Spinach Biryani – INSTANT POT – Kids Lunch Box/Weekend Lunch. Serve or Pack with Carrot raita ( Carrot and vegetables with Yogurt) , Mango Pickle and Papad.

Do you like preparing One pot meal for Weekend Lunch and for Kids Lunch Box. I like One pot meals as they are easy to cook and  taste good Warm or at Room temperature.  I use to prepare this in Rice cooker . For today’s  Lunch I tried in Instant pot . Done in less time and perfectly cooked ( all the ingredients I added) . I added Biryani masala . You can skip if you want to feed to your toddler or if your kids doesn’t like the smell of Biryani Masala . Still taste good without it . Whole Garam Masala will flavor the rice. Serve with Carrot Raita . Soak Channa dal so it will cook along with rice  . Here is the Simple recipe . 

Recipe for Carrot raita : Add grated carrot ( 5 ) to 2 cups of Yogurt ( curd) , Finely chopped Onion , chopped tomato ( 1) and finely chopped Coriander . Heat 1/2 tbsp Oil . When warm enough add 1/2 cumin seeds. Cool and add to yogurt with little salt. 


Recipe for 3 . Preparation and Cooking time – Less than 30 minutes


1. Basmati rice – 1 cup

2. Water – 1 1/2 cup

3. Channa dal -1/2 cup

4. Spinach – 3 to 4 handfuls ( finely chopped) and Finely chopped Coriander and Mint ( Add at the end ) 

5. Tomatoes -2 ( Chopped – 12 pieces), Onion – thinly sliced and Potato – Peeled and cubed 

6. Ginger – 1/2 tbsp and Garlic ( 4 ) – Crushed and Green chilli paste – 1 tbsp

7. Biryani Masala – 1/2 to 1 tbsp , Red chilli powder or SAMBAR POWDER 

8. Salt

9. Whole Garam Masala – 3 to 5  Cloves , 3 Cardamom , Bay leaves – 2 , Cinnamon stick –  1 or 2 small , Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp

10 . Oil – 2 tbsp and Ghee – 1 tbsp


1.Soak rice and Channa dal . Wash 3 to 4 times and add Water n  Salt .Taste water for Salt and add accordingly .

2.Turn IP into saute mode . When warm add Oil and Ghee followed by Cumin seeds and Whole Garam Masala. Add ginger , Garlic paste and Green chilli paste  . Fry for a minute. Add thinly sliced Onions and Potato . Fry for Couple of minutes.

3. Add chopped Spinach . Fry for a minute . Add cubed Potato .

4. Add water with rice and Channa dal ,Biryani masala and Chopped Tomatoes.

5. Cancel Saute . Close IP with Sealing . Rice mode . NPR ( 5 minutes) . Once done Open the lid and Mix gently . Add chopped Coriander and Mint . 

                     Serve with Carrot raita , Mango Pickle and Papad.



Spaghetti with Cherry Tomato sauce – Instant Pot –  5 INGREDIENTS -Kids Lunch Box 

Easy and fast Lunch Box idea for Busy mornings. Bonus – If you have older kids they can prepare their Lunch Box. Easy to prepare One pot meal in IP . Nothing fancy about this recipe but taste delicious in LUNCH Box with all the ingredients I added .  I’m encouraging my daughter ( She is good at Baking) to learn Basic Cooking. So she can prepare her Lunch Box when I’m not around. It will be moist with the extra sauce that can be absorbed by spaghetti by Lunch time.Don’t miss any ingredient to enjoy this tasty pasta.  Spices and Marinara sauce not only adds flavor but taste good too . Spinach for extra nutrition and easy way to make kids eat greens is to hide in their favorite sauce. Mozzarella for little cheesy taste. Here is the Simple recipe. 

Pack for KIDS LUNCH BOX : One pot meal .

Recipe for 2 . Preparation and Cooking time : 10 minutes


1. Sphagetti – 4 Handfuls

2. Cherry Tomatoes – 25 and Shallots – 4 ( thinly sliced) , Crushed garlic cloves – 6 , Ginger – Chopped ( 1 tbsp )  and Chopped Spinach – 3 handfuls 

3. Oil – 1 tbsp

4. Marinara Sauce – 4 tbsp or 1/4 th Cup or Tomato sauce or Pizza sauce 

5. Water – 2 Measuring cups 

6 . Mozarella cheese

7. Black pepper and Mixed herbs – 1 /2 tbsp each , Sambar powder – 1/2 tbsp , Red pepper flakes 


1.Turn IP on saute mode . Add Oil . When warm enough add Crushed Garlic , Red pepper flakes and Shallots.

