As you have probably already heard, NEW medical research undertaken by the department of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow have found (well more like re-confirmed) shop-bought baby food contain far less nutrients than home cooked baby food. Not a huge surprise, let’s be honest, but it is great that home-made baby food is back in the spotlight.

Weaning is a massively important time for introducing babies to new tastes and textures and introducing children to Asian flavours is a great way to do this. Authentic Asian dishes tend to be aromatic and flavourful so they are perfect for weaning and for exciting young palates. Add a pinch of coriander or a dash of cinnamon to baby food, and any parent can transform the taste and experience of meals for children from seven months up.

And if that wasn’t enough, spices have amazing health benefits. For example, cinnamon is great for teething pains and cumin is great for cold and flu protection. So have a go at my simple Papaya Shrikhand (yogurt) recipe from my book ‘Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook’ and see how your baby gets on.

Shrikhand is a traditional Indian sweet yogurt dessert chock-full of probiotic goodness, and contains the golden orange superfood Papaya. This exotic fruit is filled with antioxidant vitamins A (in the form of beta-carotene) and C. Both play a vital role in promoting a healthy immune system. Similarly rich in folate, this fruit will aid healthy growth. Only taking a few minutes to prepare, this is an effortless yogurt dessert. Also delicious prepared with mango…another golden orange superfood.

SuperFoods included – yogurt, papaya
SuperSpices included – saffron, cardamom

Total preparation time: 5mins
Makes 1 serving


  • ½ tbsp of whole milk
  • 2 saffron strands
  • 4 tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt
  • ½ ripe papaya ”” peeled, deseeded, cubed
  • Pinch of ground cardamom – green

In a cup pour the milk, warm for a few seconds in the microwave and add the saffron (the warm milk will help the saffron to dissolve). Set aside until it begins to dissolve, the milk will change to a light golden orange colour.

Place the yogurt, papaya, cardamom and saffron milk into a blender, and blend until smooth. Place in a small container and serve to baby.

Recipe extract from Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Zainab Jagot Ahmed available to buy now from, and all good e-bookshops, for only £4.99.

My Baba readers can get an exclusive 30% discount on the eBook for a few days until Sunday 22nd September. To claim the offer:

Click here to go to the publisher’s website and click ‘buy book’. Use code MYBABA in the discount coupon box and click ‘apply’. Your discount will automatically be applied and checkout as normal.


About The Author

Zainab Jagot Ahmed is a first-time mum and author of the UK's first Indian baby food cookbook, ‘Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook'. Prior to becoming a mummy, Zainab worked in marketing for almost 10 years in the fashion, entertainment and retail industries. However, after the birth of her daughter felt inspired to turn her attention to cooking delicious, nutritious home-made baby food. As she began the weaning process, she was keen to introduce Asian flavours early to both broaden her daughter's palate, and to introduce her to her culinary heritage. However, unable to find any baby and toddler cookbooks with Asian or Asian influenced recipes, was inspired to invent her own recipes. Soon friends were asking for them too. After a year spent researching spices, dietary recommendations and various superfoods, Zainab decided to put her research and recipes to good use by writing her own Indian baby food cookbook, giving everyone the chance to try them at home.

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