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5 healthy lunchbox recipes by MasterChef India contestant Harish Closepet aka Harry

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Yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and dinner is also something most people don’t skip. This leaves us with the most neglected meal of the day – lunch. Since it falls right in the middle of the day, it is not just neglected but also determined as a luxury most people can only afford if they get the time. But most people don’t understand that eating lunch on time is very important. It is essential because it provides energy and nutrients to keep your body and brain working efficiently through the afternoon. While it is important, you should have a healthy lunch that will not only give you energy but also promote overall health.

MasterChef India contestant Harish Closepet, fondly called Harry, and the man behind the Instagram page Harry’s Lunchbox, shares 10 healthy lunchbox recipes with Health Shots to make your mid-day meals more interesting and healthy.

Healthy lunch recipes

Healthy lunchbox recipes by Harish Closepet aka Harry of Masterchef India

Here are 10 healthy yet delicious recipes by the chef that you can try at home:

1. Poha Fusion Delight

A. Paneer Poha


  • 1/2 cup of thick poha
  • Oil (as needed)
  • A small amount of urad dal
  • Mustard seeds (as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Green chillies (to taste)
  • Grated ginger (to taste)
  • Diced carrots (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4th cup of diced paneer
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kashmiri Chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • Chopped coriander (as needed)
  • Optional: Lemon juice (as needed)


1. Soak 1/2 cup of thick poha in water for 7 minutes, then drain it.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add urad dal and mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, green chillies, and grated ginger. Stir-fry for a minute.
4. Add about 1 cup of diced carrots and stir-fry for approximately 5 minutes until they soften.
5. Add 1/4th cup of diced paneer and approximately 1/2 teaspoon of Kashmiri Chilli powder. Mix well.
6. Add the soaked poha, season with salt to taste, and add a pinch of garam masala.
7. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Open the pan, add chopped coriander, and optionally, a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavour. Mix and serve.

B. Tomato Cashew Chutney

  • Coriander seeds (to taste)
  • Dry red chillies (to taste)
  • Cashews (to taste)
  • Diced onion (about 1 medium-sized onion)
  • Diced tomato (about 2 medium-sized tomatoes)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 20 ml of water (adjust as needed)
  • Chopped curry leaves for garnish (as needed)


1. In a pan, dry roast coriander seeds, dry red chillies, and cashews until they become fragrant and lightly browned.
2. Add diced onion and stir-fry until it becomes translucent.
3. Add diced tomato and cook for approximately 3 minutes until they soften.
4. Add salt to taste and around 20 ml of water. Mix well.
5. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth chutney consistency.
6. Garnish with chopped curry leaves.

Lunch Box Tip: Finish both dishes with cherry tomatoes for a balanced taste. Enjoy your delicious lunch!

Lunchbox 2: Portein-packed meal box

A. High Protein Upma


  • Soya chunks (200 grams)
  • 1 litre of hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of sambar powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped curry leaves (a handful)
  • Grated ginger (1 tablespoon)
  • Oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Urad dal (1 tablespoon)
  • Mustard seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Roasted rava (semolina) – 1 cup (approximately 150 ml)
  • Chopped tomatoes (2 medium-sized)
  • Chopped coriander for garnish


1. Start by soaking 200 grams of soya chunks in 1 litre of hot water.
2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of sambar powder, salt to taste, chopped curry leaves, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger to the water.
3. In a separate pan, prepare the seasoning by heating 2 tablespoons of oil and adding 1 tablespoon of urad dal and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds.
4. Add 1 cup (approximately 150 ml) of roasted rava (semolina) to the seasoning and mix well.
5. Pour in the boiling water with soya chunks and close the lid for 7 to 10 minutes.
6. Afterwards, open the lid and add 2 medium-sized chopped tomatoes.
7. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

B. Dry Coconut Chutney


  • Desiccated coconut (1/2 cup)
  • Onion (1 small)
  • Green chillies (2)
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon (juice of 1 lemon)


1. In a hand chopper, combine 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut, 1 small onion, 2 green chillies, salt to taste, and the juice of 1 lemon.
2. Chop for 1 minute until you achieve a fine chutney consistency.

Also Read: Have you had whey protein as a pancake or curry? Try these recipes

C. Carrot Vinegar Salad


  • Grated carrot (2 cups)
  • Vinegar (2 tablespoons)
  • Chopped coriander (a handful)
  • Salt to taste


1. Create a refreshing Carrot Vinegar Salad by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar, a handful of chopped coriander, and salt to taste to 2 cups of grated carrot.
2. Mix well to enjoy this zesty and nutritious side dish.

Lunch Box Tip: Pair the High Protein Upma with the Dry Coconut Chutney and the Carrot Vinegar Salad for a balanced and satisfying meal. Enjoy your Protein-Packed Meal Box!

