Sunday, July 2, 2017

Weekly Indian Meal Planning/Preparation for Working Women - Week 1

I am making a post after a long time, been busy with work and kids and hence finding no time for blogging.


I will restart the blog by writing about the weekend meal prep I do for upcoming week to make it as smooth as possible.


This is going to be a multi part series because I do not prep the same thing every week. We do not buy same kind of vegetables every week not we eat the same food every week, so my meal prep every week is dependent on what I buy that week or what we plan to eat that week.


I do not designate a particular time for meal prep on the weekend but I do little bits through out the weekend  mostly when I am in kitchen and cooking. Weekend cooking is quite elaborate at my home , so I use that time to get a head start for the coming week.

My prep starts on Friday , while coming back from work, I stop at Sam's Club to get milk , fruits , eggs etc . Usually I soak any Rice/Dal for batter on Friday morning so I could get it done by Friday evening. But this week, I could only soak rice and dal on Friday evening.




Saturday Morning:


- When I start morning tea, I also started heating a gallon of full fat milk which I will use for Curd and to make Paneer. I am having guests this week , so was planning to make egg curry for Saturday night, so started boiling all the eggs I had in Fridge. We consume eggs daily so the remaining eggs will be used during the week.

- I also did a batch of batter and kept it for fermentation

- I also soaked all available poppy seeds and some mustard seeds in hot water , this will be used in today's lunch and for freezing for future use.





- Also made Curd from some portion of milk and made Paneer from rest of the portion.




Saturday Afternoon : After breakfast , We went to Indian store and got the Vegetables.

We are having Shukto (Shukto Recipe Here ) for lunch and Egg curry for dinner as we were having some guests.

- We need quite a lot of vegetables for Shukto in small quantities, so cut the vegetables accordingly.

- I had Raw banana which was cut , roasted and freezed earlier, so I took those out for thawing along with frozen peas and frozen drumsticks, frozen pumpkin

- I had to use Ridge guard and Bitter guard in this preparation, so I cut all of Ridge Gourd and Bitter Gourd I had, some to be used now and rest for the coming week. It only takes few more minutes but I had two vegetables prepped and ready to go.

- Made the paste of poppy seeds and Mustard seeds, Took out the portion to be used for today's cooking, Rest I put in Ice Cube maker to make cubes of this paste to be used later.

- Made Peanut chutney for Idli/Dosa's

- I used my food processor to slice onions as I had to slice quite a lot of onions as I was making Egg curry. I sliced some extra to be used in Sunday's breakfast.

- Now , I bagged the Ridge Gourd and  boxed the Bitter Gourd and extra Onion to put away, Removed the excess eggs and placed them in the egg container to be used later, Put the Poppy seeds and Mustard seeds paste in Ice Cube maker to go into freezer. All this was when I was preparing Shukto and preparing the egg curry.














- Eggs, Ridge Gourd, Bitter Gourd and onion went into fridge section. The Ice Cube maker with poppy seeds and Mustard seeds with an Aluminum foil on top went into freezer.

- This was end of afternoon prep and finished cooking Shukto, Rice and egg curry for dinner.

Saturday Evening :

- I took around minutes to fry the Paneer little bit before storing it in a box with an Aluminum foil

- I took the fermented batter and put it in container, I will leave two in the freezer and 1 in fridge for immediate consumption.

- I took out the ice cube maker with poppy seed and mustard pastes , transferred the cubes to Zip-loc and stored away in the freezer

- Shukto is usually made in large quantity in my house as it uses quite a bit of vegetables  and we wont be able to complete the entire quantity immediately, So I took a portion of it immediately after cooking , cooled it and put it away in freezer for use in next couple of weeks.

- Curd is ready and it will be used for good part of the week in daily meal and also in smoothies, if required i do a batch more during week.






and also soaked beans for making Quesadillas in coming week for the kids and guests.



Sunday Morning :

We had Poori (from Atta prepared on Friday  Night , Alu and Mango Pulp). Used the excess onions I prepped yesterday in the Alu curry.

-  We had one more batch of batter made in the morning as I guests this week

-  We planned to have Chicken curry, so started my food processor and sliced onions for the chicken and also extra for the coming week.

- While I was preparing Chicken Curry and Rice for lunch, I put the beans in pressure cooker and put it to boil.


- While the chicken and rest are getting cooked, I used my processor and started slicing Green Beans and Tindora , Lauki .






- Once the beans are cooled, I minced half of beans in the processor to make re-fried beans Quesadillas and rest is ready to go into freezer for future use.

- After this, I rinse the processor and put it in dish washer for wash

- Here are three vegetables (Green beans, Tindora and two cuts of Lauki, I sliced half in half moon shape to use in samber , the other half I cut by hand to use it in Chana Dal Lauki).

