How do YOU keep your kitchen always ready ?

Discussion in 'Recipe Central' started by hrastro, May 25, 2015.

  1. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Please note - NO Preservatives and chemicals laden recipes in this thread :)

    We all do eat out or get ready made stuff from outside ! Even I do !
    But as we recently had the maggi's lead scare, lets see how we can still make home made food in this busy busy life :)

    School is starting in another week or two !

    I'll ADD all the things in my kitchen available RIGHT NOW !!
    Will add more if and when I make more stuff


    How do you keep your kitchen always stocked and ready ?

    1. What do you keep in your refrigerator and freezer and pantry for busy school days?
    2. Have you ever helped out a sick or recuperating or busy friend with loads of homemade stuff to make life easy for her?
    3. How do you make something quick when you are back from some trip or picnic and want some instant hot homemade food because you have ill-treated your stomach during the trip?
    4. What about unexpected guests ??
    5. When you are sick ?
    6. Days when you dont want to cook an elaborate home meal because you want to focus on something else?
    7. Times when you are away for a few days and your husband is alone at home and he needs to manage cooking with lesser skills and lesser time !
    8. Your DH/you have acidity problems or diabetes or just prefer home cooked food or to save money - and have to travel for official purposes
    9. You are a vegetarian and you have limited access when you're travelling
    10. When your teenager needs to fix herself a meal and you dont want her to reach out to maggi?
    11. You know that house guests are coming for a week ! What do you keep ready? What shortcuts do you use ?
    12. Your kids/guests are fussy eaters and you need to make something instantly, what do you do?
    13. Your son/daughter is a student at university or bachelor/spinster staying away from home - what kind of ready foods do you pack for long term?
    14. You just visited a spa and want to relax with indusladies :)

    Tell us all
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  2. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Ready mixes for the days you wake up late and everything seems to get worse

    I have been looking at these instant foods recipes but have not yet tried all of them myself !

    I usually keep a pack of MTR rava idli mix for unexpected scenarios. And I've never had to buy more than a single packet in 4-6 months - so I am just sharing the info here

    These mixes come in handy for

    1. Travel with small kids
    2. Picnics
    3. Bachelors
    4. Official trips when you are on a diet or prefer home food
    5. Unexpected guests
    6. Sick days
    7. Older kid at home needs to cook himself/herself an odd meal.

    I'll just add the many links here and let you explore and customise!

    Rava idli mix - Store the mix in fridge. Add 1.5 cups curd and a pinch of baking soda for 1 cup of the rava idli mix and steam in idli moulds.
    Homemade Rava Idli Mix - Tamalapaku
    Instant Rava Idli and Upma mix - Food and Remedy

    Rava upma mix - Store the mix in fridge, but ok to carry for a few hours or a couple of days.
    This is a good one for travels, picnics, official meetings where a microwave or a kettle or hot water is available.
    Add 1.5-1.75 cups water to 1 cup of this mix, add salt and microwave till water is absorbed
    Or add salt and 1.5 cups boiling hot water to 1 cup of this mix and let it stand for 5-10 minutes - done!
    If you're at home, you can add chopped boiled vegetables to the mix.
    Instant Rava Idli and Upma mix - Food and Remedy
    Homemade instant mix for upma - Veggie Platter

    Semia khara bhaat - Store the mix in fridge, but ok to carry for a few hours or a couple of days.
    This is a good one for hotels and offices where a microwave is available.
    Add 2 cups water to 1 cup of this mix and microwave till water is absorbed
    If you are preparing at home, you can add boiled vegetables and tomatoes to this.
    Homemade Kharabath mix - Chitra Ammas kitchen

    Adai mix - You can store this in airtight boxes in your pantry area. No need to refrigerate
    This is for those situations where your husband might be staying alone in another city and needs home cooked food at least on some days. OR when you don’t have any dosa batter and want to eat crispy adais without grinding work.
    Add enough water to the mix to make a batter of dosa consistency. Let soak for half an hour - 1 hour.
    Make hot crisp dosas after one hour! Eat with allam or tomato pachadi or jaggery and butter for kids.
    Adai Mix - Your everyday cook Radhai

    Kichdi mix - You can store this as single serve packets in your fridge
    This is for the situations where your older child or husband can make a healthy kichdi by just adding 3 cups water to 1 cup mix in a pressure cooker or rice cooker when you are not available to cook. You can add chopped vegetables to make it healthier.
    You can also use it when you want to feed your baby home cooked food when travelling.
    Instant Kichdi mix for travelling - Roma Sharma

