methi khichdi recipe for babies & toddlers – A moong dal khichdi is one of the best nutritious food for babies & toddlers. I have already shared a basic dal khichdi recipe here and a simple khichdi here. Today’s recipe is for those who like to use methi or palak instead of vegetables. This recipe is suitable even for a 6 month old baby. I suggest consulting a pediatrician first.
If you are a new reader to this blog, seeking baby food ideas, do check the complete list of Indian baby food recipes and chart here. You can also find a post on best foods for weight gain in babies & toddlers.
I get different kinds of questions from readers, I will try to share them, it may be helpful to new mothers. All the baby recipes i have shared on the blog suggest soaking grains, one common query is why soak when they can be cooked for few more whistles to soft cook the food? why soaking is needed? Soaking helps to break down the hard to digest components for easier digestion. Soaking also helps to release the nutrients for easier absorption. Slow cooked foods meaning foods cooked on a low flame always yield a good texture that babies like.
Cleaning and washing methi leaves or fenugreek leaves: I haven’t come across an easy way yet to clean the leafy greens, I inspect each leaf and then add them to a large pot filled with water, sprinkle sea salt over the leaves and set aside for a while. This helps to get rid of the pesticide residue. Rinse few times with fresh water and drain in a colander.
to make this methi khichdi recipe, i have used white ponni rice and moong dal. But for babies older than 8 months, one can use toor dal and half brown rice and half white rice. If using brown rice and toor dal, i suggest soaking them for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Soaked and cooked brown rice and lentils are most times even suitable to babies with colic. If the baby is unwell, do not feed leafy greens and even brown rice. You can try this moong dal soup when the baby is cranky or having teething problems.
I am not sharing step by step photos for this recipe since it is a simple one. The measurements i have mentioned below are good enough for a 18 month old toddler, scale down the recipe for younger babies. But i suggest making at least this quantity since making lesser than that is difficult to cook.
You can also add a small piece of carrot to this for older babies. Again adding too many kinds of veggies for a baby khichdi may not be a good idea. For babies below 6 to 8 months, use only one variety of leafy greens like palak or methi and add no other veggie. For babies older than 8 months, you can try adding a small piece of carrot to the methi khichdi.
- 2 tbsp. rice
- 1 tbsp moong dal/ skinned slit mung (refer notes)
- 1 cup water
- methi leaves / fenugreek leaves (refer notes)
- ¼ tsp cumin (optional, for toddlers)
- ghee (refer notes)
- pinch of cumin powder or ajwain powder (optional)
- Wash, soak rice and dal for at least 30 to 60 minutes.
- Add water, cumin and begin to cook on a low flame.
- While the rice cooks, pluck the methi leaves. Do not include stalks since they are bitter sometimes.
- Add them to a bowl filled with water, sprinkle some sea salt. Rinse them few times. Drain off.
- When the rice is almost cooked, add finely chopped methi leaves. If needed add more water, i usually add 2 to 3 tbsp water. Cover the pressure cooker and cook on the lowest flame. Allow to whistle once. Make sure there is enough water in the cooker to prevent burning the methi khichdi.
- When the pressure is down, mash the rice well with a masher or with the bottom of a steel glass.
- Add rest of the ingredients. Mix and allow to cool down.
- Serve when the food is still warm. Warm foods digest better.
methi leaves: For 6 months old- start with only 8 to 10 leaves. Every month you can add 5 to 6 leaves more. For 2 year old toddler, a fistful is a good quantity.
ghee: start with only a few drops for 6 months old.
Cumin and ajwain/ carom powder help in digestion. Ajwain may constipate some babies as it is very heaty and dehydrates. So use it only if your baby can tolerate and always use it with ghee. You can use a pinch of pepper powder, during monsoon or winters.
For fussy toddlers, you can try this method of making methi khichdi recipe.
1. Add ghee to the cooker, add cumin when it begins to splutter add ginger. Fry for a minute.
2. Add dal and rice, fry for 2 to 3 minutes for the dal to smell good. pour water and cook.
3. Rest to follow the steps mentioned in the recipe card.