Protein rich South Indian lunch

BM #116 : Week 5, Day 3
Theme : Fruit platter

The thali here is not a planned thali. I was making lunch and was planning to cook quinoa for me. It was only when the meal was coming together that I realized it was a protein rich meal. Not every single item is protein rich, but most of it. Our usual lunches will have only one source of lentils or beans. We don’t make dal based sambar and then serve it with dry beans based Sundal. But I made an exception here since I had some leftover chickpeas and boiled eggs I wanted to finish off. Sometimes it’s the leftovers that craft the lunch at my place 😁.

We have started stocking up frozen vadas from Indian store. It’s a quick solution when you crave for a snack or when you don’t want to prepare a side dish for lunch. I thaw it in microwave and then cook for a few minutes in the dosa pan. That seems to work for me. The best part is I can serve a single vada instead of making an entire batch. So I decided to add the vada also to the thali, which my family loved.

Read on for the recipes and more pictures.

The thali has

  1. Quinoa
  2. Carrot and tomato sambar
  3. Chickpeas Sundal
  4. Sautéed Okra
  5. Masala eggs
  6. Yogurt
  7. Mango pickle (readymade)
  8. Potato chips (readymade)
  9. Urad dal vada (readymade)

Chickpea Sundal

  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add one teaspoon of mustard seeds. Once it pops, add salt as needed, a teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas. Mix carefully.
  • Let it cook for 3-4 minutes until flavors mingle well and chickpeas are heated through.
  • Now add 2-3 tablespoons of shredded coconut. Start with 2 and then add the third spoon if you want to. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Remove from heat and serve with rice and sambar.

Sautéed okra

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. Once it pops, add 3 cups of cleaned and sliced okra. Add salt as needed and 1 teaspoon of chili powder. Carefully mix.
  • Heat this on low to medium heat, stirring in between carefully a couple of times, until the okra is done. I don’t stir too many times to avoid breaking of okra. The sliminess reduces as the okra is cooked. Remove from heat and serve as a side dish.

Masala eggs:

  • Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of turmeric powder. Add 1/4 teaspoon sambar powder to the oil. Mix well with a spatula.
  • Now slice a boiled egg into two lengthwise. Carefully keep the flat side down on the masala mix. Cook for 45 seconds and carefully flip and cook the other side too. You can cook it for a longer time too if you want it more crispier. Remove from the heat and serve with rice.

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Lady’s ‘Figure’ Kichadi

Yeah, you read it right. Its Lady’s ‘Figure’, not finger – at least that’s how it was labelled in the supermarket.

My neighbor, who saw this, pointed it out to the sales girls there. The girls confidently said that its the right spelling. Having the sense not to argue,  my neighbor moved on to the next item ‘Bottem Guard’,or bitter gourd as the rest of us know it. The rest of the items were labelled correctly. I wish there was a picture of it to share!

Back to the Kichadi, this is an easy side dish. I use the microwave method, which is really easier than the stove top method. The only way to make it even easier (don’t think I didn’t explore it!) is to call up your mom and ask her to cook it for you. Since that is not an option for me (mom is in Trivandrum), I will stick to the microwave method.


Vendakka/Okra/ Lady’s Finger : 1/4 kg (about 15), cut into fine rounds

Coconut : 1/4 cup

Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp

Jeera/Cumin : 1/2 tsp

Green Chillies : 1

Curd/Yogurt : 1 cup

Mustard seeds : 1tsp, for seasoning

Red chillies :1, for seasoning

Curry leaves : a few

Oil: 1-2 tsp, to saute

Salt: to taste


  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the okra to it. Cook, stirring occasionally till okra is cooked. You can close with a lid for a minute or two in between, to fasten the cooking process.
  2. Turn off the heat once its cooked. If possible, cook till the okra is crisp. Keep aside.
  3. Grind together the coconut, mustard seeds, jeera and green chillies with a bit of water, into a smooth paste.
  4. Add this mixture to the yogurt, add salt and mix nicely.
  5. When its serving time, mix the yogurt mixture and the okra nicely.
  6. Heat oil and season with mustard, curry leaves and red chillies.
  7. Add the kichadi to the pan and let it cook for a minute before serving.
  8. Serve hot with rice.


The crispy okra will go soft when mixed with curd. So, you need to mix it only at the time of serving. You can even season the yogurt mixture and keep aside, so that all you have to do is mix okra to it at the time of serving.

Easier Method:

  1. Add a spoonful or two of oil to the okra and microwave for about 8-10 minutes, stirring once in between.
  2. If its not crisp by then, keep for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add to the yogurt & coconut mixture at the time of serving.