Already this hot and humid weather makes kids lose their appetite. On top of that Devansh had fever yesterday due to teething, which made him even more averse to food. He wasn’t keen on eating anything other than rice. For lunch I gave him plain daal rice. For dinner I was going to give him moong-daal rice as usual. Now I wasn’t sure what to give him in the evening. It was obvious that he didn’t feel like eating anything that requires too much chewing. So I thought I’d give peas and carrot rice a try. I had read that recipe while browsing for baby food sometime back. But I realized I had run out of carrots, once again my mashed vegetables came to my rescue. So along with peas and carrots, I ended up adding bottle gourd, red pumpkin, cauliflower, cabbage, and tomatoes in the pulao. When it come to vegetables, more the merrier right. 🙂
I decided against adding onions in the pulao because I personally don’t feel like having onions added to my food when I’m sick. But Devansh obviously couldn’t tell what he felt like having so I just decided to rely on my maternal intuition. Luckily the intuition was bang on because he ate the pulao in fairly good quantity. I made this pulao slightly bland and mushy, more suitable for babies really. I think you can feed this pulao to babies who have been eating solids for a couple of months. This recipe can easily be adapted for older kids as well; you just need to add onions, use more garam masala, and cook it with less water. I used cashew nuts just for garnishing, you can add them in the pulao if you are making it for older kids.
Recipe of vegetable pulao (rice), suitable for babies, toddlers, and kids.
- 4-5 tbsp rice (thoroughly washed)
- 2-3 tbsp green peas
- 2-3 tbsp mashed vegetables
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 1 clove (optional)
- 1/5th tsp garam masala
- Half tsp cumin seeds (or jeera powder)
- 1 tbsp ghee
- Salt to taste
- Heat a cooker and add ghee. (Use a small cooker if you are cooking this pulao in less quantity, just enough for your child.)
- Add cumin seeds, and when they splutter, add baby leaf, cinnamon stick, and clove. (NOTE: If you are making this pulao for babies, use powdered cumin seeds and don't add clove. For older kids you can add a couple of crushed peppercorns.)
- Add green peas and sauté on medium flame for a minute. (If you want to use fresh vegetables add them at this stage.)
- Add rice, garam masala, and salt, and sauté for a minute. (Note: It is recommended to avoid adding salt in babies' food till they turn one. However, in my case I found that Devansh just wouldn't eat his food without salt. Hence, I started adding little bit of salt in his food. You can decide whether you want to add salt or not after talking to your child's pediatrician.)
- Add one and a half cup water, and close the lid of the cooker. (Use less water if you're making this pulao for older kids.)
- Cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes. (This time will depend on how mushy you want the pulao to be.)
- Open the lid, add (cooked) mashed vegetables, and mix them properly with a pulao. (Use chopped vegetables if you are making the pulao for older kids and don't want to make it mushy. You will need to add the chopped vegetables earlier—at the stage of adding green peas—so that they get cooked properly.)
- Remove the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and clove from the pulao before feeding it to your child.
- If you are making this pulao for babies, make sure all the vegetables are properly mashed. Also, mash green peas along with the rest of the vegetables instead of adding them separately. Babies won't be able to chew the peas properly and so must be mashed.