Good news: You don't have to cook twice or sacrifice your love of spice!
(Plus, a delicious Baby-Friendly Keema and Peas recipe)
People often shy away from curries when weaning, worried that it'll either be unsuitable for the little ones, or unpalatable for the adults.
And I can fully understand the sentiment!
Most of the "baby friendly" curry recipes I've tried have been absolutely awful.
One "Baby Biryani" recipe I found basically just omitted all the traditional spices, leaving only cinnamon and a tiny bit of cumin, so it tasted more like a vegetable pudding.
Needless to day, none of us were keen on that one!
The thing is with spices is that most of them aren't hot - just flavoursome - and introducing them from an early age can widen your baby's palate.
You just need to be a bit cautious with the hotter spices, such as chilli, cayenne or hot paprika.
Some babies are quite tolerant from the start and don't blink an eye, so it's worth trying a tiny amount to see how it goes down.
Others can't handle it at all though - our first attempt with Lula ended in tears!
For them, you could try introducing very tiny amounts to help them gradually build up a tolerance, which is what we've done with Lula.
She's still not particularly keen and will exclaim "hot hot hot!" but she can definitely cope with it better than when she was a baby, as long as she has a drink alongside and/or some natural yoghurt on top.
If you're a fan of heat though (as we are), it doesn't mean you have to make two different dinners or sacrifice your enjoyment.
It's not that hard to make a curry that's both suitable for little ones but tasty for adults too by simply dividing your mixture into two and adding chilli to one half.
You've got a couple of options for doing this...
1. If you want more depth of flavour, you'll need to divide the mixture out earlier on so the chilli can properly permeate the dish. At the point when you add the garlic, ginger and flavoursome spices (e.g. cumin, coriander, turmeric etc), mix it together well and then divide the mixture into two pans. Add the chilli to one pan but leave it out of the other and follow the rest of the instructions. I find fresh chillis work best with this approach, as it'll have more time to cook into the dish properly.
2. If you're not so worried about flavour depth and just want a kick of heat, leave it all to cook in one pan but don't add any chilli until the very end. When it's ready, serve your baby's portion (I usually serve one plate for Lula and put another portion into a tub to freeze), then add the chilli to the rest of the pan, stir it in and cook for a few more mins. If you're doing it this way, I find dried chilli flakes work best as fresh chilli won't have enough time to properly permeate the dish.
Keema and Peas Recipe
Keema curry is a spiced curry of meat and peas in an aromatic sauce. It's traditionally made with minced lamb or mutton but can be made with beef or vegetarian mince instead.
This keema & peas recipe is really quick, easy to make and cheap as well, coming in at about £1 per serving, making it the perfect budget midweek meal.
Because it's made with mince instead of chunks of meat, it's brilliant for weaning babies, as they find it easier to chew / mush.
You can serve it with rice, naan bread or any nice side dishes such as Bombay potatoes.
It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to a month. Just defrost and reheat thoroughly when you’re ready to use the rest.
If you try the recipe, please tag me on Instagram - @mykindamum - I’d love to see how it went down with your family!