Baby Dal Khichdi (Lentils for Baby)

Updated: August 19, 2022, By Swasthi

Baby Dal Recipe that’s 100% vegetarian, gluten-free and can be made vegan if you choose to. Make creamy, delicious, healthy and nutrient-rich lentil baby food at home for different stages – 0 to 4. The satisfaction & joy of feeding your baby homemade food is immense because it is clean & fresh with no additives. In this post I share how to cook dal or lentils for your baby along with plenty of time-tested tips to easily transition from smooth lentil puree to textured lentils and then to grown-up lentil food like this Dal Fry.

baby dal khichdi also known as lentil khichdi

Recipe Comments

So after reading this post you will know how to introduce lentils to your baby, without being bloated or having any tummy issues.

About Baby Dahl

Lentils known as Dal or dahl is a staple in the Indian homes. Our regular meals include some or the other kind of lentils for almost every meal. But unfortunately your baby cannot eat the lentils you make for the grow-ups for the simple reason, baby dal should be devoid of salt, spices and oil.

So traditionally Indians follow a specific lentil diet for babies and is so much different from the grown-up version. Since babies are born with colic, it is very important to introduce lentils to baby with caution. Else both the mom and the baby end up with sleepless nights as lentils can cause stomach gas and colic.

Traditionally a lot of Indians follow the Ayurvedic diet for the baby food. So all the suggestions in this post are time-tested not only by me for my babies but also by zillion Indian families.

Which Dal to use for Baby

Moong Dal is the most commonly used lentil for babies in North India and Toor dal is most commonly used in South India. A lot of South Indians following the ayurvedic diet also use moong dal.  Because Moong dal is considered to be Tri-doshic meaning it can balance any kind of imbalances in the body and improve the health. Moong dal is also considered easy for digestion.

If you are new to identifying the lentils, I have a picture here. Moong dal are known as yellow split and skinned petite lentils or yellow mung dal.

lentils for moong dal khichri for babies

Here is a picture of the toor dal known as split pigeon peas or tuvar dal. Red lentils, chana dal and black dal are not used for babies as a first food because they can easily cause stomach gas.

dal rice for Khichdi recipe for babies

How to Introduce Dahl to Baby? (Stage 0 to 4)

Please consult your pediatrician before you introduce your baby to solids. The best time to introduce is different across the globe and depends on the region and culture.

Stage 0 Lentil Baby Food: A lot of homes, cook lentils and strain the stock (lentil cooked water). This is cooled and fed to the baby before noon, without adding anything. This works in 2 ways – one is to check if the baby does well with lentils and the second is to get the baby used to the flavor of lentils.

For this a 3 day wait rule is followed to make sure the baby does not have any reaction, colic or indigestion. This is a stage 0 (Zero) lentil baby food and a 6 months old baby will be able to consume only a few teaspoons of this.

Stage 1 Baby Dal (8 Months): Later at this stage, we cook the lentils and rice together for a breakfast or mid-day meal. You can add easily digestible veggies like pumpkin or carrots to make a stage 1 lentil baby food.

At this stage avoid using vegetables that can potentially cause gas like potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and sweet potatoes. You will also keep the quantity of dal less and rice more. You will mash the food completely or puree in a blender at this stage to get a puree like texture. Add a few drops of Cultured Ghee and not the other.

Note that you should have already introduced ghee, rice and the vegetables individually that you want to add here. Ideally at this stage we use a ratio of 1:4 (dal:rice).

Stage 2 (9 to 10 months) : At stage 2 you will increase the quantity of dal and more veggies. You can also introduce toor dal at this stage if you want. More kind of veggies like , bottle gourd and ridge gourd are also used.

This extra veggies give more texture to the baby lentil food. Also you may include spices like black pepper (during colder days), turmeric (a pinch) and carom seeds powder (ajwain for digestion) at this stage. All these are optional.

Stage 3 (11 to 12 months) : You will only increase the quantity of meal including ghee. Leafy greens life spinach, fenugreek can also be used. A lot of Indian also introduce Rasam and Sambar at this stage (low spiced/heat versions). I would make a no chilli version of these for my babies.

