Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Sweet Excuses : Apple Crisp

Hello everyone! I’m sure all of you are busy preparing for a fun and happy Diwali. I always stayed in an apartment with loads and loads of friends. While growing up, Diwali was one of our favorites, crackers, rangolis, dandiya and of course the best part, delicious treats. There was a whole variety to choose from, food ranging from chaats, samosas to piping hot baturas and chole. Yummm….oh how I miss those days. This year we have decided to take our first road trip with baby M to Mysore. Can’t wait. I’m sure M will love it, she loves gallivanting anyway.

Do share all the delicious dishes you cooked up specially for Diwali.

You know, I always seem to have a few apples lying around in my pantry and these days I have them in abundance because my little girl loves her fruits. And, because of their omnipresence, I end up thinking up ways of using them. Anyway, of course, I had apples on hand. So, this time I decided to make something simple with clean flavors and little effort. The assembly was simple and truthfully low effort. As the apples cook down in the oven, the whole house (ok, atleast your kitchen if you live in a house rather than an apartment) smells deliciously warm and inviting.

This delectable sweet addition is something that will keep you going during the day, be it for an after-run energy boost or a pick-me-up with coffee or just a little sweet after lunch... Apple Crisp is packed with the goodness of apples and oats.

I think it's getting to be time to dust the baking pans and trays and get into the full swing of baking, comfort food and all that jazz. Diwali is next week! Festival time is always a time to indulge in good food and most times the food is too rich and fatty. So why not cook up something sweet and healthy this time. There is nothing like good hearty, homemade meals... Let's start sweet for the season, shall we?! :) Here is an Apple Crisp spiced lightly with nutmeg and cinnamon for warmth and with a good measure of oats to keep the goodness going. This is one of those quick sweet recipes which is high on taste and can be cooked in a jiffy. This recipe was sent to me by my sister and the minute I caught hold of the recipe, I knew what my next blog post was going to be! :)


8 apples or 8 peaches, peeled
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup cold butter


Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 13x9 glass pan. Cut fruit into slices (removing pit or seeds) and layer in bottom of pan. Mix dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and then cut in butter with a pastry cutter (cut until crumbly). Sprinkle mixture over fruit. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Top should be browned. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or just as it is.

Simple Baked goodness coming your way. Enjoy my special but unconventional sweet for Diwali this year. Happy Diwali guys.

Recipe Courtesy: Sharon, Amazing sister, Lovely wife and an Excellent mommy to two beautiful kids. Hugs Shan. Love you.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Creamy Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw

Oh today is a happy happy day. My best friend Gaya gave birth to a healthy baby boy. So excited and can't wait to hold the cute little bub in my arms. Rajiv and Gaya, a big hug to all of you and special kissies to the honey bunch. Today's post is dedicated to you guys. May your bundle of joy bring you lots and lots of happiness always.

Coming back to today’s post, a quick dinner is now the norm in most homes with both husband and wife working and busy through the day. And though I am a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom), mommy of a very active 11 month old, I always feel completely drained by the end of a day. I really think the role of a SAHM is highly underestimated! What do you think fellow mommies?

So talking about simple dinners, when it comes to making chapathis, I truly am a lazy bum! (though the real secret is my chapathis are lousy ....but ..... ssshhhh ...) So I make chapathis every other day and do exciting and easy meals on other days. Today's dinner was Crumb Coated Baked Chicken, Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw and bread. Deliciousness!!!! Of course Garlic bread should have made it to the table, I didn't have the time or energy to do that. :( So we settled for bread.

I will be sharing the recipe for the Crumb Coated Baked Chicken soon, so watch out.

Today's recipe is the creamy coleslaw I made as a sidekick to the baked chicken.

Although this dish calls for simple ingredients, the final creation was incredibly sublime. This recipe for the ever popular coleslaw offers layers of flavor. The creamy mayonnaise clubbed with the sharpness of vinegar, good tasting mustard and sweetness of sugar provides a wonderful base for the dressing, which permeates through the entire salad. This is a sure hit with the kids if served interestingly.