    Beeyam rava mix - This can be stored in the pantry - it is just a mix of rice, bit of dal and jeera and pepper run in the mixie to a coarse mix.
    This is for when you reach home tired from a long journey or picnic and need something filling and quick and hot !
    Just put tadka in a pressure pan/ rice cooker/ pressure cooker with ghee and jeera and hing, add 1 cup mix and 3 cups water and cook for 10 minutes or one whistle. Add 1 spoon ghee and mix well. Eat with any pachadi or just like that
    Rice rava Upma - Vysya's Recipes

    Poha mix - You can store this in the pantry.
    This can be a good option for those travelling with fussy toddlers or just evening snack.
    You can eat it just as it is like a mixture OR wet it and add lemon juice and it becomes a breakfast or dinner.
    Homemade Instant Poha Mix - 4th Sense Cooking
    Instant Poha Mix - make 7 recipes from 1 mix - Cooking Without Kitchen
    Instant Poha - Yummily Yours

    Dhokla and Handwo
    are Gujarati dishes and most of you must know Tarla Dalal and Bhavna's kitchen provide the best Gujarati dishes. I like Hetal and Anusha from Show me the curry - they have some awesome Gujarati dishes !
    For me these mixes are more for special occasion snacks than everyday snacks !

    Dhokla mix
    Add water and a pinch of baking soda to dhokla mix, steam and add tadka !

    Handwo mix
    Use this mix when you are going out in the morning and want a filling breakfast as you don’t know how late the lunch will be. Or else you can make this as a Sunday brunch and not cook lunch! Handwo has all the ingredients of a filling meal - dals, rice, vegetables, masalas, crisp top with the tadka and the dense cake part.
    Handwo is usually a long process with soaking of dals and grinding and fermenting and then add vegetables and curd. Then bake/steam/roast in pan.
    This mix makes it easier by cutting off the soaking and grinding parts. Just add curd and chilli ginger paste and masala powders and let it ferment overnight. In the morning, you can add chopped vegetables and steam/bake/roast and add the tadka.
    Homemade Khaman, Dhokla, Handvo, idli flour mix by Bhavna

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  3. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Sprouts for added protein

    Green gram
    Horsegram - ulavalu

    While soaking for the tiffin batters, it doesn’t take too much extra time to soak 1 cup each of whole green gram, whole moth and whole horsegram.
    Soak them separately, wash them in the morning and tie them up in cloths or sprout makers in separate layers.
    Soak 1 cup each of bajra and jowar too - and keep it for sprouting. Best done on Friday night.

    Saturday morning, while grinding the batters, you can drain and tie in a cloth and hang them above the sink.
    Ensure you wet the cloth once during the day and once more in the night before you sleep.

    By sunday morning, your sprouts will be ready.

    You can spread the sprouts under fan on a cloth and let it dry. By evening, most moisture should be gone.

    Store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can mix the three lentils sprouts or keep them separate. Either way it will be tasty and healthy.

    If you have freezer space, you can freeze the sprouts too - they will stay for 2 weeks in the fridge and even a month or two in the freezer.

    1. Use the sprouts for adding protein and vitamin power to anything.
    2. Add a handful to your everyday curries, dals, sambhars, upma, kichdi, dosas or oothapams.
    3. Eat just like that as snacks or add onions, green chillies, tomatos and lemon juice and make it a filling bhel for breakfast or snack time.
    4. Add to raithas or pachadis or sabjis or pulavs or even panipuris and bhel and dahi puri and lachcha tokri etc.
    5. Boil the dals sprouts and make dal-makhni out of it.
    6. Grind the dals sprouts with ginger and green chillies and salt and make dosas/chilas out of it.

    With the bajra and jowar sprouts mix, since it is dry, you can make a coarse powder out of it - you can keep it refrigerated and use it to thicken soups and pulusus, add body to kichdi and add to paratha atta for added nutrition.

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  4. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Yummy and healthy tiffins to start the day or pack for lunch

    If you're pressed for time/have a good climate/ very good refrigerator/lots of place in freezer/expecting guests for the whole week

    This whole job will take half an hour extra in the night to measure, wash and soak each separately and 4-5 hours in the morning, it can be handled along with cooking breakfast and lunch if you have a relaxed afternoon!

    You can grind all the batters given below on one weekend morning - First grind the plain udad dal, then grind the white dosa batter, then the mixed millets batter and at last grind the pesarettu batter.
    Ensure you have no other strenuous work that day. And give the grinder 10 minutes gaps if it gets heated up.

    Finish the batters in the reverse order
    Use up the pesarettu batter and the millets dosa batter before using up the others.

    Plain udad dal batter
    1 cup udad dal
    Wash and soak for 4-6 hours and grind in grinder till smooth and fluffy - try adding minimum water.

