Gone are the days of offering your baby bland baby food. And say hello to the use of spices and herbs to help your little eater build a palate! Today we’re sharing a recipe for dairy free Cashew Korma Sauce! I (Nita) have had this recipe up my sleeve for years and a version of it was introduced to me by a dear friend, Courtney! Since then, I’ve tweaked it to be just a tad bit more mild and baby friendly!
If this recipe feels a little out of your wheelhouse, don’t worry. It’s really simple, and tasty! The best way that I can describe it is that it tastes a lot like the base of a butter chicken dish, which I’m sure you’ve either tasted, smelled, or heard of by now! If you haven’t…you’re missing out friend! It’s also totally okay to share this first experience with your baby because…
It’s true…babies in India eat Indian food.
Babies in China eat Chinese food.
And we bet babies in Ethiopia eat Ethiopian food.
Needless to say, if you enjoy worldly cuisines, so can your baby.
Can my baby enjoy spices?
If you enjoy a variety of worldly cuisines we’re here to tell you that it’s A-OKAY to offer your baby herbs and spices too. In fact, according to recent studies this is how your baby can learn to enjoy the same foods you do! It’s also a great way to pass on your family’s food culture since certain herbs and spices are used more in one type of cultural cuisine than others!
And if you want to get realllll serious, your baby got their first tastes when they were in the womb! Flavor molecules are passed onto the baby in utero as they gulp down on amniotic fluid!
You may want to go easy on the “hot and spicy” type of spices such as cayenne and chili flakes as babies eat with their hands and then rub their eyes…this could end up being a painful experience!
When Can I start offering this Cashew Korma Sauce?
Theoretically, you can offer this recipe to your baby right when you start solids. The catch is that it contains cashews, which is a highly allergenic food. For the latest evidence and recommendations on introducing the top food allergens, please refer to our ecourse, Start Solids Confidently.
Suggested reading: When Can Babies Have Peanut Butter?
How do I feed this Cashew Korma Sauce to my baby?
If your baby is just starting solids and you’ve decided as a family that you’d like to spoon feed, that’s completely fine! You can also help your baby learn to bring the spoon to their mouth by preloading it.
Alternatively, you can also try the following ideas:
- Offer soft slices of naan and let your baby dip naan into the sauce
- Add some chickpeas into the sauce that are either mashed or whole depending on your child’s age and ability
- Serve the sauce alongside strips of paneer or tofu that you’ve lightly pan fried; it becomes nice and soft then
- Lastly, you can also offer this alongside cooked chicken in your babies preferred format (shredded, whole drumstick or cubed)
Why did you make this recipe dairy-free?
Why not just use cream? We made this korma sauce dairy free for several reasons!
- To support the families in our community that have little ones with a cow’s milk allergy.
- To support the families that have chosen to follow a plant-based diet.
- Because keeping cashews on hand is easier than keeping cream! Other than the onion, all the ingredients are foods you can keep in your pantry!
- Cashews contain some iron, a critical nutrient for babies starting solids.
- It offers a repeat exposure to tree nuts, one of the top food allergens. (For the latest guidance on introducing babies to the top food allergens, visit our e-course Start Solids Confidently)
Suggested Reading: Calcium for Your Dairy Free Baby
Dairy Free Cashew Korma Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil you can also use Ghee if you’d like to but that would be a dairy product
- ½ teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
- ½ medium sized onion finely diced
- 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon of garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce no sodium
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- ½ cup of raw unsalted cashews
- ½ – 1 cup of water divided
- 1/4 cup of cilantro finely chopped
- Heat oil in a medium sized pot over low to medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they start popping (about 30 seconds). You don’t want to burn them!
- Add the onions and ginger then sauté until golden brown (about 6 – 8 minutes).
- Add ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, if using. Heat through until fragrant (about a minute).
- Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Add in 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly.
- Add the cashews into a blender along with the tomato mixture. Blend for one minute or until creamy.
- Place this sauce back in the pan and decide if you’d like to add in more water to get the consistency you’d like. Simmer over low-medium heat to heat through for about one to two minutes.
- Serve over or alongside cooked chicken, chickpeas, tofu, or paneer!
- Top with chopped cilantro, if desired.
Suggested reading: 5 Indian Foods to Offer Your Baby