Category: Marriage

Bento Box Ideas for Indian Food – Food Ideas You’ll Love

It has been quite some time since I last posted. Well, to be fair to myself, it does get difficult managing a baby, who turned into a toddler a week ago. Also, after having been in the US for about 3.5 years, we took our first trip back home to Bangalore. Anvi and I stayed in Bangalore for about 3.5 months and it was nice. Thinking about the trip, I wonder how I managed to take a 7 month old baby on a 21hr flight, all by myself. Maybe, I will write about it in another blog post.

Being in India, being in your hometown, means eating food like there’s no end. Agreed that I make all type of Indian dishes at home, but nothing beats the food mom and mom-in-law make. It is finger licking good. Also, the endless list of restaurant food we have to try in one short trip is like a quintessential necessity for us Desis. No, not even the best Indian restaurant in San Diego can beat the flavour that we find in the many little restaurants/daabas/roadside vendors in India.

After having stuffed ourselves with delicious food and having put on 1 or 2 or 10 pounds, it became necessary to come back to routine home cooked food once we were back. I was looking for lunch box options for my husband so that I could send him a variety of healthy, home cooked versions of Indian food. I have always sent Indian food for his lunch box, but it lacked variety, or sometimes, it had variety and a lot, I say lot of boxes. So, I decided to go the Bento way.

As you all know, Indian food not only has a rich flavour, but it also has a rich aroma and a rich colour. So, I was looking for a stainless steel option. In fact, I wanted one of those cool *Planet Box bentos. But you know what, they are expensive and knowing the fact that the bento idea for Indian food might or might not work out, I wanted a frugal option. Hence, I settled for a bento box from Skater, Japan.

Bentos are Japanese invention. So I thought this ought to be good. They have many choices and I settled for the rectangular version, which not only is sleek, but also has 2 removable compartments, each with 3 mini compartments. It is made of BPA free plastic and is microwave and dishwasher safe. Also, they come with chopsticks, which isn’t of much use for us. It hasn’t leaked till now (well, I don’t send any liquid), and keeps the food secure in their own compartments. Though the compartments are white, they pass the pickle test. Yes, no oily red pickle stains after washing them. Interested? You can find it *here

Pssst..I think these containers are great for kids and adults. Kids love variety and this makes it easy to send them the right portion of healthy snacks and lunch.

When I pack lunch for my husband, I make sure I add in  elements from the major food groups – carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Since we are vegetarians, the ones I mostly prefer are as follows:

Carbohydrate  – Rice, chapathis, rotis, parathas, bread.

Proteins – Lentils, yoghurt, paneer, cheese and nuts.

Fats – Coconut oil, ghee and butter (mostly all my cooking and sautéing make use of these, and occasionally, canola oil.)

With these, I add in a bit of veggies or fruits.

Basically, the lunch box consists of food items that our body is used to, from time immemorial, and is majorly healthy Indian food.

I have included some of the lunch box ideas here. You can find other lunch box ideas on my Instagram feed. Just search for ItsyBitsyMess on Instagram and voila, you will see me there, posting lunch box ideas everyday or whenever my husband takes lunch from home.

Lemon rice with mango pickle, yoghurt with chaat masala, baby carrots with cucumber and cheese coins, and bottle guard barfi.

3 slice sandwich with avocado cream, honey sriracha, diced potatoes, onion and tomatoes. Advantage : Husband grills it fresh in the office. Also, peas usli, baby carrots and pomegranate pearls.

Veg pulao, yoghurt with chaat masala, paneer sauteed with Indian spices and baby carrots.
 

Theplas, yoghurt, thick daal, whole mango pickle, orange slices and baby carrots.

Cauliflower+peas+onion paratha, yoghurt with chaat masala, mango pickle, baby carrots, orange slices, pomegranate, and dried fruits and nuts (raisins, cranberries, walnut, pistachios, almonds, cashews.)
So, now that you have seen few Bento options for Indian food, what is your opinion about it? Will you give it a try? Tell me all about it in the comment section.

Also, follow me on Instagram at ItsyBitsyMess for other bento ideas.

Disclosure: Pooja (ItsyBitsyMess) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

pooja

I do

 
File:Engagement rings 777.jpg
Source: Wikimedia Commons
In my heart, there was some pain,
It was cold, there was November rain
Months passed, and I said I do
There is something I never told you
The little things you do,
 Makes me realize, we are one, not two.
 
