Tri-color rice- a perfect tiffin option for Independence day

It’s Independence day tomorrow and we can already feel the cheer and patriotism in the air. My son’s school celebrated Independence day in advance and we parents were asked to send snacks representing the colors of the Indian flag.

I love to experiment with food, especially when I make a tiffin for my little one on special occasions. So, for this one, I chose to stick to a healthy option and made this lovely tri-color rice. It is all natural ( no artificial colors added ), easy-to-make, healthy and delicious rice preparation that anyone could put up in less than 30 mins.

Indian flag has three colors- Saffron, White and Green with a blue wheel in the center. I used normal, white long-grained rice ( Basmati ), divided in three equal portions. I used tomato gravy for the saffron color, and spinach gravy for the green.




1  cup of long-grained white rice
salt to taste

For the orange gravy:
1 large tomato
1/2 english carrot diced
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp onion paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional) *
pinch of garam masala
salt to taste

For the green gravy:
15-20 spinach leaves cleaned and washed thoroughly
1/2 green capsicum chopped
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp onion paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp green chili finely chopped*
salt to taste


  1. In a large vessel, bring about 5 cups of water to boil. Add little salt and a few drops of oil. Meanwhile, wash one cup of long-grained rice (basmati), thoroughly under running water.
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, add the rice and let it cook for about 10 mins on a high flame. Keep stirring and check from time to time so that rice doesn’t get over cooked.
  3. While the rice is getting cooked, prepare the orange and green gravies.
  4. In two small vessels each, bring about two cups of water to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, in one vessel drop in the tomato to blanch it, while in the other vessel  blanch the spinach leaves. For the tomato, turn the gas off after 2-3 mins and cover with a lid for a minute. For the spinach leaves, turn the gas off after a minute and cover the vessel for one min.
  5. Now remove the spinach leaves, and finely chop them.
  6. Now remove the tomato. You’ll see the skin cracked and coming off. This means the tomato is blanched. Remove the skin, de-seed the tomato and chop it finely.
  7. Now make the tomato (orange) gravy.
  8. In a heavy-bottomed pan, add ghee. Once the ghee heats up, add the ginger paste and the garlic paste. Saute it. Now add the onion paste and saute it. To this, add the carrot and cook until tender. Then add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala and salt and cook it until all the ingredients come together. Now turn off the gas and blend this mixture in a blender to make a fine gravy. Adjust the consistency by adding little water if required. This gravy has to be thick.
  9. By now, the rice should be cooked. If so, remove it from the flame and strain the excess water. Divide the cooked rice in three equal portions.
  10. Now, transfer the orange gravy back in the pan, on a low flame and add one portion of the rice. Mix it well so that the rice is completely covered with the gravy. The orange rice is ready.
  11. In another heavy bottom pad, add ghee. Once the ghee heats up, add the chopped green chili, onion paste and garlic paste and saute well. to this add chopped green capsicum and cook until tender. Then add the spinach leaves and salt. Mix them well and transfer this mixture to a blender and blend into a fine gravy.
  12.  Remove this gravy back to the pan and add the second portion of the rice to it. On a low flame, toss the rice so that the rice is coated well with the gravy. The green rice is ready.
  13. Finally, toss the white rice with salt depending on your taste.
  14. Now comes the plating. In a square or an oval tiffin, with the help of the spoon, set the orange rice, towards the upper end, as shown in the picture. Just below the orange rice, set the white rice. See to it, that no space is left in between. Lastly, set the green rice towards the bottom end of the tiffin.


1. You may skip adding the green chili or the red chili powder or adjust the level depending on your little one’s taste preferences.
2. You may use chopped onions instead of the paste.

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