Paul's Lunchbox, Recipe Index

Real food for real work - cholesterol-free cooking

     These recipes are a collection that grows as I cook so come back and see the site again as I add to it.

These are all real recipes that I have prepared myself for that night and the following two nights and eaten at work, on the night shift, and they have therefore been tested under real-life conditions.

At home, you need a little time, at work, you just need a microwave oven.
On this page... Additionally...
    ...on the ingredients and tools page
     Recipe list      Ingredients
Work food ideals Tools


Main Meals: - three meals' worth of real food so that you can have days without cooking:
    Bhindi Sabji  -  Tender Bhindi vegetable masala.
Chana Dahl  -  Yellow split pea dahl.
Chole Masala  -  Chick pea curry
Couscous  -  Scorched pepper and white bean couscous.
Lauki Kofta  -  Lauki (aka Doodhi, Calabash and so on - see below) is the base for this delicious Kofta.
Lauki Sabji  -  Still using Lauki, this is a lot simpler to make than the Kofta above.
Stir-Fry Lotus Root  -  Deep-fried fresh lotus root slices in a fragrant sauce with noodles.
Mexican Salsa  -  Spicy, Mexican-style sauce for tortillas.
Mooli Paratha  -  Paratha made with Mooli.
Simple Pasta  -  Simple pasta upon which you can build your own complexities.
Thai Tofu Curry  -  Green Thai curry with fried tofu chunks.
Torai Paratha  -  Paratha made with Torai.
Yellow Bean  -  Beans in Chinese Yellow Bean Sauce.
Quick, One- or Two-Day Meals: - for the odd shift or two:
    Indian sweet Rice  -  Saffron basmati rice with clove, cardamom and cinnamon
Spicy Bean Noodles  -  Stir-fry spicy beans with Chow Mein noodles
Rice Noodles & Seaweed  -  Seaweed with spicy bean sauce and rice noodles
Vegan Sushi  -  Vegan sushi with scorched peppers, amba haldi and ginger.
Sweets: - add a little something for afters:
    Apple Crumble  -  Stewed apples under a crumble blanket.
Boondi Ladoo  -  Balls of batter spheres coated in saffron syrup
Durian Rice Pudding  -  Rice-based pudding with a fruit that will raise the hackles of any food bigot ;-)
Gulab Jamun (milk-free)  -  Tasty, delicate, creamy, fried cakeballs in saffron syrup.
Jalebi  -  Hollow batter spirals, filled with saffron syrup.
Jam Doughnuts  -  Sugar-coated, jam-filled, fried doughballs.
Naan Khatai (egg-free)  -  Cardamom biscuits topped with pistachio and cashew nuts.
Pandan Cake (egg- and milk-free)  -  Beautiful, light, egg- and milk-free sponge cake with chocolate and orange variants.
Extras - not necessarily meals on their own but used as an addition to, a number of recipes:
    Lotus Root Crisps  -  The natural, unusual cross-section of this vegetable makes for interesting crisps.
Mango Chutney and
Apple Chutney
 -  Real chutneys - tastey, easy and quick to make.
Onion Bhaji  -  Deep-fried spicy battered onion.
Pakoras  -  Deep-fried spicy battered vegetables.
Roti Jala (egg-free)  -  Coconut flavoured net bread.
Samosas  -  Spicy vegetable-stuffed deep-fried pastry.
Tortillas /Tortilla Chips  -  Home-made tortilla chips flavoured with anything you like.
Basics - common ingredient used in a number of recipes:
    Pandan Paste  -  Pandan Paste - used with Pandan cake...
Saffron Syrup  -  Saffron Syrup - used with Boondi Ladoo, Gulab Jamun, Jalebi...
Yeast Suspension  -  Yeast Suspension - used with Bhatoora, Naan, Jam Doughnuts...
Flatbreads - a filling addition to many recipes with some being meals in their own right:
  There are a number of options with flatbreads that go roughly as follows...
Indian Flatbreads
Name Diameter Flour * yeast Extra Ingredients... Cooking options
English हिन्दी ਪੰਜਾਬੀ cm Extras Where... Grill/
Roti/Chapatti रोटी ਰੋਟੀ 20-30 Atta            
Plain Paratha** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 20-30 Atta            
Paratha 2** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 20-30 Atta   Mixed in with dough      
Paratha 3** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 10-15 Atta   One layer folded over      
Paratha 4** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 20-30 Atta   Between two layers      
Paratha 5** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 20-30 Atta   Inside a dough spiral      
Paratha 6** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 20-30 Atta   Inside a spiralled spiral      
Paratha 7** पराठा ਪਰੌਂਠਾ 20-30 Atta   Inside a double-spiralled spiral      
Puri पूरी ਪੁੜੀ 7-10 Atta/ Maida            
Luchi लुचि ਲੁਚਿ 10-12 Maida            
Bhatoora भटूरा ਭਟੂਰਾ 15-25 Maida          
Naan नान ਨਾਨ 20-40 Maida Mixed in with dough;      
Kulcha कुल्चा ਕੁਲਚਾ 20-30 Maida Inside two layers    
Urad Papad उरद पापड़ ਉਰਦ ਪਾਪੜ 20-30 Urad   Mixed in with dough    
Khichiya Papad खिचिया पापड़ ਖਿਚਿਆ ਪਾਪੜ 20-30 Rice   Mixed in with dough      
  * Atta is Chakki Atta - finely ground wholemeal flour - Maida is strong white plain (bread-making) flour - Urad is from lentils.
Note that a lot of these vary somewhat between various people and you might find that some people use a different flour or fill an otherwise plain faltbread instead (or vice versa). It doesn't matter.
  ** Paratha see the Notes on Parathas page for more details on different ways of doing parathas and their advantages.
Finally - What to do with what you have spare:
    Thrown together  -  Making meals with a minimum of effort.
Leftovers  -  Making meals from what you have left over.