Here are a few options (for kids and adults) : Coleslaw doesn't necessarily have to be eaten only with baked/fried chicken. Chuck a generous bit of slaw into your sandwiches, serve them as dips with your chips/fries/chicken nuggets, drop them into warm bread cups, or just stick your hands right into it, gobble as it is and of course don't forget to lick your fingers :)

Ingredients for the Coleslaw

Half a head of Cabbage (White, green or Purple or a mix of everything); shredded or thinly sliced
1 large Carrot; shredded or thinly sliced
1 medium size Big Onion; thinly sliced

Ingredients for the Dressing

1 & 1/2 to 2 tablespoon of Mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon good quality Mustard
A dash of White Vinegar or Rice Vinegar
1 or 2 teaspoon granulated Sugar (optional)
Salt; to taste
Cracked Pepper; to taste

Method to prepare the Dressing

Take a large bowl and add the ingredients listed under "Ingredients for Dressing" into it. Add just enough water to get a runny dressing. Mix well.

Method to prepare the Coleslaw

Pour the dressing into the shredded veggies and toss till everything is combined well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Place in the refrigerator till cold.

Serve chilled.



You can also make this coleslaw healthier by not adding any mayonnaise. For the non-mayo version:

Mix together vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the shredded veggies and toss till all the ingredients are combined well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Daring Bakers, Say Cheeeese :) Delicious Home-made Pizza

This pizza is heartfelt. It is all about a salute to finding the balance between indulgence and healthy and along the making it as made from scratch as possible. A homemade thin crust pizza topped with shredded spiced chicken, caramelized onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheese and bell peppers is just the perfect, yummylicious weekend dinner or even breakfast, I say!

Who doesn’t love pizza! But, alas, things so good are hardly ever good for you. Now, exactly what about the pizza is bad? Oh, the gallons of grease, and piles of cheese, you say; all good tasting but sadly artery clogging stuff. But, what if you could actually control all that to the normal and acceptable levels? If you could with some extra effort ensure that a pizza slice is as good-for-you a meal as any other that you make at home, would you do it? Of course, without compromising on the flavor etc. etc....

If you are willing to go that extra bit, then you are in for a happy, happy surprise! I made pizza at home. Yes, from scratch. What else did you expect from me?! The base, the sauce, the toppings, the whole nine yards. I really would not have even considered making the pizza base at home if not for browsing some of my favorite food blogs, in particular Sanaa’s ‘Easy Pizza Dough’ recipe on Cucumbertown. She makes bread-making sound so easy that I decided to give it a chance. And it was worth it! Thanks a ton Sanaa. My other inspiration to try out this delish pizza was a fab baking tray gifted by our loving aunt, Mommy. Mommy is an excellent cook (though I haven’t tasted her food yet, maybe the next time you visit us Mommy?) and a beautiful person. The day she gave us the tray I was determined to cook up something interesting using the same. “Mommy, the tray was lovely, thanks to you the pizza turned out extremely well”.

I have not attempted to make any yeast-bread at home at all. Until now... Once I set about it, I was really surprised to see how easy it was. It’s quick to prepare and an excellent on-the-go-meal option and I assure you it is worth every minute. It made me wonder why I thought all this was a painful process in the first place. But, well, happily I have been corrected of my faulty notion. And, from this day forward, I swear to give any other yeast bread more than a passing shot in my kitchen!

So, once the dough was all set, I rolled it out into an oval shaped base, topped it up with some delicious stuff and used very less cheese and hence no grease making it healthy! Simple, rustic and absolutely divine…so what are you waiting for, go ahead and make this scrumptious pizza for your family.

Simple, clean flavors… that's the way I like it...

It was delicious! So, I can really have it more often than before and with my own choice of toppings! Yippee! :)

Ingredients for the Pizza Base

2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoon Dry Yeast (refer notes)
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Water
2 tablespoon Olive oil

Ingredients for the Pizza Sauce

4 large Tomatoes; diced
4 cloves of Garlic; finely chopped
1 small/medium size Big Onion; finely chopped
1 tablespoon Tomato paste
2 teaspoon Oregano; fresh or dried (I used dried)
1 teaspoon Basil; fresh or dried (I used dried)
1/2 teaspoon Pepper; freshly milled (adjust as per spice tolerance)
1 teaspoon Paprika
2 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Red Chilli flakes (optional)
Salt; to taste

Ingredients for Caramelized Onions

3 to 4 large size Big Onions
1 tablespoon Butter
1 teaspoon Sugar
Salt; to taste
Apple Cider Vinegar or Water; just enough to soften the onions (refer notes)

Ingredients for the Topping

I used 250 grams of shredded chicken sautéed with a few spices like paprika; freshly sliced bell peppers and of course cheese. (a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar) [Please refer notes for more ideas]

Method to prepare the Pizza Base

Dissolve the dry yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Let it rest till slight bubbles form. Now add sugar, stir and keep aside for 4 to 5 minutes or till the mixture turns frothy.