2. When shallots turn light Brown add Cherry tomatoes. Season with Salt and 1/2 tbsp Sambar powder . Mix well .

3. Add Broken Spaghetti and Water.  Close the lid. Cancel Saute mode . Vent closed . 

4. Manual 5 minutes . Unplug when you see Low .  NPR ( 5 minutes)

5. Add Chopped spinach , Black pepper, Mixed herbs, Pizza sauce  and Mozarella cheese. Mix well . Taste for Salt and Spices and add accordingly .



Vegetable pakora  ( Not Deep fried ) – INSTANT POT – Kids Lunch Box with Baked Chirote 

 I prepared the filling in INSTANT POT. Instead of cooking Sweet potato and white Potato separately I cooked everything in Instant Pot . Some finger foods will taste good when shallow fried or Deep fried like Pakora’s, vada etc. After I bought Paniyaram pan I started using it more to prepare Kids Lunch Box recipes. In today’s Lunch Box I packed Vegetable Pakora . They are  Crispy with a tasty filling and a surprise. You can prepare the filling , cool and shape them like balls . Wrap  each ball  with half  slice of bread and refrigerate. Wrapping with bread helps retain the shape and won’t get soggy when you dip in the batter. Prepare the chickpea flour batter and refrigerate.   Morning – Grease the cavities with little Oil before you place the Vegetable Pakora.  Cook on medium/medium flame . Keep rotating every 2 minutes so they won’t get burnt and gets nice golden brown . Recipe  is for 12 Pakora’s and you can cook all in go and takes 10 minutes.  Cool and pack in Kids Lunch Box with Dates tamarind chutney or Ketchup. 


 1. Prepare the filling night before . Cool and Wrap with Half slice of Bread and refrigerate .

2. Prepare chickpea flour batter and refrigerate .

               It will take 10 minutes to prepare 3 Lunch boxes . Without Deep frying and in PANIYARAM PAN . 

PACK for KIDS LUNCH BOX with Ketchup or Dates Tamarind chutney and Baked Chirotte . Snack time – Fruit  

Recipe for 12 medium Pakora’s .

Preparation time – 15 minutes ( Day Before) and Cooking time – Less than 15 minutes for 15 Pakora’s . 


1.  Sweet potato – 1 medium ( Optional) and White potato –  4 ( Peeled and Cubed ) 

2. Onion – medium ( finely chopped)

3.  grated Ginger – small piece  and Crushed Garlic ( 4 cloves) , Green chilli paste 

4. Green peas – 1/2 cup

5. Finely chopped vegetables of your choice

6. Rasam powder or Sambar powder or Curry powder – 1 /2 to 1 tbsp

7. Juice of Lime or Dry raw mango powder

8. Salt and Turmeric

9. Oil – 1tbsp

10 . Cumin seeds and Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp each and finely chopped coriander 


OUTER COVERING : Mix Chickpea flour and Rice flour – 1 measuring cup with Salt , Rasam powder or Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin powder , Ajwain ( Carom seeds) – 1/2 tbsp with sufficient water . The batter must be thick to coat the balls. 


1.  Turn IP on Saute mode add  1 tbsp Oil and add Mustard seeds followed by Cumin seeds. Add finely chopped Onions . Season with salt and Turmeric. Mix well . When Onions are light brown add Grated ginger ,crushed garlic and green chilli paste . Fry for couple of minutes.

2. Add Green peas and finely chopped vegetables. Cook for couple of minutes.

3. Add  cubed  white potato and  sweet potato  , Red chilli powder , Coriander and Cumin powder or Sambar Powder  . Mix well . Cancel Saute . Manual 8 minutes . NPR after 10 minutes. 

4.  Mash the  curry . Cool and squeeze Juice of lime or Mango powder . Taste for salt and spices and add accordingly . Transfer to a Bowl . Mix well and cool the mixture .

5. Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts . Flatten them and place a small piece of Paneer and shape them like balls.

6. Cut each slice of Bread into half . Sprinkle water on Bread and squeeze between your palms. Wrap around each ball. Refigerate if you are preparing day before.