Lunchbox 3: Italian Delight Lunchbox

A. Italian Peas Sandwich


  • 1 cup of cooked peas
  • Chopped green olives (to taste)
  • Chopped black olives (to taste)
  • Chopped jalapeños (to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Italian dry spices (to taste)
  • Bread slices (as needed)
  • Oil (for toasting)
  • Crushed pepper (as needed)


1. Mash 1 cup of cooked peas with a fork in a mixing bowl.
2. Add chopped green olives, black olives, and jalapeños to your taste.
3. Season the mixture with salt and Italian dry spices, adjusting to your preference.
4. Mix well to create your sandwich filling.
5. Toast bread slices with a touch of oil until they’re lightly browned.
6. Spread the filling evenly on the bread slices.
7. Sprinkle a bit of crushed pepper and close your sandwich.

healthy lunch recipes
Try the delicious Italian Delight Lunchbox if you want to eat a healthy lunch. Image courtesy: Harish Closepet

B. Oregano Dip


  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon of dry oregano
  • Peri peri (to your preference)
  • A pinch of salt


1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of yoghurt, 1 teaspoon of dry oregano, peri-peri to your preference, and a pinch of salt.
2. Blend the mixture using a hand blender or a beater until it becomes smooth and well-mixed.

Lunch Box Tip: Complete your Italian Delights Lunchbox with cherry tomatoes or some fresh fruit to round out your meal. Enjoy this Italian-inspired lunch!

Lunchbox 4: Spice Delight Lunchbox

A. Peas Pepper Rice


  • Rice (as needed)
  • 1 spoon of oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • Cooked peas (approximately 1 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground peppercorns (to taste)
  • Ground coriander (to taste)


1. Cook the desired amount of rice with 1 spoon of oil, a pinch of salt, and 2 times the amount of water in a rice cooker.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice with approximately 1 cup of cooked peas.
3. Season with salt to taste and add ground peppercorn and ground coriander to your liking.

B. Chilli Broccoli


  • Broken Byaadgi Chilli (to taste)
  • Oil (as needed)
  • Broccoli (as needed)
  • Garlic paste (1 teaspoon)
  • Water (1-2 tablespoons)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Roasted peanuts (as needed)


1. Heat oil in a pan and add broken Byaadgi Chilli, stir-frying for 30 seconds.
2. Add broccoli and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
3. Mix 1 teaspoon of garlic paste with 1-2 tablespoons of water and add it to the pan.
4. Season with a pinch of salt and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
5. Finally, add roasted peanuts and toss for 30 seconds to complete the dish.

C. Tomato Crush


  • Onions (as needed)
  • Chopped tomatoes (as needed)
  • Sambar powder (to taste)
  • Rasam powder (to taste)
  • Green chilli (to taste)
  • Salt to taste


1. In a pan, stir-fry onions until they become translucent.
2. Add chopped tomatoes after 2 minutes and mix well.
3. Gently crush the tomatoes to make them juicy.
4. Add sambar powder, rasam powder, green chilli, and salt to taste, adjusting to your preference.

Lunch Box Tip: Finish your Spice Delight Lunchbox with a few cherry tomatoes for a refreshing touch. Share with your friends and enjoy your delightful lunch!

Lunchbox 5: Italian Kiwi Fusion Lunchbox

A. Juicy Tomato Pasta


  • Select vegetables (as needed)
  • 4 juicy tomatoes, chopped
  • 50 ml of water
  • Italian spices (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Olives (as needed)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooked pasta (100g)


1. Start by sautéing your choice of select vegetables and set them aside.
2. In the same pan, add 4 chopped juicy tomatoes and pour in 50 ml of water.
3. Simmer with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
4. Gently smash the tomatoes with your spatula and add the previously sautéed vegetables.
5. Add half a teaspoon of Italian spices and olives.
6. Mix everything with salt to taste.
7. Incorporate 100 g of cooked pasta.
8. Mix well and serve.

Italian Kiwi Fusion Lunchbox
Try Italian Kiwi Fusion Lunchbox to spice up your meal. Image courtesy: Harish Closepet

B. Golden Kiwi Salad


  • Iceberg lettuce (as needed)
  • Diced golden kiwi (as needed)
  • Dash of salt
  • Sprinkle of black chia seeds


1. Prepare a refreshing Golden Kiwi Salad by chopping iceberg lettuce and mixing it with diced golden kiwi.
2. Add a dash of salt and a sprinkle of black chia seeds.
3. Mix and serve this healthy and vibrant salad.

C. Ginger Garlic Herb Bread


  • Regular bread slices (as needed)
  • Drizzle of oil
  • Ginger garlic paste (to taste)
  • Chilli flakes (to taste)
  • Pinch of salt


1. Cut regular bread slices into fingers.
2. Drizzle a bit of oil over them, then add ginger garlic paste, chilli flakes, and a pinch of salt.
3. Mix it thoroughly by hand so that every piece gets marinated.
4. Place them on a heated pan and let them sit for 5 minutes.
5. Toss them after two minutes a few times until they are ready.
6. Enjoy your flavorful bread fingers!

Lunch Box Tip: Pair your Juicy Tomato Pasta with the Golden Kiwi Salad and Ginger Garlic Herb Bread for a delightful and unique lunchbox. Enjoy!

Get out of the lunch rut and try these healthy lunchbox recipes! But don’t forget to check with a healthcare professional before adding any new recipes to your diet. Also, make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned in the article!

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