Take a wide mixing bowl and add all the ingredients (including the dissolved yeast) into it. Combine all the ingredients and gently knead with fingertips until a slightly sticky dough forms. You don’t have to work your arm by kneading too much. Just get the dough together. Transfer into an oiled bowl and turn the dough so the oil coats it. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let it rise for about 25 to 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Method to prepare the Pizza Sauce

Heat the oil in wok and add chopped garlic and onion into it. Sauté till the onions turn light brown. Throw in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, salt, pepper, spice powders and chilli flakes (optional) and sauté till tomatoes turn soft. Cover and cook for a few minutes till tomatoes turn very soft and mushy and water has evaporated. Cool the mixture and blend to a smooth puree.

Method to prepare Caramelized Onions

Heat butter in a broad pan and when the butter melts add the onions into it. Add enough salt and sugar and sauté on high heat till onions turn a lovely golden brown. Stir continuously to avoid onions sticking to pan. At this time pour cider vinegar or water little by little to soften the onions. This process is called deglazing. Repeat this process till onions turn soft and water has completely dried up. (your onions must be a beautiful golden brown and should be soft and sticky)

Method to prepare the Pizza

Punch down the prepared dough and knead lightly until it forms a ball. Transfer to a floured surface.

Roll the dough into a circle, rectangle, oval or any desired shape, flouring it as you go. Once rolled out to desired shape, transfer the base to a greased baking tray lined with parchment/greaseproof paper (optional). Slather on some pizza sauce and throw in the shredded chicken, caramelized onions, bell peppers and grated cheese.

Preheat oven at 100 degree Celsius for 10 minutes. Bake the pizza in the preheated oven at 200 degree Celsius for about 15 minutes. The base will turn a lovely golden brown.

Sprinkle a pinch of chilli flakes and oregano on top and serve them hot or warm. Yum yum yum…


1. If you are using instant yeast in place of dry yeast, just throw it directly into the pizza dough while preparing it, so that makes the process easier. But please don’t go hunting for instant yeast because dry yeast works out just fine and is not difficult at all. Just takes a few extra minutes, that’s all.

2. You can always use cider vinegar to deglaze your caramelized onions but I used water and it worked out just fine.

3. You can use any topping of your choice. Some yummy options are sausage (chicken/pork/beef), pepperoni, chicken franks, beef mince, spinach, basil leaves, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, fresh onions and tomatoes, any kind of grilled or prepared leftover chicken from day before’s dinner or lunch…. Oh the options are too many! Of course cheese goes without a say, anything is ok I guess, mozzarella, cheddar, goat’s cheese, feta, anything really.

Here are a few links that helped me get going to prepare this tasty pizza:

How to Quickly Caramelize Onions:

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Cereals and Grains for Babies 6 to 12 months

Mothers are usually recommended to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months. After six months, breast milk alone doesn't provide your baby with enough nutrients, particularly iron, so you will need to gradually introduce other foods.

Waiting until six months to introduce your baby to solid food protects her health. It reduces the chance that she will develop allergies or pick up an infection from food. When your baby reaches the six month mark, her immune system is stronger and better equipped to face any germs. However, there are times when your baby might need to start solid foods sooner. Many experts recommend introducing baby food between 17 and 26 weeks if your baby is not gaining enough weight or remains hungry after breast feeding. This is true for all babies including babies with allergies or premature babies.

The key is to introduce solid foods one at a time, a new food item every 4 to 5th day. You do not need to add sugar or salt to your baby’s food but it should be nutrient rich. You should wait for your baby to turn 6 to 7 months to introduce gluten, which is mainly found in wheat. Dairy milk should not be given before your baby’s first birthday although small amounts can be added to food that is being cooked.