7. Morning. Heat the Paniyaram pan on medium heat. Grease the cavities of Paniyaram pan with Oil.

8. Dip each ball into chickpea flour batter and place in the cavities and cook on medium /medium high flame .

9. When you flip drizzle Oil on each ball. Cook on four sides. It takes less than 10 minutes.

10.  Cool and  Pack in Kids Lunch Box with Dates and Tamarind chutney or Ketchup.


GI is a measure of how quickly a food raises your levels of Blood sugar . Eating lower GI foods tends to sustain your energy levels as these foods digest more slowly . The same amount of White potato and Sweet potato contain the same amount of Carbohydrates ( 1/2 cup = 15 grams of carbs) . Sweet potatoes however have more fiber and slightly lower in GI . Fiber is essential for helping to control appetite , burn fat , maintain healthy digestion and build muscles. If you are trying to loose weight Sweet potatoes are a great food because of high amount of dietary fiber and low Calorie content. Other benefits of Sweet potato includes 52 percent of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C and excellent source of Vitamin A ( in the form of beta carotene) . One cup of Sweet potato contains 114 Calories and whopping 377 percent of your daily intake of Vitamin A . 



Jowar Vegetable Upma – Kids Lunch Box /Dinner with Plain Yogurt , Coconut Pistachio Ladoo and Sliced cucumber 

We like to eat IDLI ( Steamed cakes prepared with Lentils and Grains) for Breakfast. I tried 10 different Idli recipes( I shared Link at the end of my post) for Breakfast and sometimes I pack for Kids Lunch Box. (They taste good at room temperature. I pack with Mixed Nuts chutney or Coconut raita. Perfect combination for idli ). When ever I prepare Idli for Breakfast I cook extra for Dinner. We eat for Breakfast . For Dinner I crumble idli ‘s and add good amount of Vegetables , raw mango or juice of Lime and cooked Beans . It almost taste like Lime Rice but a healthy version . My kids like to eat with Plain Yogurt and I don’t need  to worry about feeding vegetables for dinner/Weekend Lunch . In today’s recipe I prepared Idli with Lentils and Jowar flour . Ferment Overnight for soft and fluffy Idli’s  . Here is the Simple recipe you can prepare in less time if you have cooked Idli’s ( Preparing Idli is not difficult. Soak ( 3 hours) , Grind( 5 minutes in a regular Blender ) and Ferment over night ( Fermentation helps in Protein digestion) 

             Jowar is high in fiber compared to other grains . Whole jowar kernels can be steamed , Boiled , ground into flour and can can be added to prepare Roti’s ( Indian Bread) . It is good for people trying to loose weight . High in fiber which lowers the risk of Obesity , Diabetes , Cholesterol and digestive problems . One serving of Jowar contains 12 grams of dietary fiber which is 43 percent daily allowance of fiber for average adult as recommended . Jowar contains tannins an agent found in the coating of the seeds in dark jowar grains which prevents the body from absorbing the protein , vitamins and minerals . Remove the seed coating of jowar prior to eating or consume only Yellow or white Jowar which contains relatively low quantities of tannins.

Pack for Kids Lunch Box with Plain Yogurt( Curd) , Sliced Cucumber and Coconut Pistachio Ladoo  or Fruit .

Recipe Link for Coconut Pistachio Ladoo:

Recipe Link :


Recipe for 4 . Preparation time : 15 minutes  Cooking time : 10 minutes



1. Crumbled Jowar Idli’s – 8 

Recipe Link for JOWAR IDLI :


2. Onion – Medium ( finely chopped)

3. Grated carrots and vegetables of your choice

4. Green peas – One cup cooked 

5. Green chillies – 3 ( Mild or zero spicy) and Ginger – chopped small piece

6. Oil – 2 tbsp

7. Roasted Peanuts – Handful

8. curry leaves and Finely chopped coriander

9. Seasoning – Black Split Urad dal , Mustard seeds and Cumin seeds – 1/2 tbsp each , Hing – Pinch and Broken Red chillies – 4

10 . Grated Raw mango or Juice of Lime . 11. Rasam Powder or Curry Powder or sambar powder – 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbs 


1. Heat 2  tbsp Oil and add Mustard seeds followed by Black split Urad dal , Cumin seeds, Broken red chillies , Green chillies , Ginger , curry leaves and Onions .

2. Once Onions are light Brown add finely chopped vegetables .

3. When vegetables are cooked add Green Peas, Grated carrots and Crumbled Jowar idli . Mix gently . Add salt and Curry powder .

