Lockdown Menu – 5 Cooling Summer Lunch Ideas

Heavy curries and oily paranthas? No, thanks! Summers mean light meals full of fresh ingredients and simple flavors. Here are 5 summer lunch ideas that will come in handy to answer the toughest question - 'What to cook?'

If there was ever a greater need to minimize food wastage and use all our resources to their optimum potential, it is now. To encourage us all to do this, and in ways that don’t need a whole lot of added effort, we have come up with simple ideas to use staple ingredients differently in your daily meals. Most of you may already have these as part of regular groceries. Through these posts, we hope you get fresh ideas to use your kitchen supplies wisely and in interesting ways.

We are all locked up in our houses and with the limited resources we have, they all need to be used in creative ways. Summer is here and we all crave some fresh and light meals. No one wants heavy, creamy meals with rich tadkas during the day time. Ingredients like yogurt, milk, mint, coriander, ghiya, tori, cucumbers, melons and mangoes can be worked around to make a satisfying, light meal. Here are 5 cooling summer meal ideas.

1) The Evergreen Curd Rice

Have leftover boiled rice? Turn them into a bowl of curd rice for a refreshing and cooling summer lunch. In a wok add a teaspoon of oil, asafoetida, mustard seeds, dried red chili, and curry leaves. You can add peanuts or soaked chana dal to add some crunch. Add a bowl of curd and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add boiled rice, salt, and red chili powder. Toss. Take it off the heat and add another cup of curd. You can eat it as it is or with your favorite pickle.

 Lockdown Menu – 5 Cooling Summer Lunch Ideas
Lemon rice, curd rice, or tamarind rice are the perfect answer for when you want something light and cool.

2) Raw Mango Salad

Keri or raw mango is such a refreshing ingredient in your pantry during the summer. It can be turned into an aam panna, a light pickle, or even a salad. To make a salad, make sure you use raw mangoes that aren’t overly ripe, or the salad will become too sweet. Cut the raw mango into thin slivers, add finely chopped bell peppers and onions if you wish to. For the dressing add brown sugar (you can use regular powdered sugar too), lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and some red chili powder. Mix well and drizzle all over the salad. Add chopped cilantro or mint and serve.

 Lockdown Menu – 5 Cooling Summer Lunch Ideas
Summers and raw mango salad go hand in hand.

3) Sweet And Light – Gujarati Kadhi

Unlike the Punjabi kadhi, Gujarati kadhi is quick to make and is not heavy on our digestive system. It has no pakodas or vegetables. It is made with curd, besan, and jaggery. Add a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves on top for a beautiful finish. Add finely chopped green chilies if you want to amp up the spice quotient. Gujarati kadhi can be eaten with boiled rice or palak puris and a khatti meethi kaddu ki sabzi.

 Lockdown Menu – 5 Cooling Summer Lunch Ideas
Light and playful, a Gujarati Kadhi is sweet and sour to taste.
Image for representational purpose only.

4) Doodh Wala Ghiya

A dish so simple, quick, and delicious, you would make it again and again. In a pressure cooker add 1/2 teaspoon of ghee, cinnamon stick, jeera, asafoetida, chopped ginger, and garlic. Add diced ghiya (bottle gourd) and saute for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of milk, salt, pepper, and a pinch of turmeric and red chili powder. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles. The consistency should not be too liquidy or too dry. It needs to be somewhere in the middle. Enjoy with cool cucumber raita and chapatis.

 Lockdown Menu – 5 Cooling Summer Lunch Ideas
A milk-based ghiya dish goes best with cooling raita and chapatis.

5) Mint Coriander Raita

No summer lunch is complete without cool raita. You can have a bowl of raita as a complete meal, with vegetable pulao, or any other Indian curry to lighten the tone of the meal. Whisk the curd and sieve it if you want lump-free raita. Add chopped mint, coriander, onion, cucumber to the bowl of curd. Add bhuna jeera, kala namak, and red chili powder. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. You can add some boondi to the raita also.

 Lockdown Menu – 5 Cooling Summer Lunch Ideas
Mint-coriander raita with the addition of onions and cucumber is the perfect summer lunch accompaniment.

Which is your favorite summer-friendly lunch? It is a light vegetable pulao, curd rice, or a healthy salad?

Struggling to cook with limited resources? There is a lot in our kitchens even during this lockdown, all we need is a set of fresh ideas and suggestions to keep our menus interesting! Read these posts to help you choose what to cook for the next meal using regular staples like attasujimoong dalrice and potatoes. We will also give you tips on how to use common condiments like mayonnaise and spices like jeera and turmeric in your diet to maximise the usage of everyday products.

About The Author

Nishtha Asrani Sethi, born and brought up in Delhi, is a content writer who has previously worked with NDTV and Resolver. Her roots are deep within the food industry, thanks to her family business and a keen interest in contemporary food products. Nishtha loves to serve her articles with a side of humor. Her Bachelor’s degree in Home Science comes in handy while researching the science behind the food. When she is not trying to win a battle of fries vs fruit with her daughter, she is busy experimenting with her huge joint family with crazy recipes.

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Comments

  1. Himani Kohli says

    Deliciously cooling.

  2. Perfect recipe ideas for a light lunch in these hots quarantine days ! Thank you! Trying all one by one! Family thrilled

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