Cereal and grains should be introduced to babies once they complete six months, rice, oats, ragi, wheat, barley, quinoa etc are all excellent options. From six months you can give ordinary cereals such as porridges, both sweet and savory and a yummy dessert using healthy ingredients once in a while is fine too!

At around 6-9 months once your baby has developed a taste for food, you can start to combine flavors and be a little more adventurous. The below recipes are tasty, wholesome and are extremely easy to prepare and are sure to be easy winners with your little ones. These recipes are collected from various sources; Annabel Karmel, Tarla Dalal and of course friends and family. Enjoy!

Caution: Some recipes make use of milk and other dairy products as ingredients. Please use this only on advice of your pediatrician or child’s doctor.
1. Ragi Malt


1 cup Milk
1 tablespoon Sprouted Ragi flour
4 to 5 Almonds; soaked overnight (optional)
4 to 5 Raisins; soaked overnight (optional) (refer notes)
1 to 2 teaspoon Grated Jaggery/Sugar (optional)
A pinch of Cardamom powder


Grind together the soaked almonds and raisins to a smooth paste.

Boil 3/4 cup milk in a sauce pan. Into the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, add ragi flour, ground almond and raisin puree and mix well without any lumps. Add this to the boiling milk and let it cook for 5-6 minutes or until nice and thick. (or to the consistency your baby likes) Continuously stir to avoid any lumps.

Now switch off flame and add jaggery/sugar and cardamom powder (if using). Mix well.

Serve warm to your baby.


1. The addition of raisins and almonds is optional but this definitely enhances the flavor of the whole dish. If you are using them to prepare the ragi malt, and if your little one has been introduced to lumpy foods, you can add a few finely chopped raisins to this too.

2. Remember to mix the ragi flour with milk before adding it to the boiling milk to avoid lumps.

3. Cook the Ragi mix over the flame for atleast five minutes so that the raw taste disappears and the flavor of the porridge is accentuated.

4. You can add a dash of ghee while cooking the porridge. Ghee aids in easier digestion of the ragi which can sometimes be a little heavy on a baby’s stomach; and also enhances flavor of the porridge.

5. You need not use a whole cup of milk for this recipe. You can do half water and half milk too.

6. You can even make a savory version of this porridge with lentils and veggies.

7. If you do not plan to use cow’s milk to cook the porridge, you could cook this simply with water. Adjust the consistency with breastmilk or formula to give it more flavor.

2. Oats and Apple Porridge


2 to 3 tablespoons Oats (refer notes)
1/4 cup finely chopped Apple (any sweet eating apple like Royal Gala, Shimla etc.)
1 teaspoon Butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup full fat milk; boiled (refer notes)
1 to 2 teaspoons grated or powdered Jaggery/Sugar


Heat butter in a broad non-stick pan and add the oats into it. Sauté the oats on a low flame for about two minutes or till the oats turns a light brown in color. Pour in the milk, chopped apples, and jaggery/sugar and cook on a gentle sim till the porridge turns thick and the oats is cooked well. (adjust consistency as per baby’s age and preference; cook for a few more minutes than the laid down cooking time)

Once done, switch off flame and cool the porridge. Blend to a smooth puree and serve warm or serve as it is. (pureeing is really not necessary if the oats has been cooked well to a mashed consistency)


1. Plain Oats Porridge with no fruits.

2. Oats cooked with Apples, Apricots and Pears

3. Oats cooked with dry fruits like raisins, almonds, figs, dried apricots etc. (all soaked overnight and pureed smooth)

4. Oats and Bananas

5. Oats cooked with Apricots and Bananas

6. Savory Oats porridge with vegetables, coriander and even a few spices once you have introduced your baby to it.


1. There has always been debate that Oats is heavy on a baby’s stomach. But each baby is different and oats is definitely a healthy and filling porridge that your baby is sure to love. There are different kinds of oats available in the market like Steel cut Oats or Rolled Oats and Regular Oats. I have always used regular oats for my baby and she loves it to bits! So go on and don’t worry about cooking this up for your little munchkin.

