Before starting with the Dalia recipe, let me share some important details. I started off Devansh on solids with fruits. First I gave mashed banana, then after 4-5 days I gave him pureed papaya. I gave him fruits for the first two weeks. Then, I added moong daal khichdi to his diet. As he got used to eating khichdi, I started giving him dalia khichdi. So you can say he started eating dalia, when he was around seven months old. Initially I did not add vegetables, jeera powder, and chili powder to the dalia—just plain dalia with haldi, hing, and salt. Gradually I started adding the veggies to this simple and easy to cook dalia recipe which is ideal for babies and toddlers.
After Devansh turned one, I started adding just a hint of chili powder to dalia. Gradually I went on increasing the amount. Now I add about a pinch of chili powder to his dalia. The recipe given below is suitable for babies 1 year and older.
You can leave out the optional ingredients if you want to make dalia for 6-7 month old babies. One simply cannot leave dalia out when it comes to making healthy food choices for a baby.
How to make dalia for babies?
Dalia for Babies
- 2 tbsp yellow moong daal / split yellow gram
- 2 tbsp dalia, broken wheat (We usually don’t wash dalia before using it for cooking. Therefore, I prefer to use organic dalia.)
- 1 pinch hing / asafoetida
- 1 pinch haldi / turmeric powder
- 1/4 tbsp jeera / cumin seeds powder
- 2 tbsp homemade ghee / clarified butter
- 1 pinch red chili powder (optional)
- salt to taste
- 3 tbsp mashed vegetables (optional)
- 1 tbsp pureed spinach (optional)
- Wash moong daal properly and allow it to dry. I usually make the mixture of moong daal and dalia to last me for a week. So I take about a cupful of moong daal for roasting.
- Roast moong daal and dalia in a pan separately while stirring them continuously. This time will depend on the quantity of the mixture. 5-10 minutes is enough for 2 tbsp of daal and dalia. You will need to roast moong daal for a bit longer than dalia.
- If your baby has just been introduced to solids, you can grind the roasted mixture coarsely in a blender.
- You need 4 tbsp of the roasted mixture for one serving of dalia. You can store the remaining mixture in an airtight container for future use.
- Add hing, haldi, jeera powder, and salt to the roasted mixture. (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 a pinch of red chili powder if you want to get your baby started on spicy food. Only you as a mother can be the best judge of when you should start giving your child spicy food. But I'd say wait till the child is at least 10 months old.
- Add 1 and a half cup of water to the mixture.
- Cook the mixture in a pressure cooker on medium flame for about 15-20 minutes (8-9 whistles).
- Mash cooked dalia finely or coarsely depending on your baby’s age.
- Add some homemade ghee to the dalia before serving it to your baby.
Should you add vegetables to dalia meant for babies?Yes, you can. If you want to add vegetables to dalia:
- Follow steps 1-9 as listed above.
- Then, heat a pan and add 1 tbsp of homemade ghee to it.
- Add about 1/4th tsp of jeera powder to the ghee. (For older kids you can use cumin seeds instead of the powder.)
- Add mashed vegetables and pureed spinach. Make sure that the spinach is cooked for at least 5 minutes before it is pureed or your child may find it difficult to digest.
- Stir the vegetables for about half a minute.
- Add cooked dalia and stir well before turning off heat.