5 healthy lunch box recipes from Masterchef India participant Harish Closepet

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. Because it falls in the middle of the day, it is not only neglected, but also seen as a luxury that most people can only afford if they have the time. But most people don’t understand that having lunch on time is very important. It is essential because it provides energy and nutrients to keep your body and brain working efficiently throughout 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 midday meals more interesting and healthy.

Healthy lunch recipes you must try. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Healthy lunch box recipes from Harish Closepet, aka Harry from Masterchef India

Here are 10 healthy yet delicious chef’s recipes that you can try at home:

1. Poha Fusion delight

A. Paneer Poha


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


1. Soak half a cup of thick poha in water for 7 minutes and then drain.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add urad dal and mustard seeds. Let them sputter.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, green chilies and grated ginger. Stir-fry for a minute.
4. Add about 1 cup of diced carrots and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until they soften.
5. Add 1/4 cup diced paneer and about 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder. Mix well.
6. Add the soaked poha, season with salt and add a pinch of garam masala.
7. Cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Open the pan, add chopped coriander and possibly a dash of lemon juice for extra flavor. Mix and serve.

B. Tomato-cashew chutney

  • Coriander seeds (to taste)
  • Dry red peppers (to taste)
  • Cashew nuts (to taste)
  • Chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • Diced tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 20 ml water (adjust if necessary)
  • Chopped curry leaves for garnish (if needed)


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1. Dry the coriander seeds, dry red chillies and cashew nuts in a pan until they become fragrant and light brown.
2. Add the diced onion and stir-fry until it becomes translucent.
3. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes until they soften.
4. Add salt to taste and about 20 ml of water. Mix well.
5. Place the mixture in a blender and blend until a smooth chutney consistency is obtained.
6. Garnish with chopped curry leaves.

Lunchbox 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


  • Soy chunks (200 grams)
  • 1 liter of hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon 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 (about 150 ml)
  • Chopped tomatoes (2 medium ones)
  • Chopped coriander for garnish


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

B. Dry coconut chutney


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


1. In a hand chopper, combine half a cup of desiccated coconut, 1 small onion, 2 green chilies, salt to taste and the juice of 1 lemon.
2. Chop for 1 minute until a fine chutney consistency is formed.

Also read: Have you eaten 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. Make a refreshing carrot vinegar salad by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar, a handful of chopped cilantro and salt to taste to 2 cups of grated carrot.
2. Mix well and enjoy this spicy and nutritious side dish.

Lunchbox tip: Combine the High Protein Upma with the Dry Coconut Chutney and the Carrot Vinegar Salad for a balanced and satisfying meal. Enjoy your protein-rich meal box!

Lunchbox 3: Italian Delight Lunchbox

A. Italian pea sandwich


  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • Chopped green olives (to taste)
  • Chopped black olives (to taste)
  • Chopped jalapeños (to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Italian dry herbs (to taste)
  • Slices of bread (if necessary)
  • Oil (for roasting)
  • Crushed pepper (if necessary)


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 herbs, depending on your preference.
4. Mix well to create your sandwich filling.
5. Toast the bread slices with a little oil until they are light brown.
6. Divide the filling evenly over the bread slices.
7. Sprinkle a little ground pepper and close your sandwich.

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

B. Oregano dip


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


1. In a mixing bowl, mix half a cup of yogurt, 1 teaspoon of dry oregano, peri-peri to your preference and a pinch of salt.
2. Blend the mixture with a hand blender or a whisk until smooth and well blended.

Lunchbox tip: Complete your Italian Delights Lunchbox with cherry tomatoes or some fresh fruit to complete your meal. Enjoy this Italian inspired lunch!

Lunchbox 4: Spice Delight Lunchbox

A. Peas Paprika Rice


  • Rice (if necessary)
  • 1 spoon of oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • Boiled peas (about 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 about 1 cup of cooked peas.
3. Season with salt and add ground peppercorns and ground coriander to taste.

B. Chili broccoli


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


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

C. Tomato crush


  • Onions (if necessary)
  • Chopped tomatoes (if necessary)
  • Sambar powder (to taste)
  • Rasam powder (to taste)
  • Green chili pepper (to taste)
  • Salt to taste


1. Stir-fry the onions in a pan until they become translucent.
2. After 2 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
3. Gently crush the tomatoes to make them juicy.
4. Add sambar powder, rasam powder, green chili and salt to taste depending on your preference.

Lunchbox tip: Finish your Spice Delight Lunchbox with a few cherry tomatoes for a refreshing touch. Share it with your friends and enjoy your delicious lunch!

Lunchbox 5: Italian Kiwi Fusion Lunchbox

A. Juicy tomato paste


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


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

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

B. Golden Kiwi Salad


  • Iceberg lettuce (if needed)
  • Diced golden kiwi (if needed)
  • A dash of salt
  • Sprinkle black chia seeds over it


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 pinch of black chia seeds.
3. Mix and serve this healthy and vibrant salad.

C. Ginger-garlic spice bread


  • Regular slices of bread (if needed)
  • Drop of oil
  • Ginger-garlic paste (to taste)
  • Chili flakes (to taste)
  • Pinch of salt


1. Cut regular bread slices into fingers.
2. Drizzle a little oil over it and then add ginger-garlic paste, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt.
3. Mix thoroughly by hand so that each piece is marinated.
4. Place them on a heated pan and let them stand for 5 minutes.
5. After two minutes, toss them a few times until they are done.
6. Enjoy your tasty bread fingers!

Lunchbox tip: Combine your Juicy Tomato Pasta with the Golden Kiwi Salad and Ginger Garlic Herb Bread for a delicious and unique lunch box. To enjoy!

Get out of the lunch rut and try these healthy lunch box recipes! But remember to check with a healthcare provider 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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