Monday, November 11, 2013

Quick and Easy Kids Lunch Box - Idli upma with vegetables

Obamacare has caused a lot of consternation for a lot of people. So has it for us, not enough to keep us awake at nights but enough to make us read about the cancellations. Why you ask? We are one of the 15 million people who are covered by individual insurance. Though we have not heard anything from our insurer yet reading news about people with insurance similar to ours is making us wonder about it.

Politicians lie all the time to get elected which is exactly what Obama did as well. DH struggled for a couple of hours to see what is on the new healthcare exchange and gave up and we have not been on that after. Anyone out there who has tried to use the healthcare website and been successful or not please chime in.

Packing lunch is never an easy task and coming up with something early in the morning when the brain does not work is even harder. So whenever I cook idli for dinner I make sure I have a few extra for a quick packed lunch. Add a few vegetables to the mix and a fancy meal is ready. I like to add green peas, corn and potatoes. Green beans, carrots and cauliflower are also good choices.

If you want something a bit more fancy try this one - Masala Spicy Idli Upma.

I use Idli Podi (Spiced Dry Lentil Powder) to add spice to the upma. If you do not have this handy increase the amount of chili powder to compensate.

Idli Upma with vegetables
Preparation Time:5 miutes
Cooking Time:15-20 minutes
  1. 4 ildis (preferably made the previous night/day)
  2. 1 potato - peeled and diced (small pieces preferable)
  3. a handful of peas
  4. a handful of corn kernels
  5. 1/4 cup onions chopped
  6. 1 tsp red chili powder or 4 green chilies chopped (when I make for kids usually leave the green chilies out)
  7. 1/2 tbsp of idli podi
  8. 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
  9. 1 tsp of oil
  10. salt to taste
  11. seasonings - mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves

  1. Heat oil in a wide mouthed pan and when hot add the seasonings and when the mustard starts to pop add the onions (and green chilies if using) and saute till translucent.
  2. Add the potatoes, peas and corn with salt and the chili powdered and sprinkle just a tsp of water. Close the lid and let the vegetables get cooked. Once cooked the vegetables should not be soggy.
  3. Once the vegetables are cooked if it has some moisture, keep the lid open and let the moisture evaporate completely.
  4. Break the idli with your fingers without any big lumps and add them in along with the idli powder and the sesame oil.
  5. Saute for a couple more minutes and turn off the heat.
Perfect in a lunch box along with a cup of yogurt.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe!


  1. That's a lovely twist to normal idli it....

  2. nice..i too make sometimes the similar one

  3. If only we had this when I was a kid, ISG - my mother tried to get those peas and carrots, corn and limas into us in a nasty concoction called frozen mixed veggies. Your upma is SO much more appealing :)

    Regarding Obamacare -- aside from the insurance 'marketplace' fiasco -- the regulations are a major reason I cannot obtain full-time employment now. Even working two part-time jobs is not enough to support oneself. Let's start a business! You be the chef... I will be the quality control officer -- that means I get to taste test all the time! ;)

    1. Linda, Obamacare is a politician doing something without understanding what he is doing :( I know.
      You have a deal, let's get working on our business. Ready to move to DC? I have about 10 years before the kiddies are off to college

  4. In 10 years ISG, I may well be ready to move 'back east' -- DC area is fabulous. Or perhaps the kids will want to go to U of Michigan and you can move here! ;)

    OK, let's get to work. First we'll need market research, and a business plan -- I plan to taste-test many recipes! ;) And you know, I am only half-joking.


Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate you taking the time.
Comments embedded with links, spam and in poor taste will not be published.