Lunch Ahoy! – Part 2

Written By

Chitra Doraiswami

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Lunch doesn’t have to be a hassle, especially if you are working or a working millennial.

Do you have a large mouthed Thermos (flask)? If not, invest in one. Soups are nutritious, filling and yummy – all in one.

Here is an easy recipe. You just have to juggle it around to make all sorts of soups. Fry a chopped onion, one clove minced garlic, add florets of cauliflower, handful of peas ,one or two carrots, a small handful of shredded cabbage, some torn spinach leaves, some mint leaves/dill leaves/ coriander leaves, corn kernels and saute for a minute. Add enough water to cover the veggies, salt, pepper and a large tablespoon of oats or daliya (broken wheat) to thicken the soup.  Make it in a pressure cooker – a busy woman’s best friend- two whistles and it’s done. Blitz, sieve, check the seasoning and cart it along, piping hot.

I also love a mean Gazpacho, which is a cold soup for our sizzling summers. It’s  ‘no cook’ too! A cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and checked for bitterness – roughly chopped. Two ripe tomatoes and one small onion, again, roughly chopped! One clove of garlic, a few slices of bell peppers (Shimla mirchi), a glug of oil – Olive oil would be nice  but not essential. A slice of bread can be tossed in now. Blitz the lot and sieve. Season it, cool it and take it with Tulsi leaves torn and thrown into it.

If you like, you can add a large tbs of dahi/curds before sieving. Or, if you like it rich, add a large tbs of mayo instead.

I saved the best for the last: This is filling, cheap, nutritious and almost like a diet meal yet not boring. Ready for it?

In one box, put in as much poori/ puffed rice as you wish. Add a handful of good bhujiya/ sev. In another box put in chunks of boiled, peeled, diced potatoes, batons of ginger, some chili flakes, sliced onion, lots of shredded coriander or dill leaves, some torn mint leaves, some green chutney (no coconut chutney, please), some khatta-meetha chutney (the sweet and sour ones that chaat wallahs use. It’s available in most stores in handy bottles). Mix well. Add a dash of chaat powder. Or better still, keep a can of it in your purse. It can double up as a mace to temporarily blind a stalker. Mix the two boxes minutes before you put your teeth to it. How’s that? Nuts, raisins, grapes are optional extras to be added if you are brave.

Carry your toothbrush and paste if you have a hot date later or want your coworkers to stay your friends!

Have fun, eat well.




Chitra Doraiswami, 69, is from Bangalore. She has written for many publications such as the Deccan Herald, The Times, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, etc. Chitra has many an interesting tale to tell including the one about finishing her Masters along with her son; sadly “only” getting a First Class, where her son got a rank. She joined CMR, NPS as Headmistress two decades ago and is now known as the Associate Principal of the institution. She also has a sixteen year old grandson. Chitra is an avid dancer, reader and drama-enthusiast. She's traveled extensively with her husband who was in the IAF. She taught wherever they were posted. Chitra enjoys teaching people innovative ways of helping children learn, but she is definitely not the prototypical fluffy grandma!

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