Baby Panang - for parents too! - NZDadsAs of late, I have been adapting our adult meals to make a potful to freeze down for baby. I’m also aware that as he gets older, he needs to be exposed to more flavours, textures, and tastes.

For this Thai Panang Curry, each time I make it will gradually increase the amount of Panang curry paste which is added, therefore increasing babies tolerance of the different herbs and spices. Obviously stopping once I have achieved a mild flavour, I don’t expect the poor kid to eat super spicy food like his Mum! The half a teaspoon used in this batch wasn’t detectable to my palate, and therefore happily gobbled down by Mr 8 months.

Depending on where your child is at with their eating, you could puree this, or pulse so still a bit chunky, or just roughly mash. We’re still at the blitzing stage, also I add the rice in after a few blitzes so that it stays fairly chunky still. Feel free to use cooked rice, ground Only Organic Iron Fortified Baby Rice or a combination of the both. The good thing about adding the rice at the end is that it helps you to gain the right consistency; simply add more rice to make it thicker.

This recipe includes everything that you need to make a meal to serve four adults (dinner and the next day’s lunches for us), and 6-10 serves for baby. I freeze baby’s portions in silicone ice-trays or muffin trays, then pop them out and store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer, defrosting as much as is needed each day. The first ingredient list is the total ingredients that you will need. The second is the portions which go into baby’s pot.

Ingredients (4 adults and 6-10 baby serves):

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 parsnip, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 a squash or pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 a head of broccoli, florets, and stem peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 apple
  • 1 small kumara, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 400g tin of coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 50 g + 1/2 tsp Mae Ploy Panang Curry Paste*
  • 600 grams free range chicken breast or thigh, diced**
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups rice + 4 cups of water

*Any Panang Curry Paste will work, however adapt the amount used according to the packet directions.

**Use protein of choice including Beef, Tofu or Pork

Begin by preparing your vegetables, as you do measure out the following amounts to go into a separate 1.5L capacity pot for baby.

  • 120 g carrot
  • 50 g parsnip
  • 80 g broccoli
  • 200 g squash or pumpkin
  • 100 g kumara
  • 80 g apple

All remaining vegetables, prepare and pop aside.

Add to baby’s pot: 100 g chicken (or other protein), 1/2 tsp curry paste, 1/4 cup of coconut milk and two cups of water.

Cover and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Remove lid and leave to cool for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, begin cooking your rice, according to packet directions.

In a large frying pan (with a lid), heat the oil and over a low heat stir in the 50 g curry paste till aromatic, add the remaining coconut cream, then fill the tin with water and pour that in too, stir to create a sauce. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Add the chicken, carrot, parsnip, squash and any kumara or apple that was leftover. Stir, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes till chicken is cooked through and vegetables are nearly softened. Add the broccoli and onion, stir and cover for another 5 minutes.

Serve the Panang Curry in bows on top of the cooked rice.

As for baby’s pot, it should be cooled enough now. Blend or blitz in a food processor till at the desired consistency. To make it thicker, add up to 1/2 a cup of Only Organic Iron Fortified Baby Rice, or up to 1 cup of cooked rice, or as I did a combination of both. Decant this into ice-trays or muffin tins to freeze, then store frozen cubes in labelled zip lock bags in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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