4. Switch off the stove .

5. Add finely chopped coriander leaves, Grated raw mango or Juice of Lime and roasted Peanuts. Mix well . Taste for salt and spices and add accordingly . 




Red Kidney Beans Pakora (Not Deep Fried) – Kids Lunch Box  with Sweet Rice ( Rice cooker recipe) 

 I always keep some Cooked Beans in refrigerator to add for Salads or Chaat or for quick snacking. Thinking how to pack Red kidney Beans in Kids Lunch Box.   I bought Paniyaram pan recently and I’m using it to fry pakora’s instead of Shallow frying. As Red kidney Beans are cooked there is no need to shallow fry and these Pakora’s absorb very less Oil ,I used   tbsp Oil to fry these Pakora’s  . If you don’t have the paniyaram pan , shape them like patties and pan fry them . This weekend I bought roasted Upma mix( Wheat) from grocery store. I mixed with mashed Red kidney Beans to absorb the moisture and at the same time it will help in binding with other ingredients.  If you don’t have roasted upma mix you can use Semolina ( Sooji)  or Fine wheat rava or Bread slices  . Prepare as shown in the picture and refrigerate . Mix in the morning before cooking. Along with it I packed Sweet rice (  I cooked in Rice cooker . It took 15 minutes . ) It tastes  like prasadam offered in temples. My kids liked the combination.  I try new recipes for Weekend Lunch and then pack in the following week . Need very few ingredients to prepare the Sweet Rice. Here is the Simple recipe for Red Kidney beans Pakora and Sweet rice . 

NOTE : You can prepare both recipes  night before and refrigerate. Warm for one minute before packing for Kids Lunch Box. My elder goes early before 7 A.m . Sometimes I cook night before and refrigerate. You can cook fresh in the morning .  

I like packing these in Lunch Box because they are easy to prepare and taked 10 minutes to prepare 3 Lunch Boxes and taste good at room temperature. 

Most of the focus on nutrition tends to be on reducing fat intake and increasing  the consumption of vitamin rich foods and protein is easily overlooked. As person ages and during certain life stages like pregnancy , protein intake becomes especially crucial for health and proper body function. Like any dietary component low protein levels can have serious health consequences . If the body doesn’t get enough protein it starts breaking down muscle , which can result in loss of muscle mass. According to Harvard School of Public Health lack of protein can also negatively affect growth , immunity and the heart and respiratory systems.  Since the  body  can’t store Protein it must be continually replenished through foods . Quality protein can be found in foods like Legumes – Add a serving of 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans to your daily intake for a healthy protein boost of about 7 grams. Source – HM 

Pack for KIDS LUNCH BOX with Ketchup or Dates tamarind chutney ,  SWEET RICE , Cucumber and fruit . 

Recipe for 12 Pakora’s .

Preparation and Cooking time: 30 minutes


1. Cooked and Mashed Red kidney beans – One Measuring cup

2.  Oats or Roasted Upma mix ( Wheat rava ) or Semolina( Sooji ) or Whole wheat Bread ( 4 slices )  or Fine wheat rava  – 1 cup

3.  Cooked and Mashed Potato – 1 

4. Yogurt( Curd) – 2 tbsp

5. Curry powder – 1 tbsp or Rasam powder or Sambar powder 

6. Green chilli paste 

7. Chopped vegetables, Onions , Grated Carrots , Chopped Spinach 

8. Salt to taste

9. Oil – One tbsp 



1. Mix Cooked and Mashed Red kidney Beans , Mashed Potato , Chopped vegetables, grated Carrot , Chopped Spinach , Curd , Salt , Curry powder, green chilli paste, Ginger and garlic , Roasted Upma mix or Semolina ( Sooji) or Bread slices . Taste for salt and Spices and add accordingly . Keep aside for 10 minutes  without mixing chopped vegetables .

2. Divide into 12 equal portions and shape like ball and Grease with Oil .

3.  Grease the cavities of Paniyaram pan with little Oil .Heat Paniyaram pan  on Medium heat. When warm enough place each ball in the cavities. Cook on all sides .

4. Keep an eye otherwise they will get burnt.

5. When it brown on all sides transfer to a plate . Cool and pack in Lunch Box with Ketchup or Dates Tamarind Chutney .

RECIPE FOR SWEET RICE IN RICE COOKER – Cooking time – 15 minutes . You can cook night before and refrigerate. Warm for One minute before Packing into Kids Lunch Box.

