KIDS LUNCH BOX #54 – Masala Pasta + Rice Krispies + Apple
Some kids school lunch box ideas to try…
- Spinach Corn Sandwich + Orange + Almonds & Pistachios
- Masala Rice + Lauki Raita + Broccoli Smileys
- Makhana Paratha + Potato Sagu + Mixed Nuts
- Potato Spinach Pancakes + Sprouted Moong & Corn Salad+ Grapes
- Butternut Squash Pasta + Dry Grapes + Orange
Here is what I packed for school lunch…
Instant Pot Masala Pasta
Measuring cup used ,1 cup = 250ml
- 8 oz farfalle pasta (about 2.5 cups) or any pasta
- 2 large tomatoes (about 1.5 cups tomato puree)
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
- 2 cups mixed vegetables(carrot, bell pepper, green peas)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 2 tablespoon shredded cheese (optional)
Instant Pot Method:
- In a pot, boil water add whole tomato to blanch. Take out tomato after 5 mins.Once tomato has cooled ,peel of the skin and puree in a blender without adding water.Keep aside.*You can also use 1.5 cups or 12 oz of crushed canned tomato
- Press SAUTE mode on Instant Pot. Add olive oil and once it’s hot add cumin(jeera) seeds, let them crackle.Then add chopped onions and minced ginger garlic and saute till the onions are soft and translucent.
- Then add water or veggie broth ,salt and de-glaze the pot.Make sure there’s no brown bits stuck at the bottom.
- Then add dry pasta, mixed vegetables ,garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tomato ketchup, salt to the instant pot.Spread tomato puree on top. Gently push all pasta under liquid. Do not mix it.Most of the pasta should be covered in the sauce and water. If it is not, add some more water.
- Close the lid on the pot, and turn pressure valve to SEALING position.Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and set timer to 4 minutes.Let the pressure release naturally for 3 minutes and then quick release the pressure.
- Using Farfalle Pasta in this recipe which has 10 minutes for cooking on stove top. So to cook on Instant Pot – Divide the cook time by half and minus one for al dente pasta.So its 4 minutes.For softer pasta do 5 minutes.
- Then quickly stir the pasta and garnish with cilantro(coriander leaves).
- Indian Style Masala Pasta is ready to be served.
Stove Top Pot Method:
- Firstly, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add some salt to the water and cook the pasta, according to the package instructions. I used Farfalle, but you can use your favorite pasta. Other good pasta options are: penne , spaghetti or even tortellini!.Reserve some pasta water for later use.
- While the pasta is cooking, Blanch tomato and make the tomato puree.
- Add olive oil and once it’s hot add cumin(jeera) seeds, let them crackle.Then add chopped onions and minced ginger garlic and saute till the onions are soft and translucent.
- Next add tomato puree & sauté it for about 2-3 minutes till the oil separates.
- Then add the mixed vegetables and cook till they are tender.
- Next add in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder ,salt and tomato ketchup and saute for a minute.
- Add cooked pasta, reserved pasta water and mix well.Cover and cook for 2-3 mins, so that pasta absorbs in flavor. Garnish with cilantro(coriander leaves).You can also add some cheese on top.
- Indian Style Masala Pasta is ready to be served.
- If you don’t have olive oil, you can use butter or regular cooking oil as well.
- You can use any kind of pasta’s like macaroni ,penne.
- Try using Whole wheat ,Lentils or Veggie pasta for kids.
- You can also add sweet corn, broccoli for this pasta.
- If you dont have time prepare tomato puree, you can just use canned crushed tomato.
- You can add pav bhaji masala instead of garam masala to give it a twist
- You can also add cheese in the Pasta after cooking.
- Pasta sauce should not be too thick else after mixing pasta they become dry when eaten later.
- The sauce will seem thin when you start to mix in the pasta. Don’t worry, just keep tossing. The starches from the pasta will mix into the sauce to give the the perfect consistency.
- BURN ALERT ? If your instant pot has shown BURN in the past, add ½ cup of extra water while making this pasta.Tomato based sauces easily stick to the bottom of the pot during sauteing.So thats the reason we are just spreading sauce on top of the pasta.
SNACK – Rice Krispies - I used store brought rice krispies.
SNACK – Apple - I have sliced the apple and cut them into heart shape and smeared some lime jucie so that they dont turn brown when kept for long time.Always try to use local and seasonal fruits.
Prep Work For The Previous Evening
- You can cut the vegetables for pasta previous night and refrigerate.
- Packed in a stainless steel tiffin box called Lunchbots which is Eco-Friendly, Dishwasher Safe, BPA-Free and is easily available on Amazon .Do not use plastic lunch boxes to your kids, they are toxic.
- You can increase or decrease quantity based on your child’s appetite.