Meal Prep Tips For Desi Kitchens (And Appetites)
Meal prep - that is, cooking and packing meals for a few days or the week ahead - is a smart way of ensuring you eat healthy, without getting broke ordering in salads, through the week. But, most meal prep tips we see on the Internet are not suited for Indian kitchens, and appetites. Would you really be okay eating baby carrot and humus for lunch? Umm, no. Not us!
We, with our chatkori tongues, may not be able to prepare and freeze full meals days in advance, but we can make eating home-cooked, healthy food a tad easier by being a bit smarter about our culinary affairs. TBH, though, Indian cooking isn't all that difficult to begin with. All you need is some pyaaz, tamaatar, some store-bought masalas for tadka, a bit of ghee, and voila! You have a meal. What's tedious in Indian cooking is the cutting and chopping and puree-ing of the said ingredients. Hopefully, these tips will help you prep your ghar ka khana the desi way!
To avoid needless chopping every time you have to cook:
- Buy 1 kilo tomatoes. Puree it in a blender. Freeze it.
- Buy 1 kilo onions. Puree it in a blender. Freeze it.
- Do the same for garlic-ginger paste (because the store-bought pastes suck).
There's your pyaaz tamaatar, which you basically need for every dish ever.
To curb those sudden cravings for rajma / chhole chawal, boil the entire packet of rajma / chhole, and store it in your freezer. When you want to eat it, all you have to do is, thaw the beans, and cook them with the aforementioned tomato and onion purees. Pro tip: Boiled chickpeas make for great salad!
Store boiled potatoes in your fridge. This will save you the trouble of having to peel the stubborn spuds, and reduce cooking time. Boiled potatoes can be used for salads, parathas, aloo zeera sabzi, and even aloo chaat. The list is not exhaustive.
Chop veggies you plan to eat through the week, and either store them in zip-lock bags, or freeze them. You can do this with bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower... really, most of the veggies out there.
Spinach is a good green to boil and freeze. And when it's meal time and you want everybody's favourite, palak paneer, all you have to do is sauté some paneer, temper it with spices and add the boiled spinach to the mix.
If you like your lemonade, it's worth your while to spend some time squeezing lemon juice with a mix of sugar in a jar. This way, every time you want a fix, all you have to do is pour a spoon of this concoction into a glass, add water and ice, mix it well and you have yourself a refreshing beverage.
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