier but cause of the guilt that I should cook fresh food for my baby, I ended up cooking everyday. How healthy/unhealthy is it to feed frozen food to baby?

    • Hi Manasa! Frozen food is actually just as healthy as fresh food — it’s a myth that you lose nutrients during the freezing process. For example, there is a ton of research proving that frozen vegetables purchased at the grocery store are just as nutrient rich as fresh. So please don’t feel any guilt about this and just do what’s easiest for you!

  4. Hi! I am so excited to try this recipe for my baby boy. When cooking this on the stove should I cover it with a lid for the entire process?
    Thank you for your help and all of your wonderful recipes!

    • Hi Jessica! Yup – cover it with a lid for the entire process, until the lentils are fully cooked down. Once that happens, you can uncover it and cook it for longer if you want it to become thicker – but if you like the consistency then you can just turn off the heat and let it cool before serving! Can’t wait for your little one to try this – I hope he loves this recipe!

      • Hi Karen! At the grocery store, in the frozen section, there are usually only 1 or 2 sizes of “bags” of frozen veggies. Usually between 12-16oz. If you’re using fresh veggies, a 16oz bag will end up being about 6 cups of veggies!

  5. Hi Anjali,
    I’m new to your blog and I am loving all the new dinner ideas. When you make this for a baby under 7 months would you still add all the spices?

  6. Hello, I just made this dish for my 10.5 month old and it tastes a bitter. Is there something I can add to get rid of the bitterness? Thanks.

    • Hi Toni! Hmm that is really strange — this recipe shouldn’t taste bitter at all — it should basically taste super bland (for adults) — like mashed up lentils 🙂 The bitterness might have come from the veggies you added to it, in which case I’d just add more cooked lentils to the mixture to get rid of the bitterness. Hope that helps! Let me know if that works and if you have any other questions!

    • Hi Deanna! Yup – I used frozen veggies because they are cheaper and actually fresher than fresh cut veggies! Hope that helps!

      • Hi,
        I have a 7 months baby girl and 4 kids 11,12,13 and 14 🙂
        And I’m all about healthy food for our family. I just discovered your blog and love it! Thank you!
        Question: your comment about frozen vegetables being more fresher than fresh veggies, can you explain why?! I would think frozen veggies have the added preservatives…

      • Hi! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my blog! To your question – frozen vegetables that are organic and packaged just on their own (no other ingredients added other than the vegetables themselves) can be fresher than fresh veggies because they are flash frozen right when they are picked, and right when they are in season. Fresh veggies will travel for a week or so from the farm to the grocery store so by the time you buy them they could be 1-2 weeks from when they were harvested. As long as you buy organic frozen veggies with no other ingredients on the label, you can be sure they are free from any preservatives or additives!

  7. Hi Anjali,
    Thank you! I finally got around to making this for my daughter and she absolutely loves it, especially when I make it with minced garlic.

  8. Hi Anjali,
    I stumbled upon your site while searching for food recipes for my 13 month old daughter. I was wondering if you feed your daughter this Indian Lentil Stew? The recipe above is very similar to what I prepare for me and my husband. We haven’t started giving our daughter spicy foods. I was just wondering at what age you introduced spices? I am preparing lentils, rice, and spinach for her with a little salt and a little ghee. She loves it but I want to start adding some variety. My husband is from India so it is important to us that our daughter eat the same foods.

    Thank you,
    Trang

    • Hi Trang! So yes! I absolutely do feed my daughter this Indian Lentil Stew. When she was 6-11 months, I pureed the whole thing and gave it to her. Now I just give it to her chunky, the same way we would eat it. I introduced spices to my daughter around 8-9 months by giving her tastes of what we were eating – and by the time she was 13 months she was easily eating all kinds of spices and all of the same foods that we eat. I hope that helps!

    • Hi Carina! I’m not sure how many cups exactly, but one “bag” is 16oz / 1 lb of veggies. So for this recipe I use 2-3 16oz bags of veggies. It doesn’t have to be exact – it will turn out great as long as you cook it for a long time and add the spices I recommended. Hope that helps!

      • By the way… I did make this for my then 7 month old and he loved it. Even without any yogurt! It made so much that we are finally finishing up the freezer stash now (4 months later), which is saying something as my little one is a big eater! I made it wish bulgar wheat instead of rice which I can highly recommend. Great recipe for babies and adults….I will be making more next week!

      • Woohoo! That is wonderful to hear Carina – I’m so glad this has worked well for you and your little one! And yes, bulgar wheat instead of rice is a great substitution — you can also use quinoa which amps up the protein of the recipe too!

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