Kids Lunchbox Ideas/ Recipes: Non-Vegetarian

Edible Cigars

For as long as I can remember, I have always been a muncher. You know, the kinds who can nosh through meal times over little bites of delicious finger food. Growing up in a home where tea-time was treated with the greatest pleasure must have had something to do with it, I’m sure. I clearly remember warm summer afternoons, or even cold winter ones for that matter, where we would often substitute our dinner for a platter of the most guilt-ridden snacks. Lovely fritters deep fried till crisp and drowned in a tangy chutney, smokey char-grilled tikkas and kebabs, scrumptious sandwiches with the most amazing toppings, and of course, my personal favourites of deliciously spiced street foods.

Recipe for Edible Cigars taken from Visit site for detailed recipe.

As I grew older, my love for noshing grew wider, incorporating in it varied flavours, from every cuisine I ever had a go at. Friday nights for me meant junk night – wherein, strictly avoiding a proper 3-course meal for dinner, I would instead opt for a plateful of wings, fries, or on many occasions, samosas. It was the only way I knew how to have a Friday night meal. Anything else seemed totally hideous.

When I first met Hubby Dear, my excitement knew no bounds to find that like me, he too grew up in a household where good food, and especially noshing was of high priority. I’ve heard of many stories from friends on how marriage makes one change ones habits and adapt to the other’s way of life. For me, it was a matter of simply combining the two. It wasn’t hard for me to fuse my love for all things spicy with Hubby Dear’s undying addiction to all things edible. Truly, matches are made in Heaven, but I’d like to believe that ours was cooked up in a 5-star kitchen filled with all things a culinary goddess could only dream of having.

And while our friends and family could happily attest to how different we are from each other, our Friday nights would easily prove otherwise. For in a home where one finds it hard to understand how the other can own a few dozen purses, and still find the need for more, the large platter filled with bite-size crispy treats is always something the two will always look forward to.

On the very note of food, I’m glad to announce that for those living in the GTA area, you will now be able to get my Indian 101 series right at your doorstep. Yes, as crazy and wonderful as it sounds, I now have my own column in the Mississauga News’ monthly food supplement, Nosh. Unfortunately, for those of you eagerly waiting for my next instalment on the series, I apologize for the delay. While I already have the next part fully planned out, I will have to restrict myself from putting it up here until it gets published in my column. But fear not, just a few more weeks, and I’ll be back with the next part. I sincerely thank all of you wonderful readers without whose support and encouragement, my work would not have gotten the recognition it has. And for those of you far away and not able to subscribe to the paper, don’t feel left out. The series will surely continue on this site as well. Thank you all again, and happy eating!

Prep time: 30 min | Cooking time: 15 min | Makes: 15 cigars


1/4 lb ground chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp light cooking oil
15 large spring roll wrappers
1 cup plain yogurt, beaten till smooth
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
oil for deep frying
water, as needed


Saute chopped garlic and onion in 1 tbsp oil till tender. Add in ground chicken and stir fry till brown and cooked through. Mix in tomato paste, cumin, salt, pepper and paprika, and cook for a few minutes till well blended. Mix in fresh chopped parsley, and set aside to cool.

Once the filling is cooled, begin rolling out the cigars. Start with placing a large spring roll wrapper on a cool flat working surface. Place about a teaspoon of the filling to one end of the wrapper, in a vertical line on the top half of the sheet. Fold the lower half over, sealing the edges lightly with water, and roll out into a cigar tucking in the open edge to close all sides. Seal edges with a bit of water and set the cigar aside on a cool plate. Continue to roll out remaining cigars.

Heat enough oil in a deep pan for deep frying. Deep fry cigars a few at a time till golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve with garlic-yogurt dipping sauce.

To make garlic-yogurt dip, simply mix beaten yogurt with lemon juice, garlic salt and sprinkle with a pinch of paprika.

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  • Reply
    June 3, 2014

    your recipes are too good. Why don’t you use videos also for your recipes? Videos will make the recipes more interesting.