2. If you do not plan to use cow’s milk to cook the porridge, you could cook this simply with water. Adjust the consistency with breastmilk or formula to give it more flavor.

3. Once your baby grows bigger and is enjoying lumps, do not puree the porridge. Serve as it is.

Make this porridge for your whole family, it’s delicious and healthy!

3. Fruity Baby Muesli


1 & 1/2 tablespoon Oats
1/4 cup of sweet eating Apple; peeled, cored & chopped (Royal Gala; Shimla etc.)
1 tablespoon ripe Pears; peeled, cored & chopped
Water or Milk; enough to cook the oats
1 teaspoon Raisins; soaked overnight & finely chopped


Heat a pan and add the oats, chopped apples and pears along with water or milk into it. Cover and cook for a few minutes over low heat till the oats and fruit is cooked well. (refer notes) Once done, remove from heat and combine well. (mash with fork if needed) Add the chopped raisins and more fruit puree if your baby loves it.


1. Fruits can be cooked depending on baby’s age and preference. If your baby is bigger and is able to eat fresh fruit without cooking, then go ahead and simply add freshly chopped apples and pears after the oats is cooked.

4. Bulgur Wheat Porridge with Dates


1 tablespoon Bulgur Wheat/Broken Wheat/Dalia
2 Dates; deseeded and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon grated Jaggery/Sugar (optional)
3/4 cup full fat Milk; boiled


Take a pressure cooker and add the bulgur and dates into it. Pour in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water and cook upto three whistles on high flame and few more minutes on a low flame. Once the pressure has released, open the lid and mash the dates with the back of a spoon. Combine well with the bulgur.

Take a broad non-stick pan and tip the bulgur-date mixture, milk and jaggery/sugar (optional) into it. Once the mixture comes to a brisk boil, lower the flame and cook till the porridge is thick and mashed well. Stir in between to avoid lumps and also to prevent the porridge from sticking to the pan. (a good non-stick base wouldn’t do that though)

Serve warm to your baby.


1. Savory Bulgur Wheat porridge with vegetables, lentils, coriander and even a few spices once you have introduced your baby to it.

2. You can add any fruit of your choice to the porridge instead of dates; Apples, Apricots, Pears, Bananas etc. are all good options.

3. You can replace Bulgur with Bajra.

4. You can use Jowar instead of Bulgur.

5. You can even do a combination of half Ragi and half Jowar or any of the above said grains.


1. If your baby is still too small to swallow this porridge as it is, here is how you need to cook it:

Cool the cooked bulgur and dates and once cooled completely, liquidize the mixture with a little milk in a blender till it is smooth in texture. Transfer this to a broad non-stick pan and add the rest of the milk with a little water and mix well. Bring to a boil and lower the flame and continue to cook till you get the desired consistency. Stir continuously to avoid lumps.

2. You can add a dash of ghee while cooking the porridge. Ghee aids in easier digestion of the ragi which can sometimes be a little heavy on a baby’s stomach; and also enhances flavor of the porridge.

3. If you do not plan to use cow’s milk to cook the porridge, you could cook this simply with water. Adjust the consistency with breastmilk or formula to give it more flavor.

5. Moong Dal Khichdi


1 tablespoon split Moong Dal or Green whole Moong
2 tablespoon Rice (preferably any unpolished variety; For example, Kerala Red rice)
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Ghee


Wash and soak the rice and dals together for about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Add the rice and dal into a pressure cooker along with turmeric powder and enough water. Pressure cook for upto three whistles on high flame and another 3 to 4 minutes on a gentle sim. The rice and dal must be cooked very well. (you do not need to do this if the rice and dal has been cooked well) Once done, remove from the pressure cooker and add ghee. Combine well. Mash or puree the khichdi according to baby’s age and preference. Adjust the consistency by adding filtered water.

Serve warm to your baby.

