Cranberry and Mango Pilaf ( Back to school Collab )

Ahh. Finally the schools are re-opening after the much needed summer break. As much as it brings relief to the aggrieved mommies like me, planning for the tiffin/lunch box becomes a major headache. One has to ensure things like nutritional value, individual preferences and even variety to ensure that the neatly packed labor of one's love does not return home untouched or half-eaten.

With most of the schools having two recess breaks (usually from standard 1) these days, it is important to plan the boxes in such a way that it includes all the five nutrient groups, i.e., carbs, protein, dairy, fruit and veggies ! For example if one of the boxes contain a whole grain sandwich with a spicy chickpeas and vegetables filling, the other box can have a stuffed paratha or any kind of wrap with yogurt/hung curd and fruits. For a typical Indian variant, one can try a vegetable upma / idli and vegetable chutney for the first box and a simple rice dish with a fruity raita/paneer and vegetables curry for the second box. One can create many such permutations and combinations which not only add variety to the lunchbox menu but also make it possible to provide wholesome and balanced diet to the growing kids. And thankfully, quite a few schools, with the help of nutritional experts, have started sending out circulars as to what should be there in the kid's lunchbox. A different menu for each day to expose the kids to a variety of edibles. I find it to be a great initiative because when all the kids start to carry wholesome foodstuff in their boxes, the demand for junk food automatically dies down.

With my kid having a distinct preference for all things sweet and also a little bit tangy, I often make a sweet fruit pulao for his lunchbox. I complement it with a veggies fry which works quite well for him. But for kids who like yogurt/paneer, a simple Boondi raita or a semi dry Paneer curry can also be packed along with the pulao. For my kid, I prefer to use the small grained fragrant rice as it is easier for him to swallow. For that matter, do you know any kid who chews up properly ? Huh huh. But for grown ups, this recipe goes great with the long grained Basmati brown rice !

Read on for the recipe -
[ And do remember to scroll down to the bottom of this post to check the collaboration recipes with Saswati 's Delish Potpourri and Parinaaz's A Dollop of That ]
















Preparation Tim - 15 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 1 cup rice ( I used fine grade jeera rice or Gobindo bhog )
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 2 dry red chili ( very mild heat )
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp ghee 
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of saffron ( soaked in 2 tsp milk )
  • a handful of dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup ripe mango (chopped into small cubes)

Preparation - Wash and clean the rice. Drain the water. Add turmeric powder and mix evenly. Let it air dry for 1-2 hours.

Cooking - Heat the ghee in a cooker. Add all the whole spices and stir fry till fragrant.

Add the rice and fry for 2-3 mins till all the grains are coated with ghee. Finally add 2 cups water, sugar, salt, chopped cranberries and the soaked saffron strands.

Close lid and cook for 1-2 whistles ( about 12-14 mins ). Allow steam to escape before removing the lid.

Stir in the mangoes and let it stand covered for 5 mins for the flavor to get imbibed.

















Pack into the lunchbox along with a raita or a semi dry curry of your kid's choice.

















For more such delicious recipes, check out these blogs !!

Check out Saswati' blog 'Delish Potpourri' for a yummy Peanut Butter Chocolate Trial mix Granola Bars. recipe

Image courtesy : Delishpotpourri.com




















and Parinaaz's blog ' A Dollop of That ' for some lip-smacking Ragi Banana Pancakes  .






















That certainly takes care of the Kiddo's snack box. What say !!

Comments

  1. Wow so refreshing, will definitely make this for Zar too!

    Yes its great with schools initiating healthy eating, infact my bff's toddler will start playschool this year which serves snacks to the kids themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow Sweta what a delightful share..and looks ready to be devoured.

    ReplyDelete

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