Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

I know I am very late for this post….the whole week is almost over! To be honest I had lost interest in weekly photo challenges because I observed that I was not writing any thing else and whole week went off waiting for a new photo challenge and the comments from fellow bloggers. Though it was fun…in fact some good bloggers boosted my spirits by nominating many awards  and that was soooooooo satisfying ! But I was not getting new visitors…..that was making me seriously doubt my writing ability. And so I stopped participating. However, a few months back a mail from eof737 asking about my well-being and the concern made me feel perked up (thank you so much “eof737”) . I realized that by not writing I was not only loosing out on some probably new visitors but also the ones who were reading my blog!! Now I am again trying to reach out to bloggers old and new with this weekly photo challenge.

Lunchtime is one such event at our home when the three of us are seldom together….my daughter does not come back from school till around 2:30 p.m, my husband has no fixed time of returning home from work. All of us eat at our own convenient times. Today was one of the rare times when all of us sat down at dining table and had lunch together. Even our dog “Buddy” stretched down near the table content  that all were at home and safe!

The lunch menu was simple regular home-made food : dal (lentil gravy), paneer-simla mirch(capsicum and cottage cheese), bathua raita (plain home-made curd or yoghurt with white-goosefoot/pigweed leaves), chapati/roti (indian wheat bread) and basmati rice. Though  there was nothing out of the ordinary in the menu but it became special because we all were at home!

I am fairly good cook and quite proud that I can cook not only Indian food but can manage a few of the Chinese, Italian, Mexican and Thai recipes too! I like watching all food channels ( and I am myself surprised because a decade back I loathed kitchen and all chopping and cutting and forever upset my mom!). But taking advantage of the photo challenge today I am posting not only the photos but also the recipe..

1. Capsicum and Cottage cheese:



1 large onion(  finely chopped)

2 large ripe tomatoes (finely chopped)

2 medium capsicum (cut into big chunks)

150 gm cottage cheese (bite sized squares)

1 tsp garam masala (1/4 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp cardamom, 1/2 tsp black pepper ground to a powder)

Heat 2tbsp oil in a wok. Cook onion till transparent. Add tomatoes, 1/2 tsp turmeric and ground red pepper powder and one slit green chilly. When the oil starts separating add capsicum.  Once the capsicum softens add cottage cheese, salt and garam masala. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve!

2. Dal :



1 tbsp of each split black gram (urad chika), kidney beans (rajma), split and skinned bengal gram ( chana dal), pink lentil (masoor) soaked overnight and cooked till soft

3 tbsp paste of 2onions,2 tomatoes, 3cloves of garlic, a small piece of ginger

1tsp garam masala

Heat oil and fry the paste till oil separates. Add the cooked lentils salt, garam masala and 1 cup water( or more) Bring to boil. The dal should not be very watery nor like a paste…. more like a thick soup. Heat a little butter and add 1 tsp of cumin seeds till they splutter. Garnish with this butter and cumin  and chopped fresh coriander.

3. Bathua Raita:



2 cup curd/plain yoghurt

2 tbsp blanched and pureed  pig weed leaves

rock-salt, powdered sugar, salt, black pepper powder roasted cumin powder (to taste)

Mix all and chill. Serve with rice or naan or any Indian bread.

4. Chapati/Roti:



1 cup whole wheat flour

1tsp oil


Knead the flour to make soft pliable dough with water and apply oil. Make small rounds and with the help of a rolling-pin make a 6 inch flat  thin disc . Roast on hot plate. Serve hot with clarified butter.

Today’s lunch was quite satisfying and I look forward to more such lunches with the family…