What Do Indian Eat For Lunch

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What do indian eat for lunch in India? This simple question can be answered by saying that people from India are known to have a taste for rice and curry. While some foods lend themselves well to the rice, other foods don’t. Dry foods aren’t ideal with rice because they aren’t going to mix well in your mouth without offering any flavors not already present and mixing two dry items together can become downright unpleasant.

Best Indian Lunch Recipes | Easy Indian Lunch Recipes

Take a look at 13 delicious Indian lunch recipes that your family will love. So find an apron and get cooking!

13 Best Indian Lunch Recipes | Easy Indian Lunch Recipes

Indian lunch recipes to try at home.

Highlights

  • The lunch hours of the day are when our metabolism is at its peak
  • Your lunch should be the ideal balance of protein, fiber, sugar and fat
  • Take a look at our 10 best Indian lunch recipes which are easy and quick

Indian Lunch Recipes- Who doesn’t wish for a wholesome lunch? But the times we live in today, getting even 15 minutes off to savour our meal seems like a distant reality. As such we tend to quickly grab a meal without caring much about the calories or the nutritional content, and this is where we go wrong, causing harm to ourselves. The lunch hours of the day are when our metabolism is at its peak. You’re partially burned out and are looking forward to the first long break of the day. You might huddle in front of a television, eat at your desk or at the small table in your office cafeteria, but what you need to remember is that lunch helps you recover from the first half of your day and recharge you for what’s about to come. Which is why it needs to be the ideal balance of protein, fiber, sugar and fat – basically all things good.

According to Rev. Benita Francis Chemnitz, author of the book How to Maximize Your Brain, “the calories you consume at lunch should have fewer carbohydrates and  more protein. Increase your intake of protein foods like seafood, turkey, tofu and legumes. And eat them before you eat the carbohydrates because they’ll wake up your brain!” A light and lean source of protein helps provide your muscles with amino acids they need to continue rebuilding and reshaping themselves.

Add some vegetables to this mix and we promise you’ll feel healthier than ever. Some basic dishes you could try are healthy chickpea and corn salad, chicken sandwich, a bowl of quinoa, poha or a big bowl of soup and chicken. Roger Troy Wilson, author of the book ‘Let’s do Lunch’ says, “adding vegetables and fruits in your lunch provides lots of valuable vitamins and minerals to a person’s overall eating plan. This includes potassium, folate, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and B12, vitamin C, minerals and phytochemicals.” He also suggests that you lose potato, rice and foods made from flour. This means no rolls, buns, bagels, pasta, noodles or crackers. Not unless they’re made with whole wheat flour.

salad

So, learn to cook. Food that’s new and the kind that you’ll want to savour. Don’t sweat the meal prep and just follow our lead.

Take a look at our 13 heart-stoppingly delicious recipes. Find an apron and get cooking!

1. Masala Bhindi

A delicious dish made with freshly bought okra. Grab some mustard oil, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, finely-chopped onions, ginger and a pinch of amchoor. We promise you’ll make this recipe a regular affair in your weekly menu.

Masala Bhindi

Masala Bhindi is a perfect side dish for lunch which you can cook in a jiffy.


2. Chana Kulcha

A classic dish that never goes out of style. The quintessential chana kulcha  needs only a few ingredients – cumin powder, ginger, coriander powder, carom powder and some mango powder, which is what gives the chana it’s sour and tangy taste.  

Chana Kulcha

A popular dish from Punjab that is loved throughout the country.


3. Shahi Egg Curry

Eggs are a versatile food that can be cooked for any meal of the day. From breakfast to dinner, it can be a go-to food. Here is a mildly-spiced egg curry made with garlic, onions, a whole lot of kasuri methi, fresh cream, yogurt and fresh coriander. It can be paired with plain chapati, paratha, rice, biryani or pulao depending upon your choice. You can also serve pickle along with it

goan egg curry

This egg recipe is super easy and quick to cook for lunch or even a dinner party. 

4. Gujarati Kadhi

A staple in almost every household, Gujarati kadhi is a lovely curry which is simple, light and it’s very easy to make. A lovely Gujarati-style kadhi made with yogurt, gram flour, curry leaves and ginger, this one has sweet undertones. This cooling curry is great to escape the heat.

best-lunch-recipes-4

A kadhi with a sweet and sour tinge. this is easy and quick. Pair with rice for a whole meal.



5. Allahabad Ki Tehri

Also known as vegetable pulao, this one pot rice meal is unique to the rich state of Uttar Pradesh. It’s aromatic, made with a lot of bright vegetables, fiery masalas and topped with desi ghee. Cook for lunch accompanied with curd.

Allahbadi tehri

With a spoonful of ghee on top, this Allahabad Tehri recipe is a must try.

How to Eat Like a True North Indian for Every Meal of the Day

Whenever I think of Indian food, I vividly remember lunchtime in second grade. As my class not-so-patiently awaited our turn to storm the sunny field, I pulled out my lunchbox and instantly froze as I recognized what was inside the two wraps of foil resting snugly within the box. I carefully scanned my surroundings before sneakily unwrapping the foil to reveal two puris with halva inside. Despite my efforts to be unnoticed, a surge of questions run me over: “What is that? Is that Indian food? Don’t all Indians eat curry?”

I may have been embarrassed back then, but not now.

Indian food is absolutely phenomenal. I say that having eaten it for the past sixteen years of my life, but it still holds true today. I’ve come to love and embrace the quirks of North Indian cuisine, and here’s a guide on how you can embrace it as well.

Breakfast

North Indian

Photo courtesy of Christina Robinson

I fondly remember waking up at 5 am during my recent vacation to India when a vegetable salesman came trucking down the street of my residence yelling about radishes. I can never forget his howls as he called out the vegetables he was selling – some of which I hadn’t even heard of until that moment. What I do know, is that all of those vegetables were integral to my upcoming breakfast.

