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Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal – Of food, lunchboxes and childhood memories..

2 November 2017 No Comment

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.” Ina Garten

I don’t remember my lunch time in preschool or nursery days but I do have a vivid memory of it during my elementary school.

Mom was a working woman and as usual morning time used to be very hectic at home. She would cook breakfast & lunch for me and my brother and pack our dabbas before leaving for office at 8am.

Though she made sure that every day she packed the best home cooked food for us, the menu used to revolve around the same fare. We would expect a dry subzis (potato or okra) with roti or Aloo parathas or aloo poha, without fail.

But then, we never bothered about what was packed inside. All we wanted was something which we could gulp quickly and run out of class to play.

But wait, there was a catch..and that one was our worst nightmare attached, with carrying lunchbox inside school bag. That of leaking  oil and liquid and facing the embarrassing moment of taking out the stained books in front of friends. And no amount of plastic wraps and seal helped stop steeping the oil and liquid from the box 🙁

Well, that was part and parcel of school life for us. However, bad it was, we were a bunch of happy children with huge smiles on our faces…always 🙂

Lunch boxes have come a long way from being the boring multi coloured smelly plastic boxes to those heavy duty metal dabbas of yesteryear. Times have changed, but the morning rush to pack a healthy lunch box remains same.

Choosing a right lunchbox is a challenge when you have to cater to the need of three different personalities at home.  And choosing a right lunchbox for your meal can make a world of difference to both, the one who is cooking and also to the one who is eating it.

I enjoy the leisure of cooking at my pace and personally handing over the lunchbox to my children without bothering about the spillage and cold lunch.

But I do cook lunch and pack it for hubby every day. I have tried many lunch boxes which could avoid leakage and also keep the food warm, but nothing worked with great success.

As luck would have it, I received a call from Hamsa for a food styling assignment for Vaya Tyffyn recently.

I was relaxing after a few back-to-back food photo-shoots and was hesitation to take up the project immediately. But she convinced me that I will be getting their full support and help during the shoot. I had to cook and style a few dishes that could be packed for children. I cooked pasta, mini podi Idlis, rotis, sambhar, banana muffins and few other dishes for it.

Well, am glad that I accepted the assignment. I was in for a surprise on the set after they opened the boxes of product. I fell in love with the product at first sight.

It was a compact, well designed and stylish copper-finished stainless steel lunch box from Vaya Tyffyn. It looked delicious both, inside and outside. 

The shoot went on well and I styled many recipes using some of those pretty boxes. I completely forgot about the lunchbox after the shoot was over, when suddenly one day I received a call from Hamsa asking my address to deliver something at my home.

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal
And lo and behold, it was a beautifully packed black coloured premium range of Vaya  Tyffyn!

The manual says, “The Tyffyn comes with a spoon holder and a water resistant bagmat which can be unzipped to convert into a place mat. The leak-proof containers with high-vacuum insulation retain the heat from the packed food for at least 3-4 hours.”

The lunchbox comes with well written instructions about the use and maintenance of the same.

This is what I packed in his Tyffyn today..black eyed bean curry, carrot chayote subzi, rotis with pickle and curd separately. Recipe will follow in next post..

Here is what was in his Vaya Tyffyn yesterday..Beet-millet rotis, panchkuti dal, fresh vegetable pickle, few almonds, prunes and plum.

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Sharing some recipes of what is inside the lunchbox here..

Panchkuti or Panchmel Dal aka Five lentil curry


Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

  • 1 cup mixed Lentil
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Red chilly
  • Oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste


  • Turmeric powder
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafetida powder

Method; Chop tomato and onion and grate ginger.

Wash and soak all lentils for few hours or overnight. I have used a mix of the following lentils;

  • Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • Green gram (moong dal)
  • Pigeon peas (tuar dal)
  • Red gram (masoor dal)
  • Black gram (dhuli urad)

Pressure cook all lentils with turmeric, chopped tomato, ginger, and 1 cup of water for 2-3 whistles and mash it slightly.

Heat a kadai and splutter cumin seeds.

Add asafetida powder, salt, dry red chilly, chilli powder, onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour this tempering over cooked dal and combine well.

Add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Indian flat breads.


  1. Add garam masala or whole spices in the making of dal for extra flavor and taste.
  2. This dal recipe is served slightly thick, add a little warm water if you wish to make it runny.
  3. Add a few garlic pearls in tempering for extra flavor.

Beetroot millet rotis or Flatbreads

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 cup pearl millet flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. curd
  • 1/2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Method;  Peel and grate beetroot with a fine grater.

Take both the flours in a large bowl and add sesame seeds, grated beet, salt, chilly powder, cumin powder, curd and combine.

Add little water if needed to bring the dough together ( I added just about 3-4 tsp. of water).

Apply a little oil over the dough and let it rest for an hour.

Divide the dough into small balls and roll into round rotis using dry flour to avoid the rotis stick to the board.

Heat a griddle and cook the rotis on both the sides for a few minutes till it changes colour and is cooked.

Recipe | Beetroot Millet Rotis & Panchkuti Dal

Smear a little ghee if you wish and serve it with pickle or any Indian curry of your choice.

My verdict;

  • Eco friendly, no plastic, stainless steel containers coated with copper from outside. It does give me a feel of packing lunch the traditional way (in steel dabbas of yesteryear). And I like the fact that stainless steel doesn’t stain, take on odour or wear out quickly.
  • I can pour a piping hot dal or curry straight from my cooking pan into the container which I never attempted in my so called heat resistant branded plastic lunchboxes.
  • Food does remain warm and fresh after say 4-5 hours of packing.
  • The separator or divider provided is of no use if you are trying to pack two liquid side by side. The liquid leaks from one side to other. I use the separator only for packing dry ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, cookies etc.
  • The bagmat is worth buying for the ease of carrying the lunchbox and for using it as place-mat while eating.
  • Do not overfill the containers and you are good to go with a leak-proof lunchbox.
  • The containers also make a good standalone snack box for packing fruits, nuts or cooking separately.
  • Though the price is hard to swallow, factors such as durability, freshness of food, leak proof, sturdiness, and the classic look makes it worth the price tag.

Disclaimer; I wanted to make it clear that this is not a sponsored post and I have not received any cash remuneration to write about the product on my blog. I am writing the post because I personally like the product and wanted to share my views with you all.


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