Archana Doshi’s Tasty Tiffin is a great guide for curating healthy lunches for kids

Perfect for the back-to-school season, Archana Doshi’s latest Tasty Tiffin offers flavourful options to curate that perfect lunch box

Updated - May 15, 2024 02:06 pm IST

Published - May 13, 2024 04:34 pm IST

Carrot, corn, mayo sandwich with fruits

Carrot, corn, mayo sandwich with fruits | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Do you remember the tiffin box you relished at school? Perhaps a three-tier one with rice, roti, and curry, or a plastic Looney Tunes-themed box neatly packed with sandwiches and crunchy wafers. Archana Doshi certainly remembers hers. “I used to carry these three-tier lunch boxes to school, which would have a rice dish — either rasam, sambar or mixed rice, then a curd rice and a poriyal,” says the founder of popular recipe and food platform, Archana’s Kitchen.

“My earliest tiffin memories are deeply intertwined with the love and care that my mother poured into preparing my school lunches. I fondly recall the aroma of freshly cooked meals wafting from the kitchen,” says Archana, who has dedicated her latest book Tasty Tiffin (HarperCollins India) to her mother.

Archana Doshi

Archana Doshi | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Comprising over 40 lunch plans, the book includes a guide to building the perfect packed lunch. There are recipes for snack ideas such as multigrain waffles, bagel pizzas, oats rava dosa; larger meals like pastas, rajma masala, methi bajra thepla, to name a few. The idea for Tasty Tiffin, sprouted from a “simple yet pressing concern: the struggle to provide nutritious and appealing meals for children’s school lunches,” says the 47-year-old.

“As a parent, I understand the daily challenge of creating lunches that are not only healthy but also exciting enough to entice kids away from the temptations of junk food,” says Bengaluru-based Archana who started her blog in 2007. “Drawing from my experience, I’ve witnessed the hunger for practical, family-friendly recipes. I felt compelled to compile a collection of lunch box ideas tailored specifically for kids,” says the mother of two sons.

Dal makhni with aloo jeera, rice and fruits

Dal makhni with aloo jeera, rice and fruits | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Archana explains that putting the book together was a meticulous process and it took several months of recipe development, testing, and refinement. “From conceptualisation to execution, each recipe was carefully curated to ensure a perfect balance of taste, nutrition, and practicality. Countless hours were devoted to sourcing the easy to source ingredients, experimenting with flavour combinations, and fine-tuning cooking techniques,” she says.

While the time taken to put together each recipe varied, each of these dishes have been part of her childrens’ lunch boxes. Standout dishes from the book that have turned staples in her household include the cheesy spinach and corn quesadillas, and mini vegetable idlis. The ‘ultimate crowd-pleaser’ are the humble peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Paneer makhni with pudina paratha and raita

Paneer makhni with pudina paratha and raita | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Today, most people Google recipes or take to Instagram reels to create interesting snack boxes. How does Archana ensure that cookbooks stay relevant? “While the digital landscape has undoubtedly transformed the way we access information, cookbooks offer a timeless and irreplaceable experience that transcends the fleeting trends of social media,” she says, adding that her current projects involve putting out more videos particularly highlighting plating, healthy food combinations.

Priced at ₹399 Tasty Tiffin is available on and leading bookstores.

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