Have idlis. Will feed child. Easy-Peasy Lemon-Squeezy.
It's the simplest thing in the world. And good, clean fun, too. No preservatives, chemicals, artificial anythings, or other nasties. Cooked the healthiest way - by steaming. No oil or fat (except what you choose to serve it with, which can still be none). Takes precisely 10 minutes to steam up.
Idlis generally tend to be a South Indian baby's first solid food. In most cases, they continue to remain on the number one spot (especially at breakfast time) till well into old age. And so it is that idli batter (see here) can be found residing in a Tupperware tub in my fridge most days of the week. It's also rather handy to have, to whip up a quick snack or meal anytime of the day. Lots of scope to get creative. And if you've got any of those "mini idli" moulds that come in a few different sizes, so much more bite-sized fun!
Batter with some of the "toppings" -
All puffed up after getting steamed.
Plain idlis go well with "gunpowder" - a spicy, powder of roasted dals, - (usually with a little drizzle of melted ghee, or gingelly oil) -
But to make things simpler, just add it to the batter beforehand. (Coconut chutney can be added likewise.)
A sprinkle of red cabbage shreds,
gets even more colourful after steaming by "bleeding" a little purple.
A smiley with carrot mouth and mustard seed eyes (borrowed from the sambar/chutney tempering) -
Looks equally cheerful after steaming!
And indeed, still cheerful while getting eaten, smiles-first!
Peas can make googly eyes, too.
A simple slice of carrot is no less fun.
But why just for kids? This finger food can serve grownups just as well.
With maybe a dip or topping of fiery red chilly chutney.
Or a sort of 'zen' hors d'oeuvres.