- Green Beans, Tindora , Excess Onion , Beans mince will go into Fridge.

- Rest of pressure cooked beans will go into freezer to be used in next couple of weeks to make a quick curry for Roti's.

- Two cuts of Lauki will go into freezer. I always freeze Lauki as I feel the inner portion of Lauki gets dis colored quickly in Fridge and this is one vegetable which freezes well and does not loose its flavour when you use it in Sambar, Curry, or dal.

- I also cleaned  Green Chillies, Removed the stem , ready to use.

- I removed the stems of Coriander and wrapped it in paper towel to keep it fresh for long. I don't wash it at this time. I take the stalks when I need it , wash it and cut it at that time.




- During Tea time, I packed the fermented batter in containers to go into freezer. Combined with yesterdays batter , this will last at least two if not three weeks in my home even with guests. I just take the container and leave it outside on counter the night before i need to use, you will fresh batter ready by morning. This helps me in saving time next couple of weeks where I will prep something else and not batter.



It may seem like lot of time in prepping through out the weekend, but the actual consumed is only when I am in kitchen cooking and few minutes in the evening to put it away. Cutting few vegetables when you are in kitchen by hand will also not take more time, but this simple prep will help us in upcoming week when we are in rush.

Hope it helps the readers in managing the prep over the weekend.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Veg Yakhni Pulao

I have been following Sanjeev Kapoor Kitchen Khiladi now a days and I found Veg Yakhni Pulao by Tripti Khan very interesting , so I made it and it turned out fabulous. I have done minor changes to recipe like masala ingredients according what is had and also changed measurements. You can watch the original recipe on 13 Dec 2013 episode.I used Kali Jeera rice which is very fragnant and is used in West Bengal.



Veg Yakhni Pulao :


Ingredients :
1/2 Floret Cauliflower
1Large Potato
1 Carrot
1/4 Cup Peas
1 Medium onions
1/2 Cup Curd
Ginger Garlic Chili Paste ( Made from 1 inch Ginger, 6 cloves of Garlic pods , 3 small Green Chili)
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
2 Bay leaves
6 Cloves
1 Big Cardamom
2 Green Cardamom
2 - 1 Inch Dalchini(Cinnamon stick )
2 Tbsp oil
Salt to taste
2 Cups Kali Jeera rice or Basmati Rice
3 Cups stock

Stock :
1/2 Floret Cauliflower
1 Big Carrot
1/4 cup Peas
10 Peppercorns
2 Dalchini (Cinnamon) 1 inch pieces
1 Big Cardamom
2 Small Green Cardamom
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
6 Cloves
1 bay Leaf
2 Tbsp Whole Coriander seeds
2 Tbsp Whole Fennel Seeds
4 cups water

Method for Stock Preparation:
 
Cut Cauliflower, Carrot into medium pieces . Add Cauliflower florists, Carrot and Peas to a pan, Add water, add all the dry spices ( you can tie these into a Muslim cloth and place in the pan if you like) . Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes till vegetables are soft. Use a sieve to strain the stock. This should give you 3 cups of water.

Method for Pulao Preparation:

 
Cut Cauliflower into big florets, cut Carrot into thin slices, cut potato into big pieces. Soak rice in water for 15 minutes and strain.

Add Ghee to a Pan, add Bay leaf, Cardamom, Cinnamon,Cloves and saute the spices. Add chopped Onion , fry till light brown,  add ginger-garlic-green chili paste ,Garam Masala powder and saute for 2 minutes. Add Curd , vegetables , rice and saute for two minutes. Add stock ,salt, bring it to a boil, cover tightly and cook on very slow flame for 15 minutes.


 
Once done , Serve hot with Curd Chutney.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jhinghe, Alu Diye Chingri Maach

This is a very tasty Bengali Prawn dish with Ridge Guard and Potato . Recipe courtesy my Mom in Law. Worth trying.




Jhinge,Alu Diye Chingri  Maach 
Ingredients :
1/2 Lb Cooked Jumbo Prawns/Shrimp
1 Big Jhinga (Ridge Guard)
2 Big Potatoes
1 Medium Onion
1 Tsp Ginger Paste
2 Bay leaf
1 Tsp Panch Poron (Spice Mixture of Onion Seeds, Fengreek Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Whole Cumin , Fennel Seeds)
3 Dried Red Chillies
1 Tsp turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp Oil (Use Mustard Oil if you like)
2 Cups water
 
Preparation
 
Fried Prawns:
Mix salt and turmeric to prawns and leave for few minutes. Put oil in a pan and fry the prawns till slightly.