Stage 4 (after 12 months): Is a more textured meal where you will only soft cook the food and leave it to chunks so your baby begins to enjoy the texture of lentils, rice and veggies. At this stage we use 1: 1 ratio of dal and rice

Ways to cook Lentil Baby Food

The easiest way to make dal for your baby is in a pressure cooker – stovetop or electric cooker as this gives you the option to go hand-free. In the step by step pictures I have shown how to make it in a cooker. Here is how to cook in a pot without a cooker.

  • Soak half cup lentils for at least 1 hour up to overnight, as this helps in cooking them faster. You are free to skip this but your baby will be able to digest the soaked and cooked lentils easily.
  • Rinse the lentils well after soaking and pour 2 cups of fresh water. Bring it to a rolling boil and simmer. Cook uncovered until tender. You may see a lot of froth, remove that with a slotted spoon and discard.
  • When the lentils turn tender, Strain the stock and cool it. This gives you stage 0 dahl for your baby.
  • To make the baby food for other stages, you simply add the other ingredients as mentioned in the recipe card and cook.

Pro Tips

Never introduce your baby to lentils in the later part of the day. According to Ayurveda, it is believed that digestion is best during the first half of the day (before noon) and it is sluggish in the later part. So we always feed lentils for breakfast or lunch. This clears up the lentils in the tummy by night, before you get your baby to bed.

Avoid introducing any other new food to your baby while you introduce the lentils. The reason being you won’t know which food has caused the trouble (in case). Also note that it is essential to test every single food for 3 days before you cook a meal with all of them. Go slow!

More baby food recipes,
Sweet Potato Baby Food
Ragi malt
Wheat porridge cereal

Photo Guide

How to Cook Dal for Baby (Stepwise photos)

1. Wash rice and dal together at least twice in lot of water. Optionally soak them for at least 30 to 60 minutes with 1 cup water in a small pressure cooker or pot. I use a 3lts pressure cooker.

soak dal rice to make Khichdi recipe for babies

2. Just before you cook, chop or grate veggies freshly and add to the soaked rice and dal.

chopped veggies in Khichdi recipe for babies

3. On a medium heat pressure cook for 2 whistles. If you do not have a cooker, bring the water to a rolling boil and turn down the heat to low. Simmer until the lentils and rice are tender. If you find any froth, discard that with a slotted spoon.

pressure cook rice dal to make Khichdi recipe for babies-3

4. When the pressure reduces , open the lid and check. The rice, lentils and veggies must be soft and mushy. While the rice is still hot, mash it to smooth with a spoon or a masher.

mashed rice in Khichdi recipe for babies

5. Add ghee, a pinch of crushed pepper and turmeric if you want. Babies need healthy fat, we use ghee. You can add salt after 1 year.

addition of ghee in Khichdi recipe for babies

6. Mix everything well. If the consistency is too thick, pour some boiling hot water. Avoid adding cold water. Serve lentil rice warm. Warm foods digest better.

baby dal recipe

How to Make Stage 4 Lentil Baby Food

Babies over an year tend to become picky or choosy and love textured foods rather than smooth purees. So you can slowly move to veggies like onion, green peas, cauliflower, carrots, capsicum, methi, palak, beets etc. You can also make this moong dal recipe and serve with plain mashed rice.

1. Soak rice and dal for at least 30 minutes. Heat ghee and saute cumin. Add grated ginger and saute. It will begin to smell good.

sauteing cumin in cooker for khichdi recipe for toddlers

2. Add veggies and saute again for 2 minutes.

frying veggies for making khichdi recipe for toddlers

3. Add rice and dal. Repeat sautéing for 2 mins.

addition of dal to pan for khichdi recipe for toddler

4. Add salt and water as needed.

addition water to pan for khichdi recipe for toddlers

5. Close the pressure cooker and allow to whistle once or twice depending on the brand.

cooked vegetables in pan khichdi recipe for toddlers

If desired you can mash it further before serving.

serve warm khichdi recipe for infants

Recipe Card

baby dal

Baby Dal Khichdi (Lentils for Baby)

4.96 from 25 votes
This lentil baby food is healthy, nourishing and tastes delicious. Learn to make lentil baby food from stage 0 to 4 with this post.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

