Tiffin tales

Ambika Shaligram
Thursday, 29 June 2017

Are you wondering what to pack in your child’s lunchbox? Here are a few easy-to-make recipes

Mums, are you feeling hassled already? It has been two weeks since the schools reopened. And, getting children to do homework is probably an easier task than deciding what to pack in their lunchboxes. 
Allowing kids to eat in school canteen is not a wise option at all; so a few mums and grannies have aced some quick-fix recipes that require little planning  but lots of culinary imagination. Here, they share their recipes:

RICE PANCAKE (Serves Three)
- Rawa (Semolina)- .....3 tbsp
- Rice flour - ....3 tbsp
- Oil..- .1 tbsp
- Salt.. - .To taste 
- Water... - As required

- AMix rawa and rice flour. Add water to the mix and make a thick paste. 
- In a non-stick pan, heat oil. Take a spoon and spread the mixture in a circular shape. 
- Roast it till pores appear. Then flip over and cook from the other side. 
- If your child doesn’t like plain pancakes, then add chopped veggies to the mixture. Occasionally, you can also add shredded cheese to it.

HAKKA NOODLES (Serves two)
- Wheat noodles.. - ..1 packet (medium) 
- Cabbage, carrot, french beans, onion (chopped) and green peas................ - .1 bowl 
- Fried egg (bite-sized pieces)... -1
- Boneless chicken(small cubes)... - 1 bowl (medium)
- Oil.. - .1 tbsp 
- Ginger and garlic.. - .to taste

- Boil the wheat noodles. Add little oil to them. 
- Cook the chicken cubes and keep aside.
- In a frying pan, stir the veggies on a high flame. Add salt and shredded ginger and garlic. Do not burn.
- Add noodles. Cook well. To this, add the fried egg and boneless chicken cubes.
- You can pack it with chilli sauce. 

“These two recipes are my grandson, Sukrut’s favourites. He also likes prawns and tandoori chicken, but that’s very cumbersome to be packed into a lunchbox. So we make them on Sundays. So we have come up with alternatives like pancakes, noodles, potato sabji,” says Mhatre.

- Pasta... - 1 fistful 
- Water... - 2 cups
- Frozen corn..    - 1/2 cup
- Butter/ extra virgin olive oil...- 1 tsp

- Boil water and add salt to it. 
- Put pasta (I use bow pasta) and cook it for 12 minutes.
- Drain excess water. Add frozen corn to it. Add 1tsp of butter or if you are health conscious, use extra virgin olive oil. 
- Heat it, until the corn is cooked.  Garnish with cheese if you like.

This is Asthana’s go-to recipe when her six-year-old daughter is craving to eat something  good. “Misha doesn’t like cheese, chips etc. So Pasta, Poha and Sandwiches are packed into her snack box. I try to include fruits and nuts in her diet,” says she.

- Chapati.. -..1
- Cabbage (shredded).. -..1 bowl 
- Onion (Chopped).. - ..1 bowl
- Potatoes (boiled and mashed)...1 bowl 
- Tomato.. - .1
- Cheese cubes...for filling/garnishing 
- Salt.. - .to taste 
- Tastemaker Masala..    . - .to taste 
- Tomato ketch up.. - .to taste

- Mix all the ingredients.
- Add salt and tastemaker masala. 
- Spread tomato ketch up on the chapati. And, layer it with vegetables. Top it up with shredded cheese.
- Roll it and saute on little oil in a pan. Roast it to light brown shade. 
- Frankie is ready. It can be served with chutney also.

RAVA DHOKLA (Serves four)
- Rawa (semolina)... -.2  bowls 
- Curd.- ..1 and 1/2bowl 
- Eno (plain)..- .1 packet
- Green chillies (chopped). - ..3
- Mustard seeds.. - .1/2 tsp 
- Sesame seeds.. - .1 tsp
- Oil.. - .3 tsp
- Water.. - .As required

- Add curd and salt to the semolina. Mix well. 
- Add water if necessary to give it pouring consistency, like idli batter. 
- Add eno to the batter and mix well in the idli/dhokla maker. Grease it with little oil. 
- Steam the contents for 20 minutes.
- Remove it from the flame and let it cool. 
- Make square pieces with a knife. 
-  Add seasoning of oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, chillies etc. Spread it evenly on a plate of dhokla. 

“My daughter Khushi is usually home by afternoon. But for her mid-morning snack, I make something with left-over chapatis or idlis and dhoklas. They are convenient and fuss-free food items,” says 

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