Motherhood Mondays: My Kid Needs Carbs OR The Easiest Indian Side You Can Prepare.

I think I have spoken earlier about my feelings towards potatoes. They are stupid and biased, but I still harboured them. I could not see the point in serving a vegetable side of potatoes, especially when Indian food is accompanied by rice or roti.

But that has changed now. Potatoes are good. Carbs are good. Potatoes with skins are pretty darn good.

My son is not a picky eater, and has a balanced enough diet of oats, fruit, porridge, poha, upma, idli, dosa and the like for breakfast; followed by rice, vegetables and lentils for lunch and roti and rice with chicken or vegetables at dinner. He remains happy, active and not cranky.

Except that over the last few months, he hadn’t been gaining weight. Everyone in the family pointed this out, and I was puzzled. He ate whatever we did, and he ate well enough- so why wasn’t he gaining weight? That’s when the doctor said, you need to give him more carbs and protein for him to bulk up. Skip regular breakfast, and give him mashed potatoes.

So I did. And bulk up he did. Except that even a baby gets tired of mashed potatoes every day. I wanted to make a simple potato dish he could eat like finger food.

And I thought: aloo-jeera! But I didn’t want to make the regular oily spicy version you get at small dhabas. And I wanted to eliminate the turmeric altogether. I know Indian food uses turmeric like it’s going out of style, and I also know that some people get a little freaked out by yellow food. I was also tiring of turmeric stains on my son’s clothes.

So I adapted my aloo-jeera into a highly simplistic and very quick version. This will be a veryvery easy side dish to serve if you are planning an Indian menu, and it will suit people whose taste buds may not be able to handle spice. And yeah, babies can eat it too.

EXTREMELY EASY ALOO-JEERA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium to large-sized potato, sliced very thinly, with the skin on
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (Or half a teaspoon, if you prefer. I like crunching on the cumin, so I add a bit more.)
  • A few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • A little water

METHOD

  • First, wash your potatoes well and get rid of any grit and dirt. Leave the skin on. It’s nicer that way. If you are allergic or hate the skin, get rid of it.
  • Slice your potatoes very thinly, into half-moons or sticks (or both, like I did) and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok. When oil gets hot, add the curry leaves and allow them to release their aroma and flavour. Actually, when the aroma starts releasing itself, the flavour will too. It’s not like anyone is going to bring a taste of boiling oil to their tongue.
  • Next add the cumin seeds and allow them to brown a bit.
  • Now add the garlic and let it soften. Then add the potato slices and stir fry.
  • Once the potatoes cook a little, add a little water, some salt, combine well. Just add a bit of water- too much will make it all starchy and gooey.
  • Leave uncovered on a medium flame till water evaporates and potatoes cook through.

And that’s all there is to it.

This is convenient because my son can eat it on his own- and since it is solid, leaves less of a mess to clean up compared to porridge and other gooey stuff.

♥…WHY DON’T YOU…♥

♥ Sprinkle some crushed red chilli flakes over the top to make it spicier?

♥ Squeeze a bit of lime over the dish for a hint of sour?

♥ Skip the garlic and add a pinch of asafoetida powder for a sharper flavour?

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Motherhood Mondays: Zubels Organics

It’s been quite a while since I did a mommy monday post. It’s because, well….I was busy being a mommy, that’s why! I enjoyed 2 lovely weeks at home in Kerala and cooked up quite a few authentic dishes with my grandmom, which I will share real soon. This is the first time I actually cooked while visiting home as opposed to just eating.

Anyway. While at home, there were a few unopened gifts for my son who just turned one, from friends and family. One of the things my son received was this adorable and amazingly soft stuffed monkey, from Zubels Organics. This particular doll is Rickey ‘Rotten’ Banana, a cute little monkey who dresses kind of like Fonzie from Happy Days and sports a blue mohawk. A monkey with a mohawk- who wouldn’t love that? You can even purchase his guitar accessory.

Zubels Organics uses 100% organic cotton yarns and eco-friendly dyes- so you don’t have to worry about your baby sleeping with toxins. And the fact that they are hand knit makes them so irresistibly soft and cuddly…as well as  easy to clean. I’ve often worried about fuzzy stuffed animals with acrylic hairs, which can go up your nose and gather a lot of dust. No worries in that department either with Zubels!

They do not retail in India, but if you have a friend or a relative making a trip abroad, they are worth the effort!

Visit their website at http://zubels.com/

Motherhood Mondays: My child SCREALS. Does yours?

I am baking at the moment. I was craving sugar to such a degree that I behaved like a pig and creamed together ridonkulous amounts of butter-sugar-cream-flour-eggs to make a cake. And I added pomegranate too. Let’s see how it turns out. By the time I hit publish, it should be done.

As many of you know, I have a nearly-one-year-old son. He is a lovely baby and has never given me much trouble. Even in his infancy, he had a set pattern while waking up for his feeds at night: it was either 2am, 4am, 6am or 3am, 5am, 7am. (Plus or minus 15 minutes at the top of the hour.)

He doesn’t have issues taking a bath. He is generally nice around new people and doesn’t yell when we have visitors. He is a total trooper when we travel and doesn’t embarrass me when we fly. (Except when he gets flirty with the stewardess- as flirty as an 11-month-old can be.) Hell, he has never even pooped mid-air!

Nor does he have issues with food, he eats mostly everything now, we haven’t really started him on meat, fish and poultry, but yeah, he pretty much eats whatever we eat.

I keep touching wood and thanking the powers above for blessing me with a son who has made my transition into motherhood so wonderful.

Except that of late, he has started noticing things. Mostly food. And the food he notices is the stuff we do not share with him, like spicy chicken or meat dishes, namkeen, or chocolate. And he makes it a point to make a noise about it (a loud, high-pitched, highly energized one) that is a cross between a scream and a squeal. And that, my friends is a SCREAL.

I only think it’s fair that I too, am allowed to create new words like Tyra Banks does on ANTM. (Smize=smiling with your eyez.)

The screal. It is loud. It is shrill. It bursts forth, short and rapid, and then gains momentum to become longer, more dramatic, until it is finally just a wail. Add to this leg kicks and fist throw-downs and you have yourselves a little food diva! He cannot stand the fact that we possibly have something nicer on our plate. Sometimes, he even throws his spoon. Maybe Gordon Ramsay was like this as a baby.

Have any of you experienced this? Loud little tantrum-y screals because your child is excluded from a certain kind of food?

The first few times, I though ok, let the kid have a little crumb of what I’m having, and I would give him a tiny piece. But now, I just ignore it. I look at my husband and say “No one is going to pay any attention to Raghav. Raghav has eaten his dinner and he does not need to eat food which is not meant for him.”

On one level, perhaps we should not eat any of those things till he is ready to eat it, too. But on another level, I think: he is going to be surrounded by stuff that may be off-limits as he grows up, and he needs to understand that. Everyone can’t have everything. And he certainly can’t screal his way through life.

Even if he wags his finger at people.

Thanks arjun menon for the photo!