Cooking Method :
In the remaining oil which was used to fry the Prawns, Add Bay leaf, Panch Poron, Dried  Red Chillies , Let it splutter. Add finely cut onion , ginger paste and fry till pink. Add Red Haldi, Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder and saute it till it leaves oil on the side, Sprinkle some water if needed. Cut Ridge Guard ,Potato in 1 1/2 inch pieces and add to the masala , Let it cook for some time.  Add Water, Salt  and let it boil till the vegetables are well cooked. Add prawns , Cook for 5 minutes and take it out of the flame.

Serve with hot rice.

Chingri Malai Curry

Chingri malai curry is one of my favorite dish. My mom in law is visiting these days and this is her version.But Very nice, Increase the red chilli if you need to make it more spicy.I did this from scratch, made the coconut milk at home  which makes the dish the authentic taste , I don't like to use canned milk but you can try if pressed for time. But this is very simple preparation and I find it takes very less time.



Chingri Malai curry
Ingredients :
1 Lb Cooked Jumbo Prawns/Shrimp
2 Medium Onion
1 Inch Ginger
6 -7 Cloves of Garlic
2 Bay leaf
1 Inch Dalchini (Cinnamon)
7-8 Cloves
10 Pepper corns
1/4 Tsp Shahi Jeera ( My addition - I cannot resist this spice when I add whole Garam Masala)
2 Green Elaichis (Green Cardamom)
1 Big Elaichi (Black Cardamom)
2 Green Chillies
1 Tsp  turmeric Powder
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
Salt to taste
1 1/2 Fresh Coconuts (For milk and coconut paste)
3 Tbsp Oil (Use Mustard Oil if you like)

 
Preparation
Coconut Milk :
 Break coconuts and make small pieces of coconuts , Put the coconut pieces with two cups of water and grind to paste. Strain the paste in a sieve to take out the Milk. Repeat with one more cup of water. We will use couple of Tsp of coconut paste in the gravy.



Onion,Ginger,Garlic Paste :
Put chopped onion , ginger and garlic cloves in the mixer add, a cup of water , Mix it and make a paste. Strain it through sieve to get the juice out of it. This will take out pungent smell out of the paste.


Fried Prawns:
Mix salt and turmeric to prawns and leave  for few minutes. Put oil in a pan and fry the prawns till slightly.



Cooking Method :
In the remaining oil which was used to fry the Prawns, Add  Bay leaf, Dalchini (Cinnamon),Pepper corns,Shahi Jeera ,Geen Elaichis (Green Cardamom), Big Elaichi (Black Cardamom). Let it splutter and then add 2 tsp of cocunut paste , the onion,ginger garlic juice which we prepared above. Let it cook and reduce and turn light pink.

Now add , Green Chillies, Red chilli powder and Garam masala powder  and cook till it leaves oil. Once done Add Salt, Coconut Milk and let it boil for few minutes. Add Prawns and cook for few minutes and remove from fire.

Serve with hot rice.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chicken Kheema Mutti (Kofta) with Curd based gravy - 2

One more Chicken Mutti with curd based gravy  a slight variation of Chicken Kheema Mutti (Kofta)  with Curd based gravy - 1  not using store bought masala powder. This is a spicy dish , so please adjust masala as per your taste.
 
 






Chicken Kheema Mutti (Kofta) with Curd based gravy
Ingredients :
1 Kg Chicken (Bone less)
2 Handfuls of Pudina Leaves
2 Tsp Pepper Corns
12 small Green Chillies
1 Tea Spoon Ginger/Garlic Paste

For the Gravy :

1 Medium Onion
1 Inch Ginger
4-5 Garlic cloves
1 Tsp Jeera powder
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli powder
1 Tsp Dhaniya Powder
1 Tsp Garam Masala 
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 /4 Tsp Shahi Jeera
2 Bay leaf
1 Big Cardamom
1 Inch Dlachini
1 Cup Curd
Oil for frying
2 Tbsp oil for gravy
1 Cup of water
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt to taste
For Making Muttilu (Kofta's):
Divide chicken, into 4 portions. To each portion add 4 chillies, 1/2 Tsp Pepper Corns , 1/2 handful of Pudina leaves,Pinch of Turmeric, 1/4 tbsp ginger garlic paste, salt and grind it to smooth paste in Chutney grinder. Chutney grinder minces it well than the wet grinder.
Once all the portions are done, Make into small balls and fry on low-medium heat till they are light brown.I made around 50 kofta's from 1 Kg chicken.
You can have them dry or you can add them to gravy.


Healthy version : Greese a baking pan with oil , lay the balls on the pan and bake them for 15 minutes on 350 Degrees and 10 minutes on 450 Degrees.

Gravy :
Make a paste of onion ,ginger and garlic.