    • Reply
      June 3, 2014

      Thanks Meenakshi, but I think videos will have to wait till I get over my fear of the camera! 😉

  • Reply
    May 31, 2010

    Love ya, you rock.

  • Reply
    December 4, 2007

    This looks wonderful, when I get a chance I will try it. Gracias!

  • Reply
    steamy kitchen
    August 27, 2007

    I love finger foods…but why is it that I always tend to overeat when the portions are finger-foodie small?

  • Reply
    May 6, 2007

    Hi Meena,

    The cigars look truly scrumptious! Mmm…. 🙂

    Had a question though — where do u buy the spring roll wrappers from? Do you get them at regular grocery stores? Is there a particular type/brand that you would recommend?

    Hi Anita, yes, they’re mostly easily available at many regular grocery stores. I’ve never really focussed on any one given brand, they all seem to work well for me. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 19, 2007

    beautiful looking cigars and great going with the 101 series.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2007


    They looks so tempting..!!
    It was a nice post & thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2007

    Wonderful writing, among my favorites: “It wasn’t hard for me to fuse my love for all things spicy with Hubby Dear’s undying addiction to all things edible. Truly, matches are made in Heaven, but I’d like to believe that ours was cooked up in a 5-star kitchen filled with all things a culinary goddess could only dream of having.”
    Well done and I look forward to trying the recipe on my own loving guinea pig, er, gorgeous boyfriend. Something tells me he’s going to enjoy these. 😉

  • Reply
    April 6, 2007

    Congratulations, Meena! That is so cool. And very well deserved. 🙂

    Thanks a lot, Zandria! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 6, 2007

    meena, your pictures are beautiful i am sure the recipes taste great too.

    Thanks Reena.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2007

    Hey Meena,

    Those are such scrumptious cigars!!! Boy, wish I could take one and eat.
    I love your site and your recipes. Congrats about your column!!!

    Thanks Shri, ohh you must try them, simply delish! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 4, 2007

    looks absolutely delicious with a beautiful picture!!! woh!!!

    Thanks Padmaja!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2007

    I totally agree about the match in heaven: same here: european hubby, asian darling: delicious cooking!

    Looking forward for more recipes and if you love to feature your cigares recipe on my site, please let me know in email to stef2k[at]yahoo[dot]com

    I just linked to you, would you mind to link back to my “Quick Dinner Recipes” site?

    Happy eating!

    Quick Dinner Recipes

    Thanks Stef, I’ll be sure to drop bu your site soon.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2007

    Congrats! That’s awesome!

    Thanks Jia! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 3, 2007

    You have a way with words Meena! And of course I love your professional looking pictures! Great news about your own column!

    Thanks a lot Latha, all the wonderful encouragement I get from my readers definitely gives me the much needed boost to try harder. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 3, 2007

    theese look absoulutely fantastic, congrats on the column!

    Thanks Sabrina!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2007

    Very nice presentation. Look so nice and tempting. Viji

    Thanks Viji, I do hope you give it a try!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2007

    Those look simply gorgeous.I can’t resist wanaa have a bite.and ur way of writing is amazing.

    Thanks Ramya.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2007

    That’s great! congratulations Meena. I also love your new blog look – clean and elegant. Also congratulations is due for your takeout business. We go up to Toronto every few months, will certainly look you up and taste some of your wonderful food.

    Thanks Mandira, I definitely look forward to meeting with you! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2007

    Congratulations on being published. There is nothing quite like seeing your work in print.

    I know what you mean Cynthia, seeing my name in print is truly a dream come true. Finally, I’ve arrived! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 1, 2007

    Beautiful post! I agree with you about combining two lifestyles when it comes sharing a lifetime together. My fiance is from a different culture background from mine and we have learnt a lot from each other.

    Mingling cultures is absolutely wonderful, Anh. I truly believe that my culinary flair come from the mingling of my parents distinct backgrounds. It’s enriching to learn from one another and experience the mic of two or more cultures.

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