Most websites and elders told me that you should try to get your toddler to eat the same food as the rest of the family. I started doing this fairly successfully for lunch. Devansh has been having the same lunch of sabzi-roti, kachumber, and curd as us for more than a year now. However, when it comes to dinner he prefers to stick to moong-daal rice or waran bhaat. Occasionally, he is OK with rice and daal too. So if we’re having daal for dinner, we make it slightly less spicy so Devansh can eat it. But if we’re having sabzi-roti for dinner, then he will have only 5-6 bites and then declare that he doesn’t want to eat. So I have to give him his varan bhaat. When I had started him off on solids, I was told that he should have a heavy dinner so he will sleep through the night. And he used to like moong-daal rice and eat it in good quantity. So more often than not I would feed that to him and that habit stuck.
Kalpesh and I like rajma chawal, but my in-laws don’t like it. Plus they don’t eat onion and garlic so we end up making rajma very rarely. But whenever I have made it, Devansh has liked eating it with rice. So till now, rice is a must for Devansh’s dinner. These days I am trying to get Devansh to eat sabzi-roti, parathas etc for dinner if that’s what we’re having. I would advise all new moms, to give varied food for dinner to their toddlers from early on. Otherwise like me you’ll be struggling to get your kids to eat the same food as the rest of the family later on. Anyways, without much ado, here’s the rajma masala recipe. I modify our rajma slightly to make it less spicy for Devansh. I have provided steps below the rajma recipe to make it toddler-friendly.
Rajma Recipe (Red Kidney Beans Curry / Rajma Masala)
Rajma Masala (Red Kidney Beans Curry) Ingredients
- 1 cup rajma/red kidney beans preferably organic
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- Half tsp chopped green chili optional
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- One tsp red chili powder
- One and a half tbsp oil
- One tsp chopped coriander
Toddler-Friendly Rajma Masala Ingredients
- 3-4 tbsp rajma masala the one that we had set aside in step no. 9 earlier
- One medium-sized boiled potato
- Mash rajma finely using a pav bhaji masher. Toddlers and younger kids find it difficult to chew the skin of rajma so make sure it's mashed finely. I kept a few rajma beans intact for the sake of photograph but Devansh didn't enjoy eating them whole.
- Mash the potato finely or coarsely depending on your child's age. Potato will make rajma less spicy for toddlers and kids.
- Add potato and approx. half cup water to rajma.
- Cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Taste it and add a pinch of salt if required.
- Turn off heat and serve with rice or jeera rice.
- Soak rajma overnight in water and then cook it in a pressure cooker till it becomes soft. (Cook on medium flame for about 10 minutes.)
- Chop onion, and then grind chopped onion, ginger, garlic, and green chili in a mixer to make a paste. (Actually you need ginger-garlic-chili paste. But grinding 1 or 2 tbsp mixture in a mixer is a nightmare, so I add onions as well. If you have ginger-garlic-chili paste ready, then just chop the onions finely and don't make this paste. Add this paste in onions after sautéing them for a couple of minutes.)
- Peel the tomatoes, cut them, and then puree them. (Peeling is not necessary if you're making rajma for adults or older kids. Babies and toddlers find it difficult to chew tomato skin. Click here to see how to make a tomato puree.)
- Heat a kadai, add oil, and then add onion-ginger-garlic-chili paste when the oil becomes hot.
- Sauté on medium flame for about 5 minutes. (You can add 1-2 tbsp of water in the kadai if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom.)
- Add tomato puree, sauté for a minute, and then add turmeric powder and red chili powder. (You can use less red chili powder if you want.)
- Sauté for another 5 minutes, and then add cooked rajma and some water depending on the desired consistency.
- Add salt and garam masala, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer 3-4 tbsp of cooked rajma in another bowl and then add chopped coriander. (You need this rajma for making the toddler- and kid-friendly version. Coriander provides us with several nutritional benefits, however, most toddlers and younger kids have difficulty chewing coriander. If you want, you can add coriander juice.)
- Give the mixture a good stir and then turn off heat.
If you are cooking for toddlers who require the rice to be runny, follow these steps
- Mash rajma finely using a pav bhaji masher.
- Add mashed rajma and cooked rice in a small cooker.
- Add half a cup of water and mash the rice a bit.
- Cook in a pressure cooker for 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
If you don't want to use readymade garam masala, you can use khada/akhkha masala. Add it in oil before adding the onion paste. And then after adding tomato puree, add jeera and dhaniya powder along with turmeric and chili powder.