Take a pan , put 2 tsp oil , add Shahi Jeera, cardamon, bayleaf, cloves. After they splutter add the onion,ginger and garlic paste and roast it till the paste leaves oil on the sides. If required sprinkle little water to avoid burning.
Now add ,Turmeric, Chilli powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala , add little water and roast till the masala leaves oil on the sides.
Beat the curd and add to the gravy. Add 1/2 cups of water and cook till oil seperates.

Add muttilu(Kofta's) , Salt , 1 cup of water and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Once done and gravy reduced to the consistency you desire , Take it off the stove and garnish with Coriander leaves.
Serve with rice. Bhagara rice goes very well with curry.

Chicken Kheema Mutti (Kofta) with Curd based gravy - 1

Usually I do not buy readymade masalas for my cooking ,but once I was browsing the store and I saw Shaan Kofta Masala powder, and I was so impressed by the Photograph on that so I bought it.
Also I was lookign for an easy curd base gravy for my Chicken koftas. So it worked perfectly but I did not follow the recipe on the package and modified it for my taste.

SO here is one more version of Chicken Muttila curry.





Chicken Kheema Mutti (Kofta)  with Curd based gravy
Ingredients :
1 Kg Chicken (Bone less)
2 Handfuls of Pudina Leaves
2 Tsp Pepper Corns
12 small Green Chillies
1 Tea Spoon Ginger/Garlic Paste

For the Gravy :

1 Medium Onion
1  Inch Ginger
4-5 Garlic cloves
1 Tsp Jeera powder
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli powder
1/2 Tsp Dhaniya Powder
2 Tbsp Shahi Kofta Curry
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1 /4 Tsp Shahi Jeera
2 Bay leaf
1 Big Cardamom
1 Inch Dlachini
1 Cup Curd
1/2 tsp Kasoori Methi
Oil for frying
2 Tbsp oil for gravy
1 Cup of water
Salt to taste
For Making Muttilu (Kofta's):
Divide chicken, into 4 portions. To each portion add 4 chillies, 1/2 Tsp Pepper Corns , 1/2 handful of Pudina leaves,Pinch of Turmeric, 1/4 tbsp ginger garlic paste, salt and grind it to smooth paste in Chutney grinder. Chutney grinder minces it well than the wet grinder.
Once all the portions are done, Make into small balls and fry on low-medium heat till they are light brown.I made around 50 kofta's from 1 Kg chicken.
You can have them dry or you can add them to gravy.


Healthy version : Greese a baking pan with oil , lay the balls on the pan and bake them for 15 minutes on 350 Degrees and 10 minutes on 450 Degrees.

 
Gravy :
Make a paste of onion ,ginger and garlic.

Take a pan , put 2 tsp oil , add Shahi Jeera, cardamon, bayleaf, cloves, shahi jeera. After they splutter add the onion,ginger and garlic paste and roast it till the paste leaves oil on the sides. If required sprinkle little water to avoid burning.
Now add ,Turmeric, Chilli powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, SHAHI kofta powder add little water and roast till the masala leaves oil on the sides.
 
Beat the curd and add to the gravy. Add 1/2 cups of water and cook till oil seperates.

Add muttilu(Kofta's) , Salt , 1 cup of water and Kasoori Methi to this gravy and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Once done and gravy reduced to the consistency you desire , Take it off the stove.
Serve with rice. Bhagara rice goes very well with curry.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My experiments with Slow cooker series - Palak Dal (Palakura Pappu , Lentils with Spinach)

A simple and nutritious dal which can be cooked in slow cooker.Palak dal came out well. One thing I noticed when cooking toovar dal in slow cooker ,is you need to add salt at the end and if you need to add any tamarind you need to add it after the dal is well cooked, otherwise the dal will not be soft.
Palak Dal
Ingredients :
1 Cup Toovar Dal
1 Medium Onion
1 Large Tomato
1 Bunch Spinach
2 Green Chillies
1/2 Inch Ginger
2 Garlic cloves
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
3 cups water
Tadka
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 Tsp Jeera
1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Dry Red Chillies
2 Garlic Pods
1 Tbsp Diced Onion
8-10 Curry Leaves
 
Method :
To the slow cooker cermaic pot, Add washed Toovar Dal,diced Spinach,diced Onion,Red Chilli Powder,Green Chillies,Turmeric,diced Ginger,Garlic,diced Tomato,3 Cups water. Cook on High for 6 hours. Add salt to the dal and cook for another 10 minutes.

Tadka : In hot Oil, add Curry Leaves ,dry red chillies, Jeera , Mustard seeds and Garlic pieces,onion. Let them turn light brown and add to the Dal.

Serve hot with rice.