Lunch box recipes for office goers


Potato capsicum rice | aloo capsicum recipe 

Take finely chopped onions, tomatoes chopped in small pieces , cooked potatoes , chopped green chillies , cashew nuts ( optional )

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A masala is to be prepared for mixing with the potato capsicum rice.
For this we need two table spoons coriander seeds or dhania , one table spoon gram dhal, red chillies
We can add cinnamon and cloves also and that is optional.  They give a good flavour to the dish.
All these are to be dry ground in a mixer after dry roasting ( with little oil ) in a vessel.
This can be stored in an air tight container and used for many mixed rice recipes.

Take oil in a vessel , when the oil is hot saute with mustard, urad dhal and curry leaves added in that order.
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Add onions and fry them.  It is preferable to use excess oil because the vegetables are to be mixed with cooked rice.  They will mix and blend easily if there is more oil

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Then add turmeric powder , say one tea spoon
Then add the chopped tomatoes and then capsicum and stir well.

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Add the already cooked potatoes to the vegetables ,  We can added mashed potatoes also.
At this point I add cashew nuts , it is optional only
Then add salt as required .  We have to add salt when we mix with rice , so salt addition may be planned accordingly

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 Add the ground masala and stir well

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Rice is already kept ready spread on a plate for cooling.  Adding a little oil to rice while cooling makes the grains separate or discrete.
Add the vegetable masala  and mix well.
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Potato capsicum mixed rice is ready. Use onion raitha as a side dish.

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Traditional lemon rice for lunch box

This is a very simple and easy recipe idea.  The only problem it is usually dry and we need some suitable side dish particularly if we are taking it for lunch.

Take cooked rice and spread on a plate so that it cools.  
Spread oil on the rice with a teaspoon this will ensure that it the grains do not stick
Add salt as per your requirement

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Take one teaspoon urad dal , gram dhal, mustard , asafoetida (perungayam ) to oil to saute

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Add peanuts or groundnuts to the previously added ingredients.  Some add grated carrots and onion sliced into small pieces also.

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Add chopped green chillies now.  Green chillies are required to ensure that the recipe does not have a bland taste.

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Next add turmeric powder .  Apart from the health benefits of turmeric that are under research ( you may refer to authentic sources that can offer more information on this subject ) adding turmeric powder gives a fine flavour and colour to the lemon rice.

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Finally add curry leaves and complete the process

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Add the fried ingredients to the cooled rice and mix well.
The next important step is of course adding lemon juice.  For 200 gram of rice two medium sized lemons should suffice.  Cut the lemons and squeeze them on the rice and then mix well with a ladle.
The traditional method for mixing is of course using the hand!

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A simple and quick lunch box recipe is ready.  This is quite a common and easy lunch recipe.  However there were many requests for the video on my YouTube channel , so I thought of adding this recipe here in the blog also. Home made lemon rice or elumicchai sadham in Tamil is ready to be packed in the lunch box

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Masala poori or spicy poori

A popular recipe in Maharastra also called thikat poori by my Nagpur sister , she prepares it particularly when she travels by train .  The recipe does not become stale and so is a perfect travel recipe.  Since we can eat it without side dish or with just sauce or pickle it should be a quick and easy lunch box recipe also.

The ingredients to be added to wheat flour are
one teaspoon white sesame , quarter teaspoon ajwain ,  half tea spoon chilly powder , quarter teaspoon turmeric powder , salt and ginger garlic paste ( it is optional )

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 I have taken one and half cups wheat flour using this measure

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Mix all the ingredients with wheat flour

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Add hot oil and mix well.  Then prepare dough with water as we usually do for poori

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We know  that for poori the rolled dough should not be too thick or too thin and the oil should be hot to get fluffy pooris.

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After frying serve with tomato sauce.

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Complicated rangoli difficult kolam art


Some rangoli may appear simple but are difficult , some kolam may appear difficult but are actually simple.  While it said that there is Mathematics in kolam , my children say that sometimes kolam are similar to Mathematics problems - when you read a sum in the question paper but when you try you are stuck some where similarly some rangoli appear to be easy but when  we try we are not able proceed after a point.  . 

 They said this after watching me draw kolam for my kolam videos.  They try to follow me and sometimes miss the steps and are not able to follow after that.  These kolam below may appear easy but it is really a challenge to get it first time.  Why don't you try and give your feedback through the comments section

                          

Lines kolam of this type give a different perspective to kolam but do not come under the classical kolam designs.  These kolam are patterns formed using number of horizontal and inclined lines that meet , intersect to form a design.  

These type of kolam is a good exercise for the mind for the mind due to the energy required to concentrate.  I can assure you that a lot of concentration is needed.  It is not that other kolam do not need concentration.  Even a small 5 dot kolam needs focus are we may miss the the next steps. 


                                 
The end result is a beautiful pattern forming start like patterns through out the kolam.  Dots can be placed inside the kolam to make it more beautiful.  We can place colourful dots instead of white dots to make suitable for festivals like  Pongal and Diwali.  The images show the steps involved .  We can add some free hand patterns around to the kolam too.









One of most important aspects in drawing a kolam is that we have to avoid moving around the kolam while drawing it.  This is easy for small and medium sized kolam.  It is somewhat difficult for bigger kolam designs.  The kolam below shows a repeated simple pattern drawn in four directions.  The trick here is that all the patterns have been drawing from one side only.  So we have to visualise how to start the pattern . 


