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A simple, wholesome lunch recipe

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Indian food is generally known for its spicy and flavorful recipes. But long before the USDA recommended the food pyramid or “My Plate” as a guide to healthy eating, Indian meals had all the components like grains, vegetables, fruits, proteins and dairy in a typical meal. You can get more information about “My Plate” in http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/ . Here is a simple lunch menu with whole wheat bread (roti), garbanzo bean curry (chole), salad and green beans and potatoes. It provides whole wheat grains in the roti, proteins in the form of garbanzo beans, fruits and vegetables in salad and green vegetables in green beans. It is healthy, full of flavor and easy to make. I made the whole meal from scratch in less than 40 minutes.

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Chole (Garbanzo beans curry)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups garbanzo beans (soaked overnight and boiled or 1 can of store brand garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 big tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tsp whole jeera (cumin)
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
  • 1 tsp dhaniya (coriander) powder
  • 1 tsp amchoor (dry mango) powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the whole jeera (cumin) and red chili. Fry the onions in the oil till translucent. Add ginger, garlic pastes and fry for 1 more minute. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add salt and turmeric. Now add the cumin, coriander, amchoor and garam masala powders. When the spices have mixed with the tomato paste, add the pre-boiled or canned garbanzo beans. Add 1 cup water, the sugar and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with the green chilies and cilantro before serving.

Stir fried green beans and potatoes

  • 2 cups green beans (cut into 2” segments)
  • 1 cup potatoes (pealed and cubed)
  • ¼ onion (sliced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Fry the onion and potatoes in the pan. Add the green beans and sauté for 5 minutes. Add salt and turmeric powder. Cook for 3 minutes and remove into a serving dish.

Whole wheat rotis

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½ tsp oil

Knead the flour with water pouring a little at a time. Make a soft dough like pie dough. Add the oil to the dough and knead well. Keep it covered by a damp towel.
Make 2” round balls with the dough and flatten them. Roll the flat balls into 5” disks (like small pie shells). Use a little dry flour to dust the cutting board and rolling pin before rolling. Roast the rotis on a hot cast iron skillet (or tawa). You can also use a wire net to blow the rotis so that they rise and puff. Keep the rotis hot in a tortilla warmer.

Salad

  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1 cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 carrot (sliced)
  • ½ onion (sliced)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze some lime juice on the salad vegetables.

To assemble a plate for lunch, serve 1 big spoonful of the chole curry in a small bowl. Put 1 spoon of the stir fried vegetables on a plate. Add a heap of the salad to another side of the plate. Add two rotis and serve your delicious Indian lunch piping hot from the stove top.

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