Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Restaurant style Pongal / Ven pongal - Lemon n Spice Kids Lunch box ideas

Pongal, carrots, grapes, protein bar and apple jack loops

Another busy Monday morning!!!
Hope you all had a wonderful Vinayaka Chathurthi. Today I packed -   Lunch: Pongal, Snacks - Bar, grapes, carrots and Apple Jack cereal loops

How to make Pongal / Ven Pongal / Ghee Pongal at home using a Pressure cooker?
Cooking time: 15minutes Serves: 2 kids / 1 adult

Ingredients :

Sona masoori rice / Pachari : 1/4 Cup
Moong Daal / Cherupayaru parippu : 1/4 cup
Salt : 1/2tspv v    

For Tempering :

Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
Pepper corns: 10
Ginger: a thin slice or 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Curry leaves: 1 spring, finely chopped
Cashews: 10, broken into pieces
Asafoetida powder: 1/4 Tsp
Green chilly: 1, finely chopped (I don't add it if it is for lunchbox)
Ghee: 1 tbsp (My homemade ghee became a bit dark this time, so the color of ven Pongal was not white ;) )

Pongal, carrots, grapes, protein bar and apple jack loops

Directions to make Pongal at home :

1. Transfer the rice and moong daal to a pressure cooker. Wash and clean the rice and pressure cook with 2 cups of water and 1/2 Tsp of salt. When the pressure releases, open the lid and mash the pongal with the back of a spoon or potato masher.

2. In a tadka pan, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the cumin seeds along with cashews and pepper corns. Fry till the cashews are golden and then add the curry leaves, ginger, green chilly and asafoetida powder. Turn off the flame and add this to the pongal. Combine everything together and serve warm with pickle or sambhar.

Happy cooking,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Instant Khaman Dhokla - Lemon n Spice Kids Lunch Box Ideas

Dhokla - Lemon n spice Lunchbox ideas

In her lunch box - Khaman Dhokla, Snacks - dried organic mangoes (Wholefoods), Carrots and graham crackers

Dhokla - Lemon n spice Lunchbox ideas

How to Make Khaman Dhokla for picnic /Lunchbox/breakfast / Snack:
Preparation time : 10mins, Cooking time: 15mins, Cuisine: Gujarati , Indian

Ingredients :

Besan / Chickpea flour / Kadalamavu :  1 1/2 Cup
Semolina/ Rava : 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder /Kaayam podi: 1/4 tsp
Ginger : 1 inch piece
Green Chilly : 2
Grated rind of a lime / Cheru naranga Tholi (Optional)
Lemon juice from 1/2 of a Lemon : 1 tsp
Eno or Fruit salt : 2 tsp
Sugar : 1 tsp
Salt : 1 tsp
Oil to grease the pan

For Tempering :

Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds: 1/2 tsp
grated coconut : 2 tbsp (Optional)
Sugar : 1 tbsp
Curry leaves : 5-6
Vegetable Oil : 2 tbsp
Green chilly : 1 , halved*
Water : 1/2 Cup
Coriander leaves : 1 tbsp, chopped

Directions to make the super soft Khaman Dhokla :

1. Prepare the pan - Heat a steamer / Appachembu / Iddli vessel / Pressure cooker with enough water to steam a Dhokla. Grease the pan / plate ( 7 to 8 inch diameter ) to pour the Dhokla batter.

2. Mix the ingredients - In a large mixing bowl, combine the chick pea flour, sugar, semolina / rava, salt, turmeric Powder and Asafoetida powder. Grate or crush together the ginger and green chilly and make the ginger-green chilly paste, add it to the mixing bowl. Now make the dhokla batter by adding lemon juice and enough water, approximately 1 Cup (Quantity of water depends on the chickpea flour, so add gradually). Whish very well to remove the lumps.

3. Add the fruit salt / Eno and steam immediately - Just before steaming, add the fruit salt / Eno and mix lightly. Pour the mixture immediately into the greased pan / plate and steam for 15 minutes.

4. Add the Tempering to the Dhokla - Heat oil in a Tadka pan and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the sesame seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves and grated coconut, stir fry for a minute and turn off the flame. Allow it to cool for few minutes and carefully add 1/2 cup of water and sugar. Turn on the flame and allow to boil. 

5. Cut and serve - Run a knife along the edges of the khaman dhokla and pan to make it loosen from the pan. Now invert to a flat plate and cut into squares. Add the tempering all over the dhokla evenly to moisten it nicely. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with green chutney.

Notes* : a) I don't add green chillies in the tempering because my daughter doesn't eat spicy. But adding green chillies in the tempering gives extra taste to the Dhoklas. b) Use a whisk to mix the batter and finally to combine the fruit salt. if the Eno / Fruit salt is not mixed properly, you will find an uneven surface on Dhokla and sometimes cracks in the middle.

Similar steamed recipes :

Happy Cooking,

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ginger Garlic Fried rice with Snap Peas,Garbanzo beans / Chickpeas and Brown rice - Lemon n Spice Kids Lunch box ideas

In her Lunchbox - Ginger garlic fried rice with chickpeas, snap peas and brown rice. Snacks - Graham crackers, cherries Drink - Cool Plus probiotic drink.

How to make ginger garlic fried rice with brown rice, chicken peas and snap peas?
Cooking time : 5 mins

Ingredients :

Brown rice : ¼ cup
Snap peas : 8
Boiled chick peas : ¼ cup
Butter : 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste : ¼ tsp
Coriander leaves : 3 leaves, finely chopped

Directions :

Heat oil in a skillet and add ginger garlic paste. Now add the snap peas and stir-fry for a minute. Add in the chickpeas and brown rice. Combine everything together. Finally, add the coriander leaves and salt. Toss well and turn off the flame.

Similar recipes :

Happy Cooking,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Day 5 - Lemon n spice Lunch box ideas

Lemon n spice Kids lunch box series

Today I packed healthy Semiya and Vegetable upma and banana for Rihtika's planetbox. Its is an easy and healthy lunchbox option for her, start to finish under 15 minutes. For snacks - Kid Z granola bar, babybel light mozzarella cheese and Cool plus pro biotic drink.

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Happy cooking,

Whole wheat banana Pancakes and Grilled Sweet potato fries - Kids Lunch box ideas

Today's Lunch box @Lemon n spice - Whole wheat Banana pancakes with chia seeds and flax seed meal, grilled sweet potato fries, Pro biotic drink, fresh organic snap peas and raisins.

Whole wheat pancakes, Roasted sweet potato, probiotic drink, snap peas and raisins

How to make Whole wheat banana Pancakes for kids lunch box / picnic?
Cooking time : 10 mins, Makes 4 mini pancakes or 2 large pancakes
Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour : 1/2 cup
Ripe banana : 1
Egg : 1
Chia seeds : 1/2 tsp
Flax seed meal : 1/2 tsp
Honey : 2 tsp
Melted butter / Olive oil : 1 tsp
Milk : 1 tbsp 
Salt: a pinch
Baking powder : 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder / cardamom powder / Vanilla extract : 1/2 tsp

Directions :

1. In a bowl, combine the wet ingredients - Egg, milk, honey and melted butter using a whisk/ fork. Using a mixer, make a paste of banana and add to the wet ingredient mixture. 

2. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the same bowl - whole wheat flour, chia seeds, flax seed meal, salt and baking powder and mix well. (If you see lumps on the baking powder, just press it between your thumb and pointing finger to remove the lumps and add to the mixture / you can sieve them too.)

3. Heat a griddle / tawa and apply 1/2 tsp butter on it. Now pour the batter on to the hot griddle and cook for 2 minutes on each side , until golden brown in color. I make four mini pancakes with this recipe. I will send two pancakes to school and refrigerate the rest for an evening snack.

Grilled Sweet potato fries / Roasted Sweet potato sticks / Healthy french fries with sweet potato
Cooking time 10 mins, serves : 1 kid
Ingredients :

Sweet potato : 1, medium sized, peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning / dried parsley / garlic powder : a pinch
Olive oil : 1 tsp

Directions :

Heat a griddle / skillet / grill pan and add oil. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients and mix well. Now add this to the grill / skillet and cook until they are heated through and caramelized, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side.

