The most joyous occasion in any parent's life is the birth of their first child :). It is a very beautiful gift from nature, but there are challenges and responsibilities galore that accompany a new born.
I am sure every mother has felt that their responsibilities will be alleviated when the child is a little older. But then newer challenges crop up as the child's age progresses. I thought that waking up several times at night, will be gone, when my daughter migrates to solid foods; but no, as nursing continued, so did her mid night feedings! This went on for nearly 2 years, phew!
So when she turned 5 months, I was eagerly waiting for her to start her solid feeding! Thinking that was going to give me some respite from the endless nursing sessions. But wasn't I mistaken?
Anyways, that is another story.
When it was time to start her on solids, I consulted her pediatrician. His wavelength suited mine just fine. He strongly favours the child eating from the family "pot" and advised us to avoid cooking anything specifically for the baby as she grows older. But to introduce her to solids, he recommended that we start with thin porridge and then gradually make it lumpy and thick in texture.
So I made the ragi porridge powder with mom's help.
Raagi grains - 1 kg
Channa (white) - 1/2 kg
Green Gram - 1/4 kg
Par-boiled rice grains - 1 cup (rice cup - 150 ml)
Clean and soak the raagi in water overnight. Separately soak the channa and green gram in different containers.
In the morning, drain the water and tie the raagi in a muslin cloth, allowing it to sprout. Do the same with channa and green gram.
It takes about 24 hours to see the legumes sprouting. Dry the legumes completely in sunlight.
Dry roast par-boiled rice grains. Cool and keep aside. Combine all the ingredients and grind it to a fine powder. We usually take it to the flour mill to do this. We need the powder to be really fine and the food processor does not grind it that fine.
To make the porridge: Heat 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan. Add a tsp of ghee and mix well. Make a paste of 1/2 tablespoon of the raagi porridge powder with a tablespoon of water. Add the paste to the water in the saucepan, stirring all the while. Cook in medium-low flame for 4-5 minutes.
For children under 1 year of age it is not recommended by the doctor to add sugar or salt to the food. But for those who feel they should add some taste to the porridge, you can either add a pinch of salt or a few shreds of jaggery. Avoid sugar as much as you can, even when the child is older.