Whether you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, or the ad­ven­tur­ous type who loves to ex­per­i­ment, Jas­mine Ban­dali cre­ates a col­lec­tion of fool-proof recipes – from midday win­ners to af­ter-school saviours – to en­sure a clean lunch­box or plate, ev­ery time

Friday - - Contents -

Lunch­box ideas lit­tle ones will love.


Makes 1 sand­wich Blue food colour­ing, a few drops 1 red radish, sliced 1 slice ched­dar cheese 2 slices bread 2 thin slices deli turkey or chicken 1 tomato slice Black food colour­ing 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced 1 jumbo frank­furter sausage 1 slice hon­ey­dew melon Mul­ti­colour gold­fish crack­ers, straw­ber­ries, pop­corn and baby car­rots, to serve A few leaves of ro­maine let­tuce YOU WILL ALSO NEED Bam­boo skew­ers Tooth­picks, sharp ends re­moved

Colour about 3 ta­ble­spoons of wa­ter with a few drops of blue food colour­ing in a bowl. Place the radish slices in the coloured wa­ter and al­low them to soak up the colour for about 5 min­utes. Re­move and run the un­der run­ning wa­ter to re­move ex­cess colour­ing. Set aside. Cut a curvy edge in cheese slice us­ing a sharp knife. Re­serve the ex­cess cheese to make the cheeks and the nose. Make a few small holes in the cheese to make a sponge-like ap­pear­ance, and cut a mouth into the cheese. Make a sand­wich from the two slices of bread and a slice of the turkey or chicken. Cut off the crusts. Place the cheese on top of the sand­wich. Place a slice of tomato (just the hol­lowed out shell, no seeds) un­der­neath the mouth, and a small semi-cir­cle made from the re­main­ing turkey or chicken slice, to cre­ate the tongue. Place two slices of hard­boiled egg on the cheese to cre­ate eyes. Add a slice of dyed blue radish on top of the egg slices. Make two small dots on the radish us­ing the black food colour­ing on to com­plete the eyes and se­cure in place with a tooth­pick. Use the re­served cheese to cre­ate three small cir­cles, one slightly smaller than the other two. Place the two larger cheese cir­cles be­neath the eyes to cre­ate cheeks, adding the smaller cir­cle for the nose. Se­cure with tooth­picks. Make freck­les on the cheeks us­ing the black food colour­ing. Your sand­wich is ready. Now to pre­pare the skew­ers, cut thick slices from the frank­furter and cut out stars from the slices, us­ing a cookie cut­ter. Cre­ate stars from the slice of hon­ey­dew, and thread the frank­furter and melon stars on to the bam­boo skew­ers. Set aside. To as­sem­ble the box, place the ro­maine let­tuce leave at the bot­tom. Top with the SpongeBob sand­wich. Ar­range the star sausage and melon bam­boo skew­ers on the side, and fill the bento with fruit, car­rots, gold­fish crack­ers and pop­corn.


Serves 4 Sun­flower oil 2 onions, sliced 1 can chopped toma­toes 1 tbsp gar­lic paste ½ tbsp gin­ger paste 1 tbsp green chilli paste 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp turmeric pow­der 1 tbsp cumin pow­der 1 tbsp co­rian­der pow­der 1kg lamb or beef cubes 2 po­ta­toes, peeled and quar­tered 2 whole small loaves farm­house bread, un­sliced 1 tsp garam masala A hand­ful of fresh co­rian­der, chopped Place a large pan over a high heat and add enough oil to coat the bot­tom of the pan. Add the onions and sauté un­til golden brown. Add the chopped toma­toes, gar­lic, gin­ger and chilli pastes. Stir to com­bine. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin and co­rian­der pow­ders. Mix to com­bine. Add the meat and po­ta­toes. Bring to the boil, then cover and re­duce the heat to low. Stir the mix­ture at 15-minute in­ter­vals for about an hour or un­til the meat is ten­der. Add a lit­tle wa­ter if the mix­ture ap­pears too dry. Turn off the heat. Sprin­kle the garam masala over the top, then add the fresh co­rian­der and stir to com­bine. Pre­heat the oven to 180°C. Place the two loaves of bread in the oven for 5 min­utes to achieve a crisp and sturdy outer crust. Re­move the loaves and cut them in half. Us­ing a sharp knife, hol­low out each of the half loaves, leav­ing a thick wall around the bot­tom and the sides. La­dle the curry into the bread bowls and serve with the bread mid­dle for dip­ping.

Hail­ing from Dur­ban in South Africa, this dish was tra­di­tion­ally pre­pared for In­dian labourers work­ing on plan­ta­tions, as an easy por­ta­ble meal. It con­sists of curry stuffed into a hol­lowed-out bread bowl. It’s a hands-on, messy af­fair, with the re­moved bread used to scoop up the de­li­cious fill­ing

Bento box Dh52.50, place­mat Dh35, puz­zle Dh84,al­lPot­tery BarnKids This is a creative way to get kids to clear their lunch­box. It’s a lit­tle labour-in­ten­sive, but bril­liant as a once-a-week treat that they’ll adore

Kate Spade Hop­scotch plate Dh75, nap­kin Dh55,both­Bloom­ing­dale’s Home EAT letters Dh35each,and cut­lery set Dh35,both­Pot­teryBarnKids 53

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