Lunch Box Series : LBS#1

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Lunch time is always so exciting. During school days, it was a time to look forward. Mostly because the difficult subjects would be over by the noon and we can look forward to a nice and relaxed afternoon session. A time to doze and play games, but the most important, being we get to be free for an hour. We used to roam around the campus looking into other classes. Generally hanging around and having fun. It used to painful when we hear the first bell go, reminding us that we got to get back to class room.

And what was sent for lunch, used to be more exciting. Amma used to pack proper lunch for Daddy, while my brother used to go home for his. But I always wanted my lunch to be packed. And best was, I used to love tiffin items and wanted only these for lunch. My best lunches used to be Idlies with Amma’s famous Podi smeared over it, with lots of ghee. It tastes simply out of the world. Even now, given a chance I will have this Podi for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Well that was in school days, when I moved to college, my lunch items changed. Mostly because I went to a Punjabi college, where most of my friends were North Indians. So their lunch used to be so interesting for me. This is where I developed my fondness to North Indian food and cuisines. Since they used to bring all North Indian food, I was asked to bring all South Indian food. So we used to end up exchanging our lunch boxes. My friends included Punjabi, Parsi, Marwari, Sindi, Gujarathi.. All our lunch boxes used to be such a versatile and a feast to our eyes.

All our Moms used to excel over each other, trying to pack great lunches for us. Not sure if studies were the focus or what’s food for lunch. And now that I think of, my college days remind me more of our lunch breaks than what I studied. Well that goes to say why I am not in the field I majored from.

Tracing now to my days as a career woman, married and a mother myself now, I know now how hard it must have been for Amma, planning for those lunches. Given a chance I would still prefer tiffins for lunch. But knowing how important it is to have a balanced diet for lunch, I find I have to plan for a balanced combinations of cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits and everything else through the week. Dad always tells us to have a list of our favorite list struck on the Kitchen board.

My husband prefers rice for lunch and chapattis with Sabji for dinner, as it will be light on tummy. Since the time I started packing lunch for hubby dear, I have always have this urge to quickly come up with something that can brighten the day.

In my series I will be posting what I made for lunch. Its most typically an Indian food. But mostly ones that can get done in most 1 hour’s time.

First in my Lunch Box Series (LBS#1) is :

Coconut Milk Rice
Tomato curry with Egg
Curd Rice with Mangoes.

Coconut Milk Rice

This is such a simple dish, yet so tasty and nice to have for lunch. Thick milk is extracted from Coconut and added to Basmati rice which gives out an inviting aroma. This is very frequently made at home. Its our typically Wednesday lunch pack. Previous to Athamma’s invasion to my Kitchen, I used to make Veg Pulao or some rice variety but now since this dish was introduced, it has become a regular.

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins

Ingredients needed:

Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Fresh coconut Milk – 1 cup
Onions – 1 big
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Bay Leaves -1
Green chilles – 3
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water – 2 & 1/2 cup
Coriander Leaves for garnishing.

Method to prepare:

Step 1: Wash Basmati rice and Soak in water for 15 mins.

Step 2: Chop Onions into fine pieces, slit green chillies in middle.

Step 3: Heat butter in the cooker that’s going to be used for cooking Rice, add all whole spices. then add onions, ginger garlic paste, green chillies. Sim the flame.

Step 4: Wash and chop coconut and run in a mixie to get its milk. Extracted coconut milk can be stored for 2 – 3 days. But thick paste can stay for a week in fridge. It should not be handled by hand, rather use spoon, this way it stays longer.

Step 5 Once the Onions turn golden brown, add drained rice. Sauté for a while until it is coated well. Add coconut milk, water, salt. and put it for 2 whistles. The rice should not be over cooked but the grains should be separate.

Finally garnish with coriander leaves

Tomato curry with Egg

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins

Ingredients needed:

Eggs – 4
Tomatoes – 2 medium
Onions – 2 medium
Chilli powder
Coriander powder
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard and Urud dal for seasoning
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves

Method to prepare:

Step 1: Put Eggs to boil for 10 mins. This also depends how hard you want your eggs to be.

Step 2: Chop all the Onions and tomatoes.

Step 3: Heat Oil in the kadai you want to make the curry. Add mustard and urud, once it starts sputtering, add chopped Onions. Fry till they are nicely brown in colour. Then add chopped tomatoes, salt. Cook on high flame till tomatoes are soft. Then add chilli pw, coriander pw, turmeric pw. Sim and cook on low flame till oil comes out.

Finally, shelled out eggs and make slits so that curry can go in. Put these to the curry and cook it covered for few mins until the gravy goes in. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Curd Rice with Mangoes.

This is a very fav dish in Andhra, where mangoes grow in plenty and when the mango seasons comes in, we are thrown at so much mangoes that we hardly know what to do.

For this season also, Amma prepared Andhra’s famous Avakai Pickle. We also made dishes from raw Mangoes like Mango Rice, Mango Pappu, Mango Chutney and desserts like Mango Milkshake, Mango ice-cream. And most fav one and the best way to end a lunch or a dinner, is to have Curd rice with mangoes.

Curd, of course is made to set the night before. We cook plain rice and mix with Curds and garnish mango to make this rice.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking Time 15 mins

Ingredients needed:

Rice – 1 cup
Curds – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Mango pieces

Method to prepare:

Step 1: Wash and soak rice in water for 15 mins

Step 2: Cook in pressure cooker for 3 whistles to get soft cooked rice.

Step 3: Spread the rice in a bowl to cool it . Mash it well so that hard grains are not present.

Step 4: Add Curds, Milk, little water to the rice and salt to taste. Mix well. This way it does not get sour.

Step 5: Cut mangoes into small pieces. Garnish them over the curd rice. The juice from the mangoes steeps into the curd rice and gives an excellent taste by the time we have it for lunch.

All Step 1s needs to be done one after the other, followed by Step 2 and then Step 3. Follow the steps to complete everything in maximum of 1 hour’s of cooking. That is of course if you don’t have a school going kid who needs to be packed off in 15 mins time in middle of all these chaos.

This is my humble lunchbox, hope you enjoyed!

Lunch Box Series : LBS#1

Cuisine Andhra Pradesh
Author Srivalli
Tried this recipe?Mention @cooking4all or tag #cooking4all!

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  1. Thats a nice idea to start lunch series Srivalli……. though in singapore there is no culture of taking lunch from home, but its worth knowing what can be some lunch dishes. 🙂
    Your coconut rice is great…. I am going to try that…. and loved the garlic bread as well, it my favourite too. 🙂

  2. Nice you started the lunch series. The mango rice is interesting.I will try it .I liked the tip you gave for the curd rice, not to get sour.I am looking forward to your next recipes 🙂

  3. Curd rice with mangoes are always the best. I am loving it and having it almost every day 🙂 yummm.. I like thengai paal saadam too.. so rich and tasty 🙂

  4. Hello! I want to take the time to thank you for posting your lunch box recipes. You have to know how GREATLY they will help me. I am American, engaged to a man from India. His back grounds are Karnataka and Maharashtra. I want to prepare all of his lunches for work and I was so concerned as to how I would do it! This is such a great help all of these recipes! Please do keep posting and let us know how we should pack them and/or how they will heat it up (can they use microwave) I never liked microwave heating; I don't even own one! hhehe. But … that is what they have to do right I guess. THank you again. God bless you.

    – Kari

  5. Nithya, Anu thank you..:)

    Kari, I am so glad I can be of help..:) We use Microwave a lot these days, it is very convenient for heating and of course I have quite few dishes made in it too. Let me know if you have any specific query.

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