Sunday, 22 May 2016

Kids Lunch Box Series #4 | Carrot Peas Rice, Okra Curry

In my previous Lunch box series post, I mentioned that Lil Dude prefers Roti / Chapathi. Lil Angel however prefers rice but will eat what ever is packed for her. When she started school, I used to make a lot of vegetable and lentil based flavored rice varieties that are both healthy and easy to prepare and pack.

This lunch box was one such attempt. She loved it and from then, till the present times, I make this combo for the lunch box.



In the lunch box



Pre-prep - things that can be made ahead[the night before] :
  • Carrot- Peas Rice:Cook the peas and carrot, let it cool and store in the fridge.
  • Okra Curry: Wash, pat dry and chop the ladies finger and store in a container / ziplock back in the fridge. While the rice is getting cooked, you can get the curry ready.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Pappad Canape | Puffed Rice Salad on Crisps

The idea of making canapes was something I wanted to play around with for a while now. Canape is basically a bread / a pancake or any base, with a topping and a garnish. You can get creative and make so may varieties of this dish!!

But summer has been exceptionally hot here this year that working in the kitchen with a simple recipe idea looked stressful.Luckily,for a week now, we have been having regular showers and the temperature has come back to near normal. It is still summer yet bearable.

This morning, the kids slept in late as they it is their vacation time and I just let them wake up when they please. Just another week left and then the kids are back on their schedule.

So taking advantage of a quiet house, I make this party-pleaser for Recipe ReDux where the theme this month is -

Small Plates For Sunny Days
Small bites are perfect for trying many different tastes. Take tapas style eating outside for al fresco dining or a simple picnic. Or maybe you’re serving small bites at a bridal or baby shower or a graduation party. Show us your healthy take on small plates and finger foods. 
 

It is so easy to make and even more easier to assemble. All the stuffs can be pre-prepped and assembled just before serving. Actually it stays crisp for more than 15 minutes. It was the time taken for the photo shoot , a quick battery recharge and a few more shots. This was my breakfast today with Iced lemon tea.

A little about the ingredients used in this recipe...

  • Pappad also known as pappadam/ papad is a thin crisp disc made with urad dal flour. It may / maynot have spices and flavors/seasonings. It is fried or grilled and is served as an appetizer / along with lunch.
  • Puffed rice is made by roasting rice kernals in dry heat / use high pressure in the presence of steam to make it. The method varies though. It is a popular street food in India with each region have a number of recipes to make a dish out of it. It is also used to make a few chaat recipes.
  • Kaala namak literally means black salt with is found in the Himalayan region. It is a pungent condiment. The Crystals of kaala namak is dark in color / black and when ground to a powder is pink in color.
  • Chaat masala,a fine powder, is another flavorful mix of spices used in Indian Chaats.
  • Sev is a crispy vemicelli like snack that is prepared during festivals and used as a topping on Chaats.


Now here is how to make this simple dish. I am not giving the measurements as you can adjust the quantity based on your preferences.

I used:

Pappad- I used the square variety
Puffed rice
Colored capsicum - Red and Green
Onion
Cucumber
Raw mango
Carrot
Roasted Peanurs
Red chili powder
Chaat masala
Kaala Namak 
Hot and Sweet sauce
Salt
Coriander leaves

  1. Finely chop capsicum, onion, cucumber and raw mango.Grate carrot.
  2. Deep fry / microwave the pappad and keep aside.Once cooled, store in an airtight container till needed.
  3. In a bowl, take the chopped and grated vegetables, add peanuts, red chili powder, a little chaat masala and a large pinch of kaala namak, salt,puffed rice and mix well.
  4. When ready to serve, place the pappad on a serving dish. Place a tablespoon or so of the puffed rice mixture.
  5. Add a drop or two of hot and sweet sauce, a little sev and some coriander over it.
  6. Take a bite...

Note:

  • You can add / omit any vegetable from this list for variations. Roughly crumbled boiled potato, boiled corn, Boiled chickpea etc can be added to the mix. 
  • Leave out the puffed rice and serve it like a salad on a pappad!
  • Instead of pappad, it can also be served on toasted bread / crackers of your choice.



Friday, 20 May 2016

Kids Lunch Box Series #3 | Methi Vegetable and Cheese Paratha, Channa masala, Fruit

My Lil fellow loves Roti/ Chapathi and the similar stuffs. Give him Roti for all his three meals and he is the happiest!! So when it comes to packing lunch boxes, majority of the times it turns out to be a variety of Chapathi/ Paratha.

A while back, I made this for the kids lunch box.This is a nutritious paratha and though the stuffing sound like a lot, it is really easy to prepare and pack . I paired it with a rich and creamy Channa masala. To make the paratha look cute, I have used a flower shaped cookie cutter.


In the lunch box

Banana


Pre-prep - things that can be made ahead[the night before] :
  • Paratha -Prepare the dough and store in an air tight container in the fridge. Take it out of the fridge the first thing in the morning so that the dough softens. If it turns a little bit sticky, add a teaspoon or more of flour and knead again
  • Channa Masala - Soak channa the previous morning, boil it, drain and store in fridge.Similarly, make the masala paste ahead and store.
 Tips:
  • If cooking individual small parathas looks time consuming,  cook a large paratha and then cut it with cookie cutter.
  • Encourage the kiddo to have the fruit during the break or before lunch.The nutrients in the fruits are best assimilated if had before a meal or at least an hour after the meal
  • Use different shapes of cookie cutters and also the kids favorite ones.This will surely bring a smile on their  face as soon as they open the lunch box!
I don't pack lunch in plastic containers. This one is just for the clicks. The lunches get packed in stainless steel tiffin boxes.