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Indian-Spiced Lentil Stew

Lentils are the nutrition stars of the legume family–they have twice as much protein as many of their cousins, and also provide iron, phosphorus, calcium and B vitamins such as niacin and folate. Red and green lentils are among the easiest legumes to prepare, since they don’t need to be soaked and become tender after just 20 minutes of cooking time. Garlic and aromatic spices liven up this stew and help expand baby’s flavor palate. Serve the stew by itself or with a little brown rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, low-sodium vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrot, potato, onion and garlic and sauté until the vegetables start to sweat, about 5 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin and cinnamon and stir to mix well, then add the lentils and stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the vegetables and lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes.


Depending on your baby’s age and chewing ability, serve whole or use a fork to mash the stew to a consistency your baby can handle, or transfer the stew to a food processor or blender and process to a coarse or smooth puree, adding more stock or water as needed. Let cool slightly, then serve. Makes about 3 cups stew.

Store It: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or spoon individual portions into ice-cube trays or other baby-food freezer containers and freeze, covered, for up to 3 months.

Adapted from The Baby & Toddler Cookbook, by Karen Ansel, R. D., & Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2010).