What's in Your Dabba? Twinkle Khanna, Katrina Kaif Share Recipes

5 min read
Hindi Female

What's in your dabba?, asks actor, entrepreneur, writer Twinkle Khanna in a new book curated under her brand Tweak India and published by Juggernaut Books. The book is a curation of easy recipes you can pack in your tiffin, yes even in a lockdown, and take to work, or your work station at home. Recipes have been shared by top chefs, home chefs and other celebrities. Check them out and get creative with your tiffin.

Ritu Dalmia’s Bhindi Salan

Ritu Dalmnia’s Bhindi Salan
Twinkle Khanna’s What’s in Your Dabba

Bhindi (okra) is the vegetable equivalent of that girl in school who got along with everyone and took part in all competitions. Celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia’s bhindi salan is a hybrid tweak of the desi favourite.


  • 300 g okra, slit

  • 1⁄4 cup tamarind pulp

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • Salt to taste

  • 1⁄2 tsp sugar

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

  • 1 tsp crushed peanuts for garnish

  • Water

Spices for the Tadka

  • 1⁄2 tsp fenugreek seeds

  • 1⁄2 tsp black mustard seeds

  • 1⁄4 tsp asafoetida

For the Paste

  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1⁄4 cup toasted peanuts

  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes,

  • blanched

  • 1⁄2-inch ginger

  • 1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 2–3 green chillies

  • 2 tsp sesame seeds


Blend all the ingredients for the paste in a food blender till smooth and keep aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add fenugreek, mustard and asafoetida.

When the spices start to sputter, add the paste and cook on low flame till the oil starts floating on top. Add tamarind paste, salt, lemon juice, sugar and some water and cook on low heat again.

In a separate pan, heat oil and fry the slit okra. Mix the fried okra with the paste and cook for another few minutes.

Garnish with the peanuts, coriander and sesame seeds and serve with parathas or rice.


Bhumi Pednekar’s Chicken Curry

Bhumi Pednekar’s Chicken Curry
Twinkle Khanna’s What’s in Your Dabba

The actor’s favourite creamy, spicy chicken gravy feels like home.


For the chicken marinade

  • 3 cups boneless chicken

  • 1⁄2 cup curd

  • 1 tbsp grated garlic

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • 1 tsp salt

For the gravy

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 black cardamom

  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

  • 4–5 garlic cloves

  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 5–6 cashews

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 5 tbsp oil


In a bowl, combine the chicken with all the ingredients for the marinade and massage it for 5 minutes. Leave it to rest for 30–40 minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium flame. Add the chicken pieces to it in batches of two or three (make sure not to crowd the pan).

Pan-fry these pieces for 2–3 minutes on each side till they turn golden brown. Keep aside once done.

To make the gravy, heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the bay leaf, black cardamom and cumin. Once they begin to crackle, add the onion and garlic and cook till they turn golden.

Add the tomatoes and cashews and cook till the tomatoes soften. Switch off the gas and let the mix cool.

Make a paste of it in a mixer grinder. In a pan, cook the paste, garam masala, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt to taste.

Let it cook till the rawness goes away and the mixture starts separating from the oil. Add the chicken pieces to it.

Garnish with finely chopped coriander and serve.


Shikhar Dhawan’s Rava Masala Uttappam

Shikhar Dhawan’s Masala Uttappam
Twinkle Khanna’s What’s in Your Dabba

Give your breakfast a lift with a power-packed rava uttappam like the one Shikhar Dhawan kick-starts his day with. Want kids to eat it? Just tell them it’s what their favourite cricketers devour for breakfast.


  • 1 cup rava
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 capsicum, finely chopped
  • 2–3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp oil


Soak the rava in water and keep overnight.

The next day, add the vegetables and salt to taste.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Spread the batter like a pancake on it.

Cook evenly on both sides for 2–3 minutes each.

Serve with sambar and coconut chutney.


Katrina Kaif’s Idli and Coconut Chutney

Katrina Kaif’s Idli and Coconut Chutney
Twinkle Khanna’s What’s in Your Dabba

We finally have something in common with Katrina Kaif. We love soft, fluffy idlis as much as she does. This rice- and dal-based dish paired with coconut chutney is the original happy meal, perfect for your kid’s and your own lunch.


For the Idli

  • 4 cups parboiled rice

  • 3/4 cup split urad dal

  • Water

  • Salt to taste

For the Chutney

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut

  • 2 tbsp roasted chana dal or peanuts

  • 2 green chillies

  • 1⁄2 cup water

  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 1 tsp oil

  • 1⁄2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1⁄2 tsp urad dal

  • 1 sprig curry leaves


For the Idli Batter

Wash the rice and soak for 2–4 hours. Wash the urad dal and soak in a separate vessel for 3 hours.

Drain the excess water and grind the urad dal in a mixer grinder until the batter turns fluffy and light. Transfer to a large bowl.

Drain the excess water from the soaked rice and grind to a smooth consistency. Mix the rice batter with the urad dal batter and salt.

Beat the batter to make it airy and allow it to ferment in a warm place for 6–8 hours.

For the Idli Steamer

Grease the idli plates with some oil. Spoon the batter into the plates.

Steam cook till done.

Remove the plates from the steamer. Let the plates cool for 5–7 minutes and use a spoon to take out the idlis and serve.

For the Coconut Chutney

Put the coconut, chana dal and green chillies in the mixer grinder. Add water and allow it to soak for around 5 minutes. Grind it coarsely.

Transfer it to a serving bowl.

Heat oil in a small pan/iron ladle and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Pour over the chutney.

Mix well and serve with idlis.


Twinkle Khanna’s Ragi and Rava Idlis

Twinkle Khanna’s Ragi and Rava Idlis
Twinkle Khanna’s What’s in Your Dabba

Twinkle Khanna makes these nutritious ragi idlis for her kids, but if we’re being honest, these are too good for adults to resist.


  • 1 cup rava

  • 1 cup ragi flour

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 cup curd

  • 1 cup water, add as required

  • 1⁄4 tsp baking soda/cooking soda


Dry roast the rava on medium flame for 2–3 minutes. Cool it down completely.

Transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add ragi flour, salt, curd and water as required. Mix well and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Mix again and add water if required.

Before steaming, add a pinch of baking soda and mix till frothy.

Brush the idli mould with oil and immediately pour the batter into it. Steam for 8–10 minutes on medium flame.

Rest for 5–10 minutes before unmoulding.

Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

(Excerpts from What’s in Your Dabba, a collection of recipes edited by Tweak India, published by Juggernaut books)

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Topics:  Twinkle Khanna   Lunch   Breakfast 

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