6. Vegetable Khichdi


1 tablespoon split Moong Dal or Green whole Moong
2 tablespoon Rice (preferably any unpolished variety; For example, Kerala Red rice)
1 tablespoon Bottlegourd (lauki); peeled & grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoon Carrot; peeled & grated or finely chopped
1 Peppercorn
1 Clove
1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
A pinch of Asafetida
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 to 2 teaspoons Coriander leaves; finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Ghee


Wash the rice and lentils together and soak in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. When the cumin crackles, add the asafetida, cloves and peppercorn into it and sauté for a minute. Now add the vegetables and coriander leaves and sauté for a few seconds. Throw in the lentils, rice and turmeric powder along with enough water and combine well. Cook upto three whistles on high flame and a few more minutes on a gentle sim. When the khichdi is done, open the lid of the cooker and remove the peppercorn and clove from it. Mash or puree the khichdi.

Serve warm with fresh curds or as it is.

7. Coriander Curd Rice with Vegetables


2 tablespoon Rice; washed
1 tablespoon Carrot & Beans; cooked & finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
A pinch of Asafetida
3 to 4 tablespoon Curds
1 tablespoon Coriander leaves; finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Ghee


Heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds into it. When the seeds crackle, add the asafetida and rice and sauté for two to three minutes. Pour in enough water (a little extra water will do no harm; we want the rice nicely mashed and soft) and cook till rice is overdone and can be mashed easily.

Cool rice and add fresh curds, chopped coriander leaves and veggies and mash or blend using a hand/stick blender once again to combine all the ingredients together.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


1. This can also be cooked with leftover cooked rice. Here is how you do it:

Heat the cooked rice and mash well. Add fresh curds, cooked veggies and finely chopped coriander leaves to it.

Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. When the seeds crackle, add the asafetida and fry for a few seconds. Switch off flame and add to the curd rice. Blend the curd rice using a hand/stick blender till you get the desired consistency.

2. Once your baby becomes older (Nine months and above), you can do a tadka with a few spices like ginger, a small piece of green chilli, mustard seeds and urad dal and prepare the above recipe.

8. Spinach and Cottage Cheese with Rice (Palak Paneer Rice)


1/4 cup Rice
1/4 cup Spinach (palak); coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Cottage cheese/paneer (home-made or store-bought); coarsely chopped
A pinch of Cumin Seeds
1/2 teaspoon Ghee/Oil


Heat ghee/oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds to it. When the seeds crackle, add the rice and sauté for two to three minutes. Add the chopped spinach, paneer and water into it and mix well. Pressure cook upto three whistles on a high flame and a few more minutes on a gentle sim.

Once done, open the lid of the pressure cooker, mix and mash well.

Serve warm with fresh curds.

9. Lentils and Rice with Grated Cabbage


2 tablespoon Rice
2 tablespoon split yellow Moong Dal
1/4 cup finely chopped Cabbage
1/4 teaspoon Cumin seeds
A pinch of Asafetida
1/4 teaspoon grated Ginger
A pinch of Turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon Ghee
Water; enough to cook the rice and lentils


Wash and pressure cook the rice and lentils together with water till soft. Keep aside.

Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds into it. When the cumin crackles, add asafetida, ginger and chopped cabbage and sauté for two to three minutes till the cabbage softens. Now add the cooked rice, lentils and turmeric powder and mix well. Simmer for about four to five minutes.

Serve warm to your baby.


1. You can also add 1 tablespoon Cow Pea leaves (chawli) and 1/4 cup chopped tomato for added flavor.

10. Vegetable Semolina/Suji Upma


15 grams Fine Semolina/Suji
1 to 2 cups filtered Water
1 teaspoon Ghee/Butter
Veggies; pureed (refer notes)


Dry roast the semolina in a clean dry pan till it turns golden brown. Cook on low flame and keep stirring continuously otherwise the semolina will burn. Keep aside.

In a separate pan add about 1 tsp of butter or ghee. When the butter or ghee melts, add pureed vegetables and fry. Add the water and semolina and cook the mixture on a low flame till the semolina grains absorb all the water.

Keep stirring so that lumps do not form.

Serve warm.


1. As your baby gets older, substitute puréed vegetables with finely chopped or diced vegetables. If you want the upma to be of pouring consistency, then don't let the water dry completely. If you want it to be thicker and creamier, then let the water absorb completely.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Purees for Babies 6 to 9 Months

Preparing home-made baby food puree is not only fun, it's also extremely simple. You will be surprised to see that it really will take less time to puree baby food than you imagined.