*As a part of NaPoWriMo. #9
*The prompt by NaPoWriMo today was to take any random song play list (from iPod, CD player, favorite radio station, Pandora or Spotify , etc.) and use the next five song titles on that randomized list in a poem. So I chose the songs that were on my phone:
*Also, do visit my friends who are participating in the challenge. You won’t be disappointed.
pooja

Platinum Day Of Love: The day we cut an onion together!

18 days from now, we will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. When I sit back and think of the year gone by, one quote runs in my mind time and again. It is the content from my wedding invite which had these lines – “I cannot fix on the day, or the time, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. I was in middle of it before I knew I was in love with Abhay…Time to exchange vows and seal the love forever…”. The lines were inspired by the quote from my favourite book Pride and Prejudice – “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
Ours was an arranged marriage. We got engaged on 29th June, 2012, 20 days after we first met each other. We got married on 29th November, 2012, 5 months after we got engaged and maintained a long distance relationship because Abhay was in the US and I was in India. We had met just seven times in person before we tied the knot. We talked everyday over the phone, but it never could replicate the feeling of being with each other in person. Like in the quote above, I cannot decide exactly when I fell in love with him. Was it the first time we met after we decided to get married or was it on the day of our engagement or was it the day when he surprised me when he flew down to India before the scheduled date or was it the day of our marriage? I am still not sure. But, I do not worry much about it now because I know I love him, and have loved him all along.
Being in a relationship is one thing and living together after marriage as husband and wife is a different ball game altogether which I realized only after marriage. We live in such close proximities with the other person that we begin to see them in a new light. We witness their positives, negatives, interactions, day in and out which influence our state of happiness, sadness, fears, insecurities and other unfathomable emotions. In arranged marriages, these emotions are accentuated because the only time you actually get to know your partner is when you get married to them and start living with them and start observing them carefully. I went through the jitters that marriage and a new home brings along initially. Though my new family took all the pains to make me feel comfortable, it took me sometime to get adjusted to my new home. I had created a wall of my fears that were tying me down until one day.
Back at mom’s place, I would cook only when my mom would go to our native. Dad was never particular about what I cooked and I seriously didn’t have much cooking experience if you can call it that. When I got married, my mom-in-law always cooked all of us a wonderful meal while I only helped her a wee bit. But, when my mom-in-law had to go for her Shirdi trip a month after we got married, I knew I was in knee deep trouble.
The next day after my mom-in-law left for Shirdi, I woke up and went to the kitchen so that I could prepare breakfast for the 4 of us and pack lunch for the 3 of them – my dad-in-law, sister-in-law and the husband. I thought it would be an easy task. Well, the moment I entered the kitchen, my legs were shivering. I had to cook a meal for my family in a matter of few hours and I realized I was so unprepared for it. Though my mom-in-law had made a few preparations before she left and the others insisted that they could manage by themselves, I didn’t want to disappoint myself by letting them down or so I thought.
As I stood motionless in the kitchen at 6:00 in the morning thinking what I would do and how I would finish cooking and packing their lunch in another two hours, I saw my husband enter the kitchen. I knew my husband cooked well and he loved cooking, but, I was still surprised to see him in the kitchen at 6:00 in the morning because I had never seen him wake up before 8:00 in the morning and that also would be after a lot of nudging and fidgeting around with him. He smiled like he understood my predicament. As I stood there with a knife in my hand and a half unshapely cut onion on the cutting board, he gave me a reassuring look and took the knife into his own hands and cut the onion into thin slices. I was crying, well, it might have been the onion, but I would like to believe that it was the tears of joy for having discovered our Platinum Day of Love. It might not sound like a heroic gesture on his part but for me, this was when we discovered our real love that is everlasting. It was the moment he beat his prolonged sleeping habit to be with me during my crisis time to restore the fact that he would be with me for eternity, supporting me and pulling me out of my difficulties whereas I stood there facing my wall of fears head on so that I could integrate into the family and keep them happy.
As silly as it may sound, we found our everlasting love cutting an onion in the kitchen that day. Today, when we look back, we wish that we had something eternal like platinum rings with us that day that would etch this day in our memories forever. But, all we had that day were some onion rings and tears of joy.


Note: This post is a part of a contest conducted by Platinum Day Of Love hosted by Indiblogger.
 
 
pooja
 
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