Stage 0

  • ¼ cup moong dal or toor dal
  • cup water

Stage 1

  • ¼ tablespoon moong dal (or 1 tablespoon cooked plain dal)
  • 1 tablespoon uncooked rice (or 3 tablespoons cooked rice)
  • ¾ cup water (or as needed)
  • 2 inch carrot or pumpkin
  • 1 drop ghee (optional)

Stage 2

  • 1 tablespoon moong dal (or 3 tablespoon cooked plain dal)
  • 2 tablespoon uncooked rice (or 6 tablespoons cooked rice)
  • 3 inch carrot (3 tbsps chopped) or pumpkin, ridge gourd, bottle gourd
  • 1 cup water (more to adjust)
  • 2 drops ghee (optional)

Stage 3

  • 1½ to 2 tablespoon moong dal or tuvar dal (Refer the introduction)
  • 2 to 2½ tablespoon uncooked rice
  • 1¼ to 1½ cup water (more to adjust)
  • 3 tablespoon carrots , peas, pumpkin, spinach, fenugreek etc
  • teaspoon ghee melted
  • 1 pinch turmeric (optional)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (optional)
  • teaspoon ajwain powder (optional)


Stage 0 – Lentil baby food

  • Rinse and soak lentils for an hour , up to over night. Drain and rinse well. Pour fresh water and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender & mushy. Discard any froth that comes to the top while cooking.
  • Strain the lentils and cool completely. Feed a few teaspoons of this stage 0 lentil baby food. You can freeze this stock or refrigerate for 2 days.

Stage 1 to 3

  • Wash and soak rice and dal together for at least 30 to 60 minutes with 1 cup water. Later drain and pour fresh water.
  • Add chopped or grated vegetable to the soaked rice & dal.
  • Pressure cook on medium flame for 2 whistles. To cook in a pot check my step by step photo guide in the post.
  • When the pressure drops, open and mash the rice to smooth while still hot.
  • Add ghee, spice powders and turmeric if you want. (for stages 2 to 3)
  • Mix well, to bring it to right consistency, if needed add very little hot boiling water and mix. Do not mix cold water it will change the taste of the dal.


  • You can also make stage 1 to 4 baby food if you have precooked rice, lentils and vegetables ready separately from other meal. Simply use the quantities mentioned in the ingredient notes and combine them – puree or mash or mix well. But use hot foods and not cold.
  • All the recipes are tried and tested for my babies.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Baby Dal Khichdi (Lentils for Baby)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 48mg2%
Potassium 108mg3%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 335IU7%
Vitamin C 6.8mg8%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Hello! I would like to make this for my 7 month baby but in an Instapot in a slightly larger quantity. If I were to make Stage 1 khichdi and do 1/4 lentils and 1 cup rice, how much water would I need? I’m not sure how to calculate this! Thank you (me and my husband LOVE your recipes)!

It does! Thank you!

Would be able to share how to cook this using PIP method with veggies?

I look forward to trying this with my baby! If I triple the recipe, do I triple the water amount as well? So 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup?

5 stars
I like all your recipes …. You are the first option I choose despite having various recipes from various chef’s.

5 stars
can u guide me some iron rich food ideas for two year old please?

thnks alot,and one more thing is it ok to give lassi with dal khichdi at luch time everyday?as calcium based food with iron is not a good combo

thnx for sharing valuable info..what should i give with or after meal that taste sugary because my kid always want sugary drink with meal or after meal.also kid need smthing sweet after salty meal

5 stars
can u guide me some iron rich food ideas for 2 year old please?

Hai madam,
My son is in 16 months now , he used to eat better sometimes but now a days he is not eating any thing can u please suggest a diet chart for 16 month old.

5 stars

Hello mam…..its wonderful job..meri beti 9months ke hai mein usse khichri, dalia, banana, curd sb deti hu….aur kya de skti hu…..aloo parantha chota sa bna ke du th 4to 5 bites….mein aur kya add kr skti hu

5 stars
Hi madam,

My baby is 12 months. Often gets cold n cough. U had mentioned about the monsoon spice mix. Can u pls share the recepie

Mam my son is not interested in dal khichdi and all.he likes sweet things like halwa kheer cerelac. What should I do????

don’t add sugar to milk, ignore all kinds of sugar except organic sugar that comes from fruit and he will regain his test in everything and will be healthy.

