If I have to confess about one thing that I love to do, it would surely be a packed lunch. Even when we lived relatively closer to school and my brother used to go home for lunch, I always insisted on packing one.
It always used to be a tiffin, mostly what Amma makes for breakfast and if you happen to remember my likes, it mostly revolves around breakfast dishes. I love Dosas and I love Chutneys. Of course, Amma used to sometimes pack some kurmas along with it. So that used to be my favorite thing and mostly it ended up being Dosas.
Later in my college days my friends, who were all mostly North Indians, loved my South Indian Lunches that I used to carry. We were a group of seven, other than my family friend who was also in my batch, others were all from different states. Just imagine the different cuisines we used to get to eat on daily basis.
To a far extent, this period was the time when I was exposed to the delicious home food from North Indian cuisine. Needless to say, all my friends' moms were awesome cooks and each lunch would be devoured with so much enthusiasm. I don't really remember eating my own lunch. It was always exchanged.
Naturally, after knowing that my friends used to love my lunch, Amma used to pack so many different dishes. Apart from those times, the other most exciting thing to plan about packing lunch boxes has always been packing for a journey.
Since we have traveled to many places during our summer holidays, which also involved packing food for either dinner or for a lunch, I always used to have these talks with Amma. Mostly it used to involve mixed Rice or sometimes with Rotis and Subzis.
There was also the time when we had traveled and seen some gujju families traveling with us and their interesting huge lunch boxes. The mother mostly will be in charge of getting out the food and so many dishes used to come out, we used to be awestruck by the sheer planning they used to have.
I know I have digressed a lot here, I am only packing a lunch box for a kid and not for a journey. I suddenly remembered and wanted to share my memories as I had planned a lot for the picture. I know it ended up being simple.
Matar Paneer Recipe
Dry Peas - 1 cup
Paneer, cubes - 2 cup
Onions - 2 medium
Ginger - 2"
Garlic - 3 - 4 cloves
For the Gravy
Tomatoes - 2 medium, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder a pinch
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Cashew paste made with 5 -6 whole
Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp, crushed.
Coriander leaves for garnish
How to make Matar PaneerSoak the Dried Peas overnight and pressure cook till softly cooked.
Cube and toss the paneer in ghee.
Grind the onion, ginger, and garlic to smooth paste.
Heat a nonstick pan with oil, saute the paste till it gets cooked. Then add finely chopped tomatoes and continue cooking.
Now add salt, turmeric and simmer for 5 mins. Next add the cooked peas, red chili powder. Cook with lid covered for 5 mins
After the chili powder is cooked well, add coriander powder, cumin powder, continue cooking.
When the gravy comes together like a well cooked one, with oil separated, add paneer, milk, cashew paste along with 1 cup water.
Bring to boil, then simmer, with a final sprinkling of garam masala and crushed Kasuri methi. Cook till the gravy becomes thick.
Finally, add chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with Chapati.