Red Lentil Dhal recipe 6+ months

Babies need an increasing amount of iron from 6 months, as their stores start to run out (read more about that here). Second to chicken liver, lentils are one of the highest sources of iron. In fact, they’re one of the healthiest plant foods a baby can eat. They’re also packed with:

  • B-vitamins
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Protein
  • Fibre
  • Minerals, such as copper, which is necessary for iron absorption

Red and yellow lentils cook really quickly, so you can have this meal on the table in next to no time. Unless you want to, there’s really no need to make a separate meal for your little one as the whole family can enjoy this. Just make up a big batch by multiplying the ingredients by how many people are in your family. Then, cook up a side of your favourite rice, dollop on some natural yoghurt, and sprinkle on some coriander.

Red Lentil Dhal recipe 6+ months

Dhal is tasty, filling, and nutritious. This dish is so simple to make and super delicious. For older children, it’s great served with warm roti bread, which is readily available from supermarkets.

Age: 6 months plus

Suitable for freezing

Makes: 2 cups

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

½ butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2 cm pieces*

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

½ small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

½ cup red lentils

1 ½ cups salt-reduced chicken or veggie stock

Plain full-fat yoghurt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

* You don’t need all of this but leftovers can be used as finger food or in a risotto

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
  2. Toss the pumpkin in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place on the baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the pumpkin is soft all the way through before removing from the oven.
  3. To make the dhal, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining oil and the butter and sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute. Add the ground spices and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stock and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and mushy. Add the chopped coriander.
  4. Mash ¾ cup of roasted pumpkin pieces with a fork and stir into the cooked lentils until well combined.
  5. Puree if required or leave as is. Serve warm with a dollop of yoghurt stirred through and some fresh coriander leaves as a garnish.

Tip: This dish will take you a long way – just adjust the spice levels as your baby grows.

 

This recipe was kindly contributed by Emily Dupuche, mum and author of ‘Food Babies Love: A Guide to Introducing Solids’, which contains practical baby food ideas that the whole family can enjoy. In it you’ll find 100 simple, nutritious baby first food recipes and anecdotes, designed to expose your precious little one to a wide variety of flavours, colours, and textures – the beginning of a lifelong love of good food. All the recipes are recommended by nutritionists, paediatricians, and child health professionals.

To order ‘Food Babies Love: A Guide to Introducing Solids’ head to thelink here.

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