1. Soak 1/2 cup Basamti rice for Half hour to One hour . Wash and transfer to Rice cooker Bowl.Add 1 1/2 cup milk , 4 tbsp Jaggery ( Brown sugar) . Mix well . Taste for sweetness and add accordingly .

2. Add handful or two handfuls of roasted cashews , Almonds and Pistachio’s . 4 powdered cardamom  , Handful raisins and 1/2 tbsp ghee.

3. It will take less than 15 minutes .

                    Cool and pack for Lunch Box with Red kidney pakora.  KIDS are going to like this combination. TRY for Weekend Lunch before packing for Kids Lunch Box .


  Vegetable Upma – Kids Lunch Box /Dinner 

With Mixed Nuts Ladoo and Baked Chickpea crackers: 



  Do you like to eat Home cook food during Holidays and spend less time in kitchen . I shared three simple ans easy recipes you can prepare in very less time. Why I named this as Vegetable Upma ? I added good amount of Veggies. Preparing DINNER or KIDS LUNCH BOX in 15 minutes . Sounds good right . Enjoy this tasty One pot meal with Lime Juice pickle or little sugar. For Kids Lunch Box I packed with MIXED NUTS LADOO and BAKED CHICKPEA CRACKERS. I shared link for both. Vegetable Upma is a Simple and tasty One pot meal for Lunch /Dinner / Kids Lunch Box. If you don’t like Upma you will like this combination with  Vegetables. This is a quick fix Dinner for me over the weekends or on days when I have to take Kids for After school activities. It takes less than  15 minutes to prepare and cook from start to finish . As I roast Vermicelli and Sooji I quickly chop vegetables or use FROZEN MIXED VEGETABLES  or in my free time I roast Vermicelli ,sooji  with some chopped Onions , Green chillies and Ginger and store in a Glass container . All I  need is to add some Chopped Vegetables and Water. Don’t forget to Squeeze Lime Juice at the end . It adds Sour taste to  Upma and feel like eating more. Once you finish cooking leave on the stove with lid half open and fluff it up after 10 minutes. You can pack for KIDS LUNCH BOX as it taste good at room temperature . 

Serve this Vegetable Upma with little sugar (Optional) or Lime juice Pickle or no need of any side as it taste good on its own . Follow my recipe to enjoy a tasty One pot fluffy and tasty Upma  .How much WATER to add and how to Cook a fluffy Upma and not Mushy . 

RECIPE for 4 . PREPARATION and COOKING TIME : 20 minutes .


1. Whole wheat vermicelli – One measuring cup

2. Semolina ( Sooji) or Fine wheat rava ( Cracked wheat) – 1/4 th cup

3. Vegetables – Chopped Onion – Medium , Chopped Potato – 1 Bite size, Chopped carrots , Beans, Corn and Peas  , Chopped tomatoes – 2 

4. Juice of Lime – 1/2 to 1 according to your taste.

5. Oil – 2 tbsp

6. Curry leaves and finely chopped Coriander leaves

7. Water – 2 1/2 Measuring cups

8. Roasted peanuts and Cashews – Handful each

9. Split Black urad dal – 1 tbsp , Cumin seeds and Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp each

10 . Chopped Green chillies – 2 to 4 ( Zero spicy or Mild spicy ) and Chopped Ginger – 2 tbsp


1. Roast Semolina ( Sooji ) and Vermicelli with 1/2 tbsp Oil . Transfer to a bowl .

2. In the same pan heat 1 tbsp Oil and add Split Urad dal , Cumin seeds and Mustard seeds followed by chopped Onions , Chopped Potato and Mixed vegetables . Season with salt . Add Curry leaves.

3. When Vegetables are cooked add Chopped tomatoes and  water . Mix well . Bring to Boil . Now taste the water for salt and add accordingly.

4. Pour the roasted Sooji and Vermicelli slowly into boiling water and mix without lumps. Cover and cook . Stir in between gently . Once the water is evaporated  switch off the stove . Add roasted Peanuts and Cashews . Mix gently . 

5. Add chopped Green chillies , Ginger , Chopped Coriander. Keep lid half and wait for few minutes. Fluff it up with fork . Squeeze juice of Lime. ( Note – I like to add Green chillies and Ginger at the end so the Upma won’t be spicy for Kids)

Pack for Lunch Box or Serve warm for Dinner/ Weekend Lunch . Taste good warm or at room temperature.