Ayurvedic Lunch Box
People who want to enjoy healthy lunch at work, avoid restaurants and cafeterias. This Ayurvedic lunch box provides a sufficient amount of proteins, fiber, vitamins, fats, fresh vegetables, digestive spices for maintaining good health. You can modify the recipe according to your taste with different fresh vegetables and spices. Every day you can enjoy the new taste at your work during lunchtime. You can save a lot of time and enjoy fresh, warm food.
- 1/4 cup yellow split mung beans, or small red lentils – well washed
- 1/4 cup basmati rice or parboiled rice well washed – less if you are watching your weight
- 1-1/2 cup fresh vegetables according to taste (cut into small pieces to fit into thermos)
- Whole or ground spices to taste (salt, pepper, cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, turmeric, etc.).
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 2 cups boiling water
Put the water to boil in a tea kettle while you briefly sauté the spices in a saucepan for a few seconds in the ghee. (See notes below for more information about cooking spices). Add the mung beans, rice, and chopped vegetables. Cover with boiling water, and boil for five minutes. While still boiling hot, quickly pour the mixture into a one-liter or one-quart thermos (you may need to spoon it in, but don’t let the mixture cool). Close the thermos quickly and leave it closed for about four hours. The meal will cook and be ready to eat after four hours in the thermos.
- You may need to experiment with amounts and cooking times to get the best result. The exact amount of cooking time depends on the time lapse between cooking and eating and how well your thermos retains heat. If the time between cooking and eating is 5 to 6 hours, then only two minutes of cooking time may be required. If the time lapse is 2 to 3 hours, then five to ten minutes of cooking time may be required.
- Since mung dal and rice swell up substantially, you will need a generous amount of water to get the proper consistency.
- Heavier vegetables like carrots and beets need one to two more minutes of cooking with the rice and dal. Lighter vegetables like spinach and leafy greens can be added just before pouring the whole mixture into the thermos.
- You can substitute beans and lentils for the mung beans. Heavier lentils and beans will need considerably more cooking time.
Instructions for Frying the Spices:
Do not overheat the ghee; it should not be smoking hot. Begin with whole spices, such as fresh chopped ginger, black pepper, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds, or use Churna (spice mixture). Fry them until they turn light brown or until the mustard seeds pop. Then add the ground spices, such as ginger, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and pepper, and sauté for just a few seconds. A spice is generally used either whole or ground, not both ways, in one dish.
The copyright of this article belongs to Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla