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How to make the perfect Indian lunch

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While the thought of having Indian food for lunch might strike you as a bit heavy, we have the perfect lighter option to prevent you needing a mid-afternoon nap at your desk.

We spoke to Nitesh Goyal from Bombay Palace, who have just started a new 'Lunch 2 Go' service, and he gave us his three dishes that combine to make the perfect Indian lunch.

Basmati Rice

Ingredients (4 persons)

Basmati Rice: 100 grams

Cumin: 1 tea spoon

Bayleaves: 2

Cinnamon: 1 small stick

Cloves: 4

Green Cardamom: 3

Sliced onions: 50 grams

Vegetable Oil: 1 table spoon

Water: 250 ml

Salt: to taste

Method

1. Wash the rice three times in cold water to remove the starch. Keep to the side.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves and allow to crackle.

3. Add the sliced onions and cook them till golden brown.

4. Add water and salt and bring to boil. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.

5. Drain any excess water by pouring the rice into a colander.

6. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

Chickpea Masala

Ingredients (4 persons)

Chickpeas: 200 grams

Oil: 1 table spoon

Onions: 1 large onion

Tomato: 2 tomatoes

Ginger Garlic paste: 2 tea spoons

Chana Masala Spice Powder: 1 table spoon (Please note that this is available in any Indian store ready to use)

Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon

Salt: to taste

Lemon Juice: 1 table spoon

Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon

Method

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in water. Boil the soaked chickeas until soft. You can also buy canned boiled chickpeas and avoid the above 2 steps of soaking and boiling the chickpeas.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin and let it crackle.

3. Add ginger garlic paste and cook till golden brown.

4. Add chopped onions and cook till they turn golden brown.

5. Add chopped tomatoes and stir until tomatoes are cooked and the oil starts to separate.

6. Add the Chana Masala Spice powder and salt.

7. Add the boiled chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes.

8. Sprinkle garam masala and finish with chopped coriander and lemon juice.

Saag Aloo (Spinach and Potato)

Ingredients (4 persons)

Fresh spinach: 500 grams

Potato: 2 (Boiled and cut in cubes)

Onion: 1 (Finely chopped)

Ginger Garlic Paste: 2 teaspoons

Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds: 1 tea spoon

Salt: to taste

Fresh ginger: 1 tablespoon (Juliennes)

Oil: 1 tablespoon

Method

1. Wash spinach thoroughly in cold running water.

2. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 3 minutes and keep in a colander. Pour cold water immediately to prevent it from losing colour.

3. Now puree the spinach in a blender.

4. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and allow to crackle.

5. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook to golden brown.

6. Add the chopped onions and cook till golden brown

7. Add the Garam Masala and stir.

8. Add the spinach and cook for 20 minutes. If needed pour ½ a teacup of water incase the spinach starts to stick to the pan.

9. Add the salt and stir.

10. Add the potato and cook for a further 10 minutes on a reduced flame.

11. Garnish with juliennes of ginger and serve hot.

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