Hi , swastika ples give me diet chart for my 9 months baby boy,

I like Al recipes


5 stars
These recipes are very easy to cook.thank u..mam
I tried the veg kichidi

Hi swasthi
My 14month old baby is so thin n he don’t eat food. Properly as I gone through ur chat there r many goodthings but still am confused plz help me out Wat I should feed him.

Hi swathi

I hd gone tru many of ur recipes n food chart. It’s awesome n helps a lot.Thank you so much.
Thanks for replying too.☺

Hi swasthi,

I have been following your blog for quite some time to check baby food. I love the way you explain each thing and the authenticity of the recipe.

Anyways I have 9 months daughter and want to try this recipe. I am not sure which banana have you used. Is it raw nendran banana?

Hi swasthi,

I had posted some query yesterday night. Did you receive?

OK, my bad. Let me type my query again. My 9 months baby just gained 100 grams in 1.5 months. I know weight slows down after they start moving, but 100 grams is too less. I want to know how can I help her put on more. Also it would be great help if you let me know the quantity she takes is enough.. Morning she takes ragi kanji made from 2 scops, this scoop is one I got from lactogen formula. For lunch I add 3 teaspoon rice, 1.5 teaspoon moong dall ,, few pieces of veggie( this is before cooking quantity).dinner almost same as lunch but she won’t finish. In between breastfeeds, n one fruit snack in evening. U think this quantity is enough?

Can’t thank enough for your detailed explanation. Now I feel issue lies in the quantity she takes. She is been taking same amount of ragi Ganji since she was 6 month n lunch of same quantity since 7.5 months. She won’t have more if I increase, this only she will leave few spoons.

Doc has told me to start textured food, but she is not taking. So I am juggling between textured food and weight gain. She gags a lot when I try little thick food and won’t eat further. I am worried how will I make her eat solid food.

I have tried idly with rasam and rava Upma , she made face as if it was so yuck. So had to continue with ragi. Don’t know how else to introduce new food to her.

And yeah I feel I hardly have any milk, she sucks for few minutes and leaves. I thought at this time naturally I can’t increase milk moreover her peac has told feed her milk just 3-4 times in a day, so I was not much concentrating on milk. Now I’m confused.

Thank you swasthi for responding to my queries. Well i happened to check my girls weight yesterday, and she had lost some 50grams. I was heart broken. I feel I am doing something wrong. Well when you say don’t give porridge, what kind you are referring? I have been giving dd ragi kanji since few n nths. Also some say oats makes lose weight as it does with adults due to high fiber. U have any experience with oats? Can I give to dd?

Regarding pureeing, I m just keeping 1/4th of her meal mashed, n rest puree.

Can you give me some protein rich food options? Except egg which I will start after she turns 1 n no meat. In a day she takes roughly 4 tea spoons of moong daal(raw quantity). Is it enough protein?

Sorry for bugging you with so many queries. I m need of help.

Thanks Swasthi. I have decided instead of going through all sites in Google n trying, I will just follow your blog. I am sure I will see some positive result.

You reply to each comment on every post with such detailed explaination. This needs lot of patience which you have. I Bow down to your genuine concern and the knowledge. May god bless you n your family with loads of happiness and health.

Hi mam
Your blog is very informative. And easy to follow.
One question though. I have read every where to avoid salt for babies till one year. Is it okay to use
salt as mentioned in this khichdi recipe? I have a 7 month old baby.

Hi mam
Thanks for ur reply.
can i give jaggery to my 7 month old boy daily and how much in quantity? As without something sweet in his food he becomes fussy and i want to avoid sugar. Plzzz suggest what should I do.

Hi Swasthi,

I liked your recipe’s, looks so simple… Will surely try one today..
I have 2 year old son who is fussy in eating… He was born premature so he is underweight.. He likes spicy food than sweet one. Please help me with some more nutritional recipe’s which helps him gain weight and have gud mental and physic growth.

Thanks 🙂

Hi Swasthi,

I liked your recepie’s, looks so simple… Will surely try one today..
I have 2 year old son who is fussy in eating… He was born premature so he is underweight.. He likes spicy food tgan sweet one. Please help me with some more nutritional recepie which helps him gain weight and have gud mental and physic growth.

Thanks 🙂