Today’s bento was my lunch on Tuesday… and what a lunch it was!
It started with the desire to try making the curried cabbage kinpira. I figured that since I was using those flavours anyway, I might as well make the dry-spiced dal from this book * for the protein component — I did briefly consider making it with red lentils instead of the moong dal… but decided it might be fun to see what else I could find to add some colour in my lunch box instead — as well as making Maki’s spicy curry peanut furikake. (Shown above. Well, except that I hate peanuts, so I used cashews. zOMG, she is not kidding about eating that one straight up once it’s made. So good. I should definitely have been more generous with the chili powder, though.)
For colour I decided to go simple with some peas stirred into the rice and lightly boiled carrots for a little crunch. I had originally intended on tucking some bread and butter pickles in as well, but after fitting the cabbage in, decided I was a little short on space. While it might have been nice to have a bit of that vinegary tang, the furikake was honestly so flavourful, I don’t really feel like anything was missing in the “keep your tastebuds guessing” department. (The sweet bursts from the peas and carrots also helped there.)
All in all, I am super-happy with this bento! It was definitely out of my normal “marinated meat bites + rice + veg” formula, and tasted awesome! I actually feel a little bit bad for the cabbage; I hadn’t counted on the dal and cashew seasoning being quite so flavourful — the poor cabbage tasted almost bland in this meal. Ah well, I’ll try it again sometime in a non-curry-overdosed bento, where it’ll provide more of a contrast.
* As an aside, thus far that book is at about 75% in terms of recipes I’ve tried that are successful, which is pretty good! The lamb biryani and dry-spiced dal are incredible. (Seriously. I have yet to make either recipe without eating copious amounts straight from the cooker with a spoon before guiltily serving/packing the food as originally intended. And I’ve made both at least thrice each now.) The vindaloo was pretty good (but honestly not worth the trouble of doing in a slow-cooker, in my opinion), and the aloo gobi was also pretty solid. On the other hand, I’m not sure if I should try again with less liquid (although I had already reduced it from what the recipe called for!) or what, but I found the chickpea flour curry to be… a work in progress. On my list to try soon are the saag paneer and the “lamb crumbles with peas”.