A comfort meal for the upcoming cold months. Spinach Lentil Stew is mildly flavored with Indian spices. Make this stew when you want something simple to comfort with an exotic flare. This is a great addition to your baby, as well as your family’s meal.
Hello, everyone. Fall is here and the weather is getting cooler. I love to spend my morning in the backyard these days sipping hot cuppa coffee. The air is cold and crisp. We in Arizona, literally wait for this season. It is the most awaited time after the summer heat. As the weather gets cooler, I try to incorporate meals that are comforting. I like to do things the easy way, so one pot meals or meals that require minimum effort are my favorite. Today’s recipe is one such no fuss meal which is great for babies, grown-ups and everyone in between and older.
Spinach Lentil Stew is a comfort food at it’s best. I have given this a little Indian flare to it with the use of Indian aromatic spices. I have started by cooking the lentils in a pressure cooker, and then added spices and spinach to the stew. Since it is on a thicker side, it can be served as a soup or can be topped with a bowl of rice.
For babies, I have served this to my daughter since she as 8 months of age. I used to give this to her as is and later mixed it with rice. In the following recipe, I have used Pigeon peas and Yellow mung beans. Lentils are one of the most nutritious foods that can be introduced to babies. They are filled with the essential nutrients necessary for your baby’s growth and development. They have iron, protein and are high in fiber. Lentils are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. Spinach too has it’s own health benefits. Spinach is a great source of vitamins, manganese, proteins, calcium, folate, iron, selenium and fiber. They have various antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits. While shopping for spinach leave pick ones with vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender. Avoid those that are wilted or bruised. The leaves should not have any slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.
Lentils are easy to cook and are available at any grocery store. Just follow the package instructions and you are good to go. My preferred method of cooking lentils is by using a pressure cooker. But these can be prepared in a pot too. Storing lentils are relatively easy. Keep them in a cool dry jar and they stay well for many months.
So next time, try this Indian Spinach Lentil Stew for baby and family meal. For the grown-up version, you can serve it with steaming hot basmati rice and papadam. You are in for a taste from the east. I am sure you will make this more often for the cold winter months.
Let’s go through the recipe:
- For Cooking Lentils:
- ⅓ cup pigeon peas
- ¼ cup yellow mung beans
- 3 cloves
- ½ inch cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 2 cups Water
- For The Stew:
- 1 cup spinach (chopped)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 green chilis (optional) (Do Not Add these, if making this stew for babies)
- ½ inch ginger piece.
- 1 tbsp coriander (chopped)
- 1 tsp ghee/ butter
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- ½ cup water
- A pinch of kasoori methi (optional)
- Salt (according to taste)
- In a pressure cooker, add lentils, cinnamon stick, cloves, turmeric powder, asafoetida, and 2 cups of water.
- Pressure cook the lentils over medium heat for 2 to 3 whistles till they are cooked through.
- In a pot heat ghee/butter. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and green chilis.
- Fry them for few seconds.
- Now add chopped spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.
- Cook till tomatoes and spinach turn soft.
- Then add cooked lentils, remaining water, chopped coriander, salt. Stir to mix.
- Bring it to a boil. Then simmer it for 10 minutes covered over a medium heat.
- Serve Indian Spinach Lentil Stew with freshly cooked rice.
Talk to your baby’s Pediatrician before starting any new food.
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