    This batter shouldn’t be fermented. You can freeze this or refrigerate it. This will be useful for emergencies!

    1. You can add salt and make medu wadas
    2. You can add 3 cups soaked idli rava and ferment it and make idlis
    3. You can add 3 cups rice flour or ragi flour or mixed millets flour along with water and make millets or rice dosas
    4. You can add onions and green chillies and ginger and make punukulu out of this.
    5. You can make a sweet stuffing (jaggery and boiled dal or jaggery/sugar with coconut/poli poornam etc) or savoury stuffing ( boiled potato with masalas/green chilies) and make bondas out of this.

    Dosa batter

    1 cup udad dal
    3 cups idli rice OR 1.5 cups idli rice, 1.5 cups raw rice.
    1 generous tbsp of methi/fenugreek seeds

    Wash and soak for 4-6 hours (depending on your dal and rice varieties and your climate)
    Grind udad dal separately till smooth and fluffy, take it out of the grinder
    Then grind the rice along with the fenugreek/methi seeds till very smooth.
    Now add the ground udad dal to this rice mix and let the grinder mix the batter thoroughly

    Take it out in a big container and let it ferment for 6-8 hours.
    No need to mix this batter, use it next morning for crisp dosas or keep in fridge for 3-4 days (depending on your climate)

    Mixed millets dosa -
    1.5 cups udad dal
    1 cup bajra
    1 cup jowar
    1 cup thana (foxtail millet)
    1 cup raw rice (Or idli rice or red matta rice or brown rice)
    Soak for at least 8 hours and grind one by one otherwise millets will be coarse - first foxtail millet, then add bajra and jowar to the grinder, then add the rice!
    Take the mix out, add the udad dal to the grinder and grind till fluffy. Add salt.
    Add the ground mixture of millets and rice and salt to taste to the udad dal and let the grinder mix it thoroughly

    Leave it outside overnight till it ferments (6-8 hours)

    Mix thoroughly, separate into different boxes so that you can use one at a time. If you are going to keep this for more than a week, you can freeze the fermented and mixed dough!
    Take out from the freezer the day before using it and keep in the fridge area to thaw.

    If the dosa batter has been kept for sometime and starts to over ferment, add onions, green chillies and jeera, make consistency proper by adding 1-2 tbsp of idli rava or bombay rava and make dibba rotti or oothapams or paniyaram (gunta punugulu/aberskeiver pan) using the same batter.

    1 cup whole moong dal
    1/4 cup raw rice (can use idli rice or red raw rice)
    1 inch piece ginger, 1-2 tsp jeera and 3-4 green chillies/red chillies according to taste, salt to taste
    Grind the rice first in mixie along with the ginger, jeera, chillies, salt to a smooth paste, else the grinder will get stuck with the ginger pieces
    Grind the moong dal in the grinder, add the above rice and spices mix and grind till smooth.

    Make pesarettu instantly or keep in fridge immediately after grinding, take out an hour or two before use. Don’t ferment this batter. Top the dosas with chopped onions and ginger and green chilli and whole jeera and curry leaves !
    Best combination is allam pachadi for adults and just jaggery for kids!
    Pesarettu is best finished fresh or maximum within 2 days in fridge.

    I havent tried freezing this batter, I don’t know if the texture would change, will update if there is ever any leftover batter to freeze ;-)

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  5. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    [h=3]Greens for vitamins[/h]
    Yes I know we all like to chop vegetables just in time. We all like to clean greens just before cooking, we all like to eat the vegetables fresh out of the garden.

    But once we couldn’t finish off the greens in my garden - there was too much of it.
    I'm sure it happens with you all too - gongura is difficult to find outside andhra OR the vendor has some really fresh greens cheap and wants to give it away at throwaway prices or some friend shares her garden blooms and you have something else planned for the day!

    So, what did I do?
    Separate, segregate and pluck leaves and wash thoroughly. I usually wash the greens till I see clear water, then use RO water for the last wash!
    Dry it in a salad spinner or drain. Chop roughly using food processor chopper attachment.
    You can freeze this as it is, and use it next day for dals or pachadis or mixed rice.
    You can blanch it for 2 minutes and drain and freeze

    If you want to keep it for longer you may boil it for 5 minutes
    Add a tsp of oil in a kadai, add the leaves, cook covered till the leaves wilt. Take it out of the kadai and cool.
    You can portion it out in a muffin pan and freeze.
    Once frozen, you can take out of the muffin pan and add the green "cups" to an airtight box or freezer friendly ziplock covers.
    Use this for the days you make plain dal and want to add some greens for health. You can add to palak paneer or palak kadhi or palak dal.
    You can also add this to soups or even pasta