A typical North Indian breakfast consists of paratha, or whole wheat flatbread. The paratha is usually stuffed with aloo (potatoes), dal (lentils), palak (spinach), paneer (cottage cheese cubes), methi (fenugreek leaves), and of course, my beloved mulli (radishes). Top it off with butter with a side of tea, and you’ve got yourself a solid breakfast.

A major breakfast tradition involves everyone sitting together at the table until everyone has finished eating. I really enjoy this tradition because of the sense of unity and respect it has and the fact that it promotes much-needed face-to-face conversation.

Nowadays, work and school make it hard for everyone to eat at the same time. In addition, breakfast has shifted towards lighter meals, such as bhujia (deep-fried, crispy noodles with spices), suji toast (crispy toast), and biscuits (Parle G, anyone?) Despite this, most families take off work on Sundays for a heavy family brunch in order to preserve this tradition. Puri (deep-fried and puffy bread) and kulcha chhole (whole wheat bread served with a chickpeas sauce) are trademarks of these lazy Sundays.

Lunch

North Indian

Photo courtesy of Eunice Choi

Lunch is arguably the most social part of the typical day, as the juiciest of stories come out with the juicy flavors of the meal. Roti, a style of flatbread that’s thinner than paratha, or rice (usually basmati rice, although there are many more varieties) are often paired with the plethora of vegetable or meat subzis, or side dishes. My personal favorite subzi is anything with paneer in it, but there’s a subzi out there just for you. Besides the roti and subzi, dahi (sweet yogurt) is added as a side to neutralize the spice of a dish. You can also grab any flavor of lassi (yogurt-flavored drink) for those hot summer afternoons.

A common practice during lunchtime is dabba/tiffin service, in which hot meals in lunchboxes are delivered to workers by way of dabbawalas. Tiffins are marked with special symbols that indicate the exact location of delivery, and are transported by bicycle or railroad to their destination. You can even text for dabba service nowadays.

Snacks

North Indian

Photo courtesy of Paavani Jain

If you’re looking for a little something to chow down on between meals or serve as a light refreshment, there are plenty of options to choose from. Pictured is the samosa, which is a fried, triangular dish that can be filled with anything from potatoes to cheese to meat. Its crispy cousin, the pakora, requires less ingredients but still packs a flavorful punch.

Other snacks include aloo tikki (boiled potato croquettes), papri chaat (crispy wafers topped with chickpeas and sauces), and pav bhaji (vegetable curry with bread). A fun snack to serve is the pani puri, which consists of crisp and hollow mini puris that you poke a hole in and pour the special flavored water (pani) with sides of your choice.

However, it’s not all bread and butter when it comes to Indian snacks. With the reams of exotic fruits found in India, it’s not uncommon to have fruit as a snack. Pomegranates, mangoes, and lemons are some of the many natural fruits that grow in North India.

When Mother Nature decides to turn on the waterworks, a tradition is to snack on pakoras or poore with kheer, or sweet pancakes with rice pudding. It’s always fun to sit next to a rainy window while flooding your taste buds with hot and sweet flavors.

Dinner

North Indian

If there’s one thing I can surely say about North Indian food, it’s not just curry – it’s bread, and lots of it. Naan, roti, paratha, chapati… the list goes on. Bread serves as a primary utensil besides your hands. Dinners are no exception to this rule – you have your basic bread (or rice) and side dish, vegetable or meat-based. You’re most likely to find a salad of sliced cucumbers (which are more useful than you might imagine) and carrots floating around the table in the evening. Sometimes, achar (pickles with spices) or chutneys are added as well. Recently, as with breakfast, dinners have become increasingly lighter with items such as crunchy moong dal and simple chapatis.

Since dinnertime is usually late in the day and most are ready to hit the pillows after dinner (who wouldn’t want to nap after a heavy meal?), a handful of saunf is consumed. These colorful fennel seeds aid with digestion, which is hindered when sleeping. Most restaurants will have containers of saunf on the counter next to the toothpicks, so make sure you grab a spoonful before you call it a night.

healthy lunch ideas for work

Peas pulao with carrot raita
Half cup of peas pulao served with 111.4gms of carrot raita is a great alternative to plain boiled rice and accompaniment for any main course, be it vegetarian or meat-based.
Peas pulao consists of approximately 168 calories and carrot raita includes approximately 76 calories.

Moong dal khichdi
One plate of moong dal khichdi is a very healthy combination of green moong dal and rice. This is one of the most nutritious rice recipes, which is easy in preparation and tastes great.

One plate moong dal khichdi consists of approximately 176 calories and 5.9gms protein.

Lemon rice
Lemon Rice is a delicious dish you can easily put together when in a hurry. You can also make it with leftover rice.

One plate of lemon rice consists of approximately 249 calories. Don’t forget to add some greens, and protein to it.

Methi parantha with onion chutney and greens
2-3 methi parathas along with onion chutney, is a neat little package, which is healthy, yummy and delicious.

1 paratha includes approximately 170-200 calories. Ensure that it is cooked with little to no oil.

Rice, sambhar and curd
2 cups of rice and 1 cup of sambhar and curd is an easy, quick and simple dish to make. It is a very healthy and nutritious office lunch.

This entire meal consists of approximately 300-500 calories. Ensure that you control the rice portion to less than 60gms and add some vegetables on the side.

Red kidney beans or rajma
Rajma chawal is the most famous delicacy made with red kidney beans cooked in delicious gravy with hot rice. However, skimp on the white rice when picking this for a working lunch as it might make you feel bloated.

1 cup of 100gms of rajma chawal consist of approximately 110- 150 calories.

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