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Happy Cooking,

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Avocado whole wheat flatbread/ Paratha - Kids Lunch box Ideas

Trust me when I tell you, "Lemon n Spice - Kids Lunch box ideas" will change your lunch game! This will revolutionize your lunch; whether you need to pack a lunch for school/picnic/the office. Kids will love the scrumptiousness, while busy moms and dads will appreciate the solution for a balanced meal. Give your kids and yourself something to get excited about the lunch!

From the top: Greek yogurt, to the right: fresh organic cherries, Down : Avocado Paratha, to the left :Cool plus probiotic drink and centre :  fruit snacks 

How to make Avocado flatbread / Avocado Paratha
Cooking time: 10 mins, Preparation time: 5mins, Category: Easy and healthy kids lunch box ideas

Ingredients :

Ripe Avocado: 1
Whole wheat flour: 1Cup
Cilantro: 10 leaves, finely chopped
Cumin Powder: 1/2tsp
Flax seed meal: 1/2tsp
Lemon juice from half of a lemon
Ghee: 1tsp
(Variations: Add Carom seeds / Ajwain seeds: 1/4tsp / finely chopped mint leaves:4 / Italian herb blend: 1/4tsp)


1. Remove the pit and mash the flesh of Avocado -  Cut the Avocado in half, remove the pit and mash the flesh using a fork/potato masher. Add Lemon juice immediately.

2. Season and make the dough - Add the flax seed meal, cumin powder, salt and cilantro, mix thoroughly. Start adding the whole wheat flour and knead to a smooth dough. You dont have to add water because of the moisture from Avocado pulp.

3. Roll and cook the Avocado Parathas - Heat a cast iron skillet / Tawa on medium flame. Meanwhile, make 4 equal sized balls to make the paratha. Take one ball, dust it with flour and flatten it using your palm and roll the avocado paratha thin using a rolling pin*. Place the paratha on the heated skillet and let it cook. Once you see little bubbles, flip the paratha and drizzle some ghee on top. Press with the spatula on top of the paratha, so that it can puff up a bit. Flip again and drizzle ghee on the other side as well. 

ghee Serve with greek yogurt / Raitha / Curry.

From the top: Greek yogurt, to the right: fresh organic cherries, Down : Avocado Paratha, to the left : Cool plus probiotic drink and centre :  fruit snacks 

Note*- After rolling, I cut the dough with a large heart shaped cookie cutter to keep it in my daughter's lunch box. Viola!!! My avocado hater will definitely fall for the shape. I am using planetbox to pack my 7year old's lunch and thermos if it is a warm lunch.

Happy cooking,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pan roasted Brussels sprouts with Indian spices - An easy vegetarian Appetizer

A wonderful vegetarian appetizer with Brussels sprouts under 5 minutes!!!

Brussels sprouts are cute, little leafy vegetable from the cabbage family.  Brussels sprouts contain excellent levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.  It also contains Sulforaphane, which makes this vegetable under the category of anti-cancer vegetable. 

Pan roasted Brussels sprouts with Indian spices - An easy vegetarian Appetizer

Recipe for Indian Spiced Brussels sprouts stir fry / Indian recipe with Brussels sprouts
Cooking time : 5minutes, Recipe courtesy : Bhavanas Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts : 1 lbs

Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder / Pepper powder : 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder : 1/2 tsp
roasted Cashews / Peanuts : 1/4 cup, crushed
Vegetable oil : 1 1/2 tbsp
Sesame seeds : 1 tsp
fresh juice from half of a lemon

Directions for 5 minute vegetarian appetizer with Brussels sprouts : 

Brussels sprouts - washed and halved

1. Prepare the Brussels sprouts : Wash and halve brussels sprouts (or quarter them, if they are especially large).

2. Add oil in an iron skillet and add the cumin seeds. Throw in the prepared brussels sprouts and give a quick stir. Add the salt and drizzle few drops of water (3 tbsp). Cover quickly and allow the Brussels sprouts to cook* in that steam. (Do not overcook them)

3. After 2 minutes, add the ginger garlic paste and give a quick stir.  Add the crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Next, add the spice powders - Turmeric powder, coriander powder and Chilly powder. Stir fry for another minute and add the lemon juice.

4. Turn off the flame and serve immediately. 

Pan roasted Brussels sprouts with Indian spices - An easy vegetarian Appetizer

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Happy Cooking!!!