 Please note that it is easy to draw standing or sitting in the four directions.  To make it challenging and complicated I have drawn from one side only.  Such kolam can be suitable for Margazhi and Karthigai Deepam due to the presence of the deepam patterns








While most small rangoli designs are simple and easy , there are some small rangoli that can be challenging, the kolam above is one of them .  Some sikku kolam designs that are small can be very challenging too.  I have shared some of those designs in a separate post.


The next kolam may not be in the difficult rangoli category ,  an uncommon design that we find drawn at the entrance.  I have shared the basic and smallest design in this type  .  This kolam can be made bigger and bigger.  It uses plus signs connected with curved lines.

  It may not be difficult but definitely it is tricky.  After seeing this the steps for this kolam through the pictures below,  I request you to take a pen or pencil and a notebook or a sheet of paper and draw it.  If you get it right the first time hats off to you !  

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Next rangoli kolam is actually not so complicated but the design when we see can be intimidating to some of us.  It is a sikku kolam with 9 dots.  The dot pattern is 9 dots three rows and then 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 dots top and bottom.  It is created by drawing horizontal lines above and below starting from above and below the three rows of 9 dots and connecting the edges with curved lines moving around the dot.  The first two or three steps are usually easy.  Then it becomes difficult because we have to focus a lot and absolutely perfect concentration is required.  Even if there is the slightest distraction we will get lost or we may make a mistake.  Try this for Pongal or Sankranthi when we enjoy doing difficult designs to show off our talent :)

             

New Innovative rangoli designs with bangles


Fancy kolam designs for Pongal | Sankranti muggulu some different ideas


The first rangoli uses bangles of various shapes big and small.

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Place the big bangles at the centre - six are used in the centre.  Then two smaller bangles of different sizes to form six arms as shown in the image.

 In the gaps I have used a small bangle between the arms.  Arrange the bangles as symmetrically as possible with the eyes.  Fill up the inner pattern with blue colour Then fill the other bangels with white, orange and green.  At the centre fill with white rangoli powder.            

Next and most important step in this variety of rangoli is the removal of the bangles.  This is the only step where the rangoli has some degree of difficulty.  We have do it carefully .  It comes easily with practice.  Remove all of them.  
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Now using cotton buds form various patterns in the circles formed by the cotton buds.
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Place white dots to make the rangoli more attractive. This completes the rangoli and it appears as we see in the top image.  A simple and easy method to create a rangoli for Diwali decoration or Diwali competition.
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Diwali rangoli border - simple and easy design

This border also uses the same technique that has been adopted in the previous rangoli.  Place the rangoli as far apart as required.  Now between the bangles draw curved lines.  Remove the bangles.  Decorate the curved lines with two cotton buds held together.
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Decorate the circles with cotton buds
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Place white dots as shown .  This will make the border more attractive.
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Draw a simple floral pattern at two points as shown to complete the border rangoli .  This can be used to decorate a bigger rangoli or the entrance .  We can place diyas as specific points to make the border even more beautiful to look at.
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Creative rangoli designs for New Year rangoli competitions

Another rangoli idea is using bangle and cookie cutter or biscuit cutter as it is also called.  Using this we can create a simple flower rangoli design that can be drawn for New Year decoration or Diwali or for school competitions . 

 I have given a general idea only , we can develop and make the rangoli bigger if needed.  The pics below should be self explanatory.

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Form petals  of the flower for the floral rangoli design by placing the cookie cutter around the bangle
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 Place small dots along the edge of the petal
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 Fill the centre with yellow and green dots ( may be they represent pollen !)
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 This is the tricky part in an otherwise simple rangoli - gently remove the bangle
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 Next form leaf patterns in green using the cookie or biscuit cutter using green colour
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 Using cotton bud decorate the periphery of the leaf
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 The rangoli after completion , simple and colourful

Diya rangoli designs for Diwali , New Year with bangles 

We can have very easy and simple rangoli designs for festival decoration including New Year rangoli decoration or for that matter Pongal kolam  , if we want to try something different instead of the traditional rangoli designs we draw for Pongal or Sankranti festival.  The images below show the step by step procedure to make a quick and easy diya rangoli or vilakku kolam 

Place the bangles in the shape of a diya in temples and draw the base

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 Draw the diya patterns inside the bangles

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 Remove the bangles carefully

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Using cotton buds decorate the diya base and diya or lamp patterns as shown
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Using the finger rangoli technique , place dots and connect all the elements of the lamp
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 Use orange and yellow to represent the diya lights .  The rangoli is ready for festival decoration

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Some tips , tricks and techniques that can be used for creating rangoli for school and college competitions when time is a premium but accuracy is important so that symmetry is achieved to a great extent - are given in the images above.  These ideas for rangoli designs feature how to use various circular and other objects available in our house to create rangoli designs.  Accordingly this gallery of rangoli designs with use bangles, old CDs and cotton buds to form the patterns.  The advantage of using cotton buds is that we can get thinner patterns when compared those we get when we use the index finger as we do in the traditional method. I will share more and more ideas in Rangolisansdots as and when I get them .  There is another post on how to create beautiful rangoli designs using old compact discs.  This method ensures that even beginners can draw beautiful rangoli without much experience in rangoli making.

These different ideas for designs and patterns can also be tried for Christmas decoration ideas or New Year decoration ideas for our homes