My mother took making lunch for my brother and me pretty seriously. She rotated dishes like dosas, uttapam, poha, and chutney sandwiches throughout the week to ensure we had variety. My favorite? Masala rice. Don’t let its simplicity fool you—it’s packed with flavor and delicately balances salty and spicy. The onions bring sweetness and green chiles add heat. Serve it with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, and every bite is more comforting than the next. Day-old medium- or long-grain rice such as jasmine or basmati work best since the drier grains stay separate as you cook. Delicious hot or at room temperature, this dish can either be a light lunch on its own or a dinner side along with korma, curries, or chicken. —Rachel Gurjar