Though the recipes say ‘Purees’, you don’t always need to puree them till very smooth. These fruits and veggies can be mashed to the desired consistency using a fork or spoon. No fancy equipment is really necessary to puree or grind your baby’s food, a good quality hand-blender/stick blender is a sensible and good buy though. A hand-blender/stick blender helps you to alter the consistency of the purees as your baby grows bigger. A few lumps here and there is not quite a problem with most children, but watch out for frequent spit-ups and gagging.

You can also be super adventurous and create your very own signature veggie and fruit combos. For example, Spinach and Apple Puree! Now how does that sound? Go on and cook up a storm for your little one everyday, he or she will love it. Enjoy!

Please read up the below link on more information on how to puree and store home-made baby food.

With these simple pureed baby food recipes, discover which delicious fruits and vegetables you can introduce to your little ones. Puree and blend your baby foods as your creativity and your baby’s age allow.

Caution: Some recipes make use of cheese, cottage cheese/paneer and other dairy products as ingredients. Please use this only on advice of your pediatrician or child’s doctor.

No Cook Purees

1. Banana Puree


1 small banana; peeled & skinned
Breastmilk or Formula Milk; just enough to adjust consistency (if necessary)


Peel the banana and mash with a fork or spoon.

During the first stages of weaning, add a little milk if necessary to thin down the consistency and add a familiar taste.

2. Banana and Strawberry Puree


1 small Banana; peeled & skinned
2 to 3 Strawberries; hulled & quartered


Simply mash or puree the bananas and strawberries together and serve.

3. Banana and Mango or Papaya Puree


1 small Banana; peeled & skinned
75 grams Mango; peeled & stoned OR Papaya; peeled & deseeded


Mash the ingredients and serve.

4. Papaya Puree


1/2 of a small Papaya


Cut the small papaya in half and remove black seeds. Puree or mash the flesh until smooth.

5. Avocado Puree


1 small Avocado


Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, scoop out the flesh using a spoon.

Mash together with your baby’s usual milk or serve as it is.

6. Avocado and Banana Puree


1/4 Avocado
1/2 small ripe banana
1 or 2 tablespoons baby’s usual milk or thick yoghurt


Mash the avocado together with the bananas and milk or yoghurt. Serve.


1. You can also substitute the flesh of half a small papaya for the avocado.

2. You can combine almost any other fruit or veggie along with avocados. Apples, pears, carrots etc. to name a few.

Cooked Purees

1. Apple Puree/Applesauce


1 sweet eating Apple (eg; Shimla, Royal Gala etc.)
2 to 3 tablespoon water


Peel, halve, core and chop the apples. Put into a heavy based saucepan with the water. Cover and cook over a low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until really tender.

Puree in a food processor or place in a bowl and use a hand blender.


1. You could also steam the apples for 5 to 7 minutes until tender. If steaming, you can add some of the boiled water from the bottom of the steamer to thin out the puree.

2. Apples can also be cooked in the pressure cooker for about two whistles with a little water. After the two whistles, open the lid of the pressure cooker immediately, puree and serve.

2. Pear Puree


1 large or 2 small ripe pears; peeled, cored & chopped


Place the chopped pears in a steamer, cover and steam for 3 to 5 minutes depending on ripeness.

Puree in a food processor or place in a bowl and use a hand blender. Serve.


1. You can add some of the boiled water from the bottom of the steamer to thin out the puree.

2. Pears can also be cooked in the pressure cooker for about two to three whistles with a little water. After two to three whistles, open the lid of the pressure cooker immediately, puree and serve.

3. If the puree is too runny, stir in a little baby rice to help thicken it.

3. Apple and Pear Puree


1 sweet eating Apple; peeled, cored & chopped (eg; Shimla, Royal Gala)
1 ripe Pear; peeled, cored & chopped
2 tablespoon water
A pinch of ground Cinnamon (optional)


Put the chopped fruit into a saucepan together with water and a pinch of cinnamon (if using), cover and cook over a low heat until tender (about 5 to 6 minutes)

Blend the fruit to a smooth puree.

