Tiffin Tales

March 1st, 2018

Celebrity Chef and author Vicky Ratnani shows us how to whip up quick ‘n’ easy meals to make lunchtime a delectably enjoyable affair!

If you’re a working woman and you’re racing against the clock to get to work, you might find it bothersome to whip up lunch for yourself in the morning. But eating out isn’t exactly a healthy option and will eventually take a toll on you, both physically and mentally.

There recipes help you turn the tide and take better care of yourself with recipes that are simple to put together and tote to work. “With a little pre-planning, you can create delicious and wholesome lunchtime meals,” avers Vicky. Enjoy!

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes & Basil

Serves 2


2 cups pasta (penne)

1 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tsp garlic, chopped

½ tsp dry red chilli flakes

1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup tomatoes, crushed

Salt to taste

½ tsp cracked black pepper

2-3 fresh basil leaves

Parmesan cheese to garnish


1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 9 minutes. Drain, set aside.

2. In a pan, heat up some olive oil, sweat the onions, garlic and red chilli flakes for about a minute or so.

3. Add the crushed tomatoes, cook briefly for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Place the pasta in a dish and top with the tomatoes. Finish with some grated parmesan cheese and fresh
basil leaves.

Market Green Salad

Serves 2


1 cup lettuce leaves, cut into chunks

4 tomatoes, quartered

1 red onion, cut into roundles/ rings

4-5 black olives, pitted

1 cucumber, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp lemon juice

1/3 tsp mustard

Salt, as required

Pepper, as required


1. Wash the lettuce. Rinse well, pat dry and reserve. Arrange in a dish.

2. Toss in the rest of the veggies and the olives.

3. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.

4. Mix the dressing with the salad before eating.

Olive, Tuna & Corn Salad

Serves 2


½ cup green olives, sliced

1 cup corn kernels, blanched

1 tin canned tuna

2 cups lamb’s lettuce

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp parsley, chopped


1. Blanch the corn kernels in boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and shock in iced water. Drain and reserve.

2. Drain the tuna into a clean bowl. Flake with a fork.

3. Mix together the olives with
the tuna.

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil and add the chopped parsley.

5. Mix along with the lettuce
just before serving. Tastes better when chilled.

Chicken Tacos

Serves 2


4-6 taco shells

For the mince

300 gm chicken mince

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp oregano

2 tbsp tomato purée

Coriander leaves, chopped,
as required

For the salsa

1 tbsp onions, chopped

1 tbsp tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp coriander leaves, chopped

1 tsp green chillies, chopped

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Iceberg lettuce leaves and tomato quaters to garnish


1. Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil for a minute. Add the chicken mince and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the ground spices and seasonings and cook well until the meat is cooked and most of the moisture has been absorbed. Add the chopped coriander and reserve until needed.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the salsa except the lettuce and tomatoes. Season to taste.

3. Cut the lettuce into fine chiffonade or strips.

4. To assemble: Line the tacos with the lettuce at the bottom. Spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the salsa and tomato quarters.

Tidbit: You can easily carry each element separately and put together your masterpiece at work. Also, this is a good option to perk up your leftover mince.

Grilled Chicken Salad

Serves 2


1 boneless chicken breast, skinned

1 cup mixed green lettuce

1 cup chickpeas, cooked

1 egg

Croutons, as required

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Marinade for chicken

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp parsley, chopped (optional)

1 tsp garlic paste

½ tsp cumin powder

Dressing for lettuce

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp lemon juice

½ tsp mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Marinate the chicken for an hour or so. Then grill the chicken breast on a hot pan or in the oven until cooked (this can be done in advance).

2. Toss the lettuce with the dressing.

3. Poach or boil the egg in water. Drain and set aside.

4. Season the chickpeas and toss them with the leaves.

5. Slice the chicken breast into slivers. Top with the egg.

6. For the croutons: Use any kind of bread. Cut the bread into cubes. Season with a touch of salt and olive oil. Toast in the oven or in a pan until golden brown. Cool and store in an airtight container. You can even flavour the croutons with any spice of your choice.

7. Assemble the key ingredients together and garnish with the croutons and grated parmesan cheese.

Veggie Omelette

Serves 2


4 eggs

½ cup cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp onion, chopped

2 tbsp bell peppers, chopped

1 tsp parsley or coriander, chopped

1 tbsp butter/ olive oil


1. Whisk eggs and cream in a bowl until fluffy.

2. Heat olive oil or butter in a non-stick pan. Sauté the veggies for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the egg mixture and using a spatula, scramble the eggs a little. When the eggs are set, lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid or a plate. Cook for 3 minutes.

4. Turn over the eggs onto a cutting board and cut into any shape you like. Serve with toast or a crunchy salad.

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