I recently had the pleasure in receiving an advance copy of a new book - 'Easy Indian SuperMeals for babies, toddlers and the family', written by Zainab Jagot Ahmed. Those of you are regular readers of my blog will know that me and my family love Indian food, and as soon as Paige was old enough to start on solids, one of her first meals was a fruity chicken korma, which she loved.
As soon as I received the book I started flicking through looking for recipes to try, but what I was surprised (and delighted) to see, was that not only is this a recipe book, it's also packed full of information about weaning, spices and their suitability for babies and children, portions sizes, nutrition and food groups. Just what I've been searching for, and all in one place - Hooray!
The book starts from 7 months+ and progresses through to 3-5 years+. What I love about the recipes is that they are for the whole family and any chillies or salt etc has been omitted from the recipe until the end where you can spice it up for the grown ups once you've set aside a portion for the little one.
I also love that at the top of the pages, Zainab gives a little chat about the recipe, relaying some family history but also telling you about the important health benefits of the ingredients. I like to know that what I'm feeding my child is healthy and nutritious and again, it's great having this information all in one place.
So my first dip into the book, after much deliberation (as everything looks amazing!) was Zainab's mum's Chicken Karahi. As promised, it only took around 25 minutes to make and the end result was delicious. Easy to make, and on the table in less than half an hour - a thumbs up from me!
I decided at the same time to try one of the 'Sweet SuperMeals' for Paige as an alternative to the usual yogurt and fruit she has after dinner. The 'Creamy Sweet Potato Dream' caught my eye - sweet potato as a pudding?! All I can say is, you HAVE to try this recipe! Sweet potato and coconut milk infused with nutmeg and green cardamom - it was so moreish Paige was lucky to get any! I made a big batch and froze it, and it defrosted really well.
My verdict? I love love love this book!
With Christmas just round the corner, this is a must have gift for any parent about to embark on weaning their baby onto solids, or indeed anyone who cooks for children. The photography is brilliant, the recipes are varied and the information is invaluable.
You can buy Zainab's book 'Easy Indian SuperMeals' here and you can follow her on Twitter @ZainabJagAhmed