4. Apple and Strawberry Puree


1 cup sweet eating Apple; peeled, cored, chopped and cooked (eg; Shimla, Royal Gala)
5 to 6 ripe Strawberries; chopped
2 tablespoon milk/water


Liquidize the cooked apples and chopped strawberries together in a blender. Strain to remove the seeds of the strawberry. Add milk/water, mix well and serve immediately.


You can also prepare a lip smackingly delicious smoothie with these fruits by using fresh thick yoghurt instead of milk or water.

5. Apple and Spinach Puree


1 cup sweet eating Apple; peeled, cored, chopped and cooked (eg; Shimla, Royal Gala)
A small bunch of fresh green spinach; coarsely chopped


Cook the spinach in a pan with a little water. Blend the apples and spinach to a smooth puree and serve warm.

6. Carrot Puree


2 small carrots; peeled & chopped


Put the carrots into a steamer set over boiling water and cook until tender. Alternatively put the carrots in a saucepan and pour over just enough boiling water to cover the carrots. Cover with a lid and simmer for a few minutes until soft.

Drain the carrots and place in a blender, adding some of the water from the bottom of the steamer or some of the cooking liquid and puree until very smooth.

The amount of liquid you add really depends on your baby, you may need to add a little more if he finds the puree difficult to swallow.

Spoon the puree into your baby’s bowl and serve lukewarm.


1. In the first few weeks of weaning make sure that the carrots are cooked for quite a long time, so that they are soft enough to puree to a smooth consistency.

2. This method of cooking also works with any of the other root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potato. Cooking times will differ depending on which vegetable you choose.

3. You can follow this same recipe with almost any vegetable you want to give your baby. Veggies like spinach, peas, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, leeks, etc. or combinations of one or more of these vegetables.

4. To make these purees yummier, you can add grated cheddar cheese or cream cheese to it.

7. Oven Roasted Veggie Puree


1 small carrots; peeled
1/2 of a whole Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum
4 to 5 French Beans; cleaned
A small piece of Beetroot; peeled
A pinch of Garlic powder or 2 cloves of crushed Garlic/whole unpeeled garlic cloves


Place the veggies on a greased baking tray. (you can either place the vegetables directly on the greased baking tray or layer it with greaseproof paper/aluminium foil) Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder over the veggies or place the crushed/whole unpeeled garlic cloves along with the vegetables.

Bake the vegetables for a few minutes till they are cooked completely or are fork tender.

Once done, remove the vegetables from the tray and puree in a blender. If you find the puree too thick, you can add water to thin down the consistency.

Spoon the puree into your baby’s bowl and serve warm.

8. Fruity Cheese Puree


1/2 cup home-made/store-bought Cottage Cheese or Paneer
2 to 3 tablespoon chopped fresh fruits (refer notes)
1 teaspoon Jaggery or Sugar (optional)


Grind cottage cheese/paneer into a smooth paste. Add the chopped fruits along with jaggery or sugar (if using) and blend again. Serve immediately.


1. You can replace fruits with deseeded and cooked dates. Once your baby has completed 9 months, the dates don’t have to be cooked and can be used as it is.


1. You can use any fresh fruit in this recipe. Mangoes, blueberries, strawberries are excellent choices. Apart from these, you could use almost anything.

9. Spinach Pasta Puree


1/2 cup spinach; coarsely chopped
1 & 1/2 tablespoon whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon home-made/store-bought Cottage Cheese/Paneer; shredded
A pinch of Salt (optional)
A pinch of pepper


Boil two cups of water. Once the water comes to a boil, throw in the pasta and allow it to cook completely. Drain the water and keep the cooked pasta aside.

Cook the spinach with half cup of water and simmer for two to three minutes. Add the cooked pasta, shredded cottage cheese, salt and pepper and combine well. Bring to a boil and switch off flame. Cool the pasta mix and blend to a smooth puree. Serve warm


As babies grow bigger and are able to chew on lumps, avoid pureeing the dish and serve as it is. This sure is healthy and wholesome food for your baby.

10. Date Puree


1/4 cup Dates; coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water


Toss the chopped dates along with water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Turn the flame to a gentle simmer and cook the dates for ten to twelve minutes or till dates are completely cooked and soft. Mash to a smooth puree. Cool and serve.


Once your baby has completed nine months, and can chew on lumps, dates don’t need to be cooked and can be served as it is.

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