Work food - Ideals:

You should be able to eat proper food at work and whilst the recipe pages elsewhere on this site show you how to make good food, they are not necessarily tailored to the sort of environment you get in the work place.

Ideally, you should be able to:        Food for the work place can be a fairly tight specification. It needs to:
  • make a three-day-sized batch of food, storing it in three, air-tight containers;
  • keep them in the refrigerator, maintaining their seal;
  • take them out to use them over the next three days/nights; and,
  • enjoy them.
  • be tasty;
  • be the right amount for a lunch and not too filling (after you have eaten, you still need to be able to do whatever they are paying you for);
  • not be too complex to produce;
  • last for three days in a refrigerator (water migration is a major consideration here); and,
  • survive reheating in a microwave oven in the case of hot meals.

If you follow the above recipes, you should get a feeling for how these ingredients work together and what their roles are. To illustrate this, I have included an example of a variant of samosas and another example as a variant of parathas...
So, contrasting ...
    Samosas  -  Spicy potato and pea-stuffed deep-fried pastry.
we get...
    English Samosas  -  Aloo Matar-stuffed, deep-fried pastry - English style.
Mushy peas and chips.
Contrasting ...
    Spiralled Spiral Paratha  -  Chilli-filled savoury flatbread.
we get...
    English Parathas  -  Nimboo-goor-filled, tava-fried flatbread - English style.
Lemon juice and sugar.

These demonstrate how you can look at ingredients and substitute others whilst preserving their roles - substituting ajwain with mint for example.

Of course, food that has animal ingredients in it (such as milk, eggs, meat and so on) will not last as long or be of such a reliable quality (in terms of microbiology that will harm you) when you buy it, as food that has no such ingredients in so, all of these recipes are vegan.

Also, my preference for interesting food is located geographically around East and South Asia so we are looking at using Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Indian ingredients although I do enjoy Mexican and Italian food as well.

Also, where fresh is available, I would prefer that over dried/preserved unless doing so is not very practical - noodles for example - or dried is the better option (powdered dried turmeric in onion bhajis for example).

Penultimately, I like my food hot so I use a fair amount of chillies but you are at liberty to use smaller amounts if you wish.

Finally, I haven't got any food allergies that I know of so I'm not making any special deviations away from what I would like here, although, of course, if you have an allergy to milk products or eggs or their derivatives, then this is ideal for you.

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