Today's recipe is something really nice and tasty for our tiny tots. It is one of the 'bases' as I call it. Instead of always serving rice to my little daughter who is now 15 months old, I sometimes serve her pasta or chapathi. But of late I have notice that she gets bored of the same old stuff and hence I have to innovate. Lots of people from previous generations will sigh and say, well, you offer way too many food varieties, so what do you expect? When I hear such statements I just want to exclaim
'Seriously???'. Spare me! Well, new moms of babies born in the past 10 years will know how hard it is to get them to eat well at every meal. Gone are the days when 25-30 years ago we were fed just about anything and we just gobbled it down without complaints.
Today's babies start their fussy eating habits early and I beg for strength during every meal. Honestly, I am waiting for this 'plan meal-cook-clean up-feed-clean up-thrice a day' routine to end soon. But then, I'll have to admit that there are days when I have a good eater on my hands, when something has truly turned out tasty and is eaten without complaints. Those are the days I heave a sigh of relief and say, maybe I haven't inculcated the wrong eating habits afterall.
Well, the point I am making here is that to each his own. Moms, do what really works for you. Don't stress yourselves out. If your baby eats well because you stretched (not stressed!) yourself a bit and tried to make something new, then kudos to you. As long as we have happy, active and healthy children, I think everything is ok!
If you had never heard about this dish until now, well, join the club. I was given this recipe by my dear friend and ex-colleague, Sadhana when my son was a toddler. She gave me a couple of life saver recipes - ones that you can pre-prepare and store and then cook on short notice. They came very handy as I could cook them when I was in no mood to cook anything especially when I was unwell myself.
Ukad (also known as Thakachi Ukad) is a Maharashtrian style breakfast porridge that has a lot more ingredients that make it a little more spicy. I skipped the abundance of green chillies, ginger, garlic, curry leaves among the others. I will try the other version soon. For now, I hope your little one enjoys it. You can serve it for breakfast or lunch as a base (instead of rice/chapathi) along with a veg/chicken/fish curry.
Homemade Baby Food - Ukad (Maharashtrian Style Savoury Rice Flour Porridge)
Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins | Servings 1-2 (depends on the age of the baby)
For the tempering:
- 1/3rd cup rice flour
- 3/4 th cup buttermilk * see note for substitute
- pinch of salt (or to taste)
- 1/8th teaspoon mustard
- 1/8th teaspoon green chilli minced or 2 pinches of red chilli powder (optional, adjust to taste)
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing
- 1 tablespoon ghee
1. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the rice flour until well blended and lump free.
2. Heat the ghee or oil in a non stick pan/kadhai/wok and add the mustard. When it stops spluttering add the green chilli or chilli powder, hing and give a quick stir, reduce the heat at this point to prevent the powders from burning.
3. Slowly pour the buttermilk and rice mixture from one side of the pan to avoid spluttering. Stir continuously to prevent lump formation.
4. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan, almost like a ball of dough. Cover the pan and allow it to cook for half a minute.
5. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with any accompaniment of your choice like chicken or vegetables or dal. You may drizzle a few drops of ghee per serving to make it more tasty.
If you don't have buttermilk, just dissolve 1/4 cup thick curd/yogurt in 1/2 cup of water and whisk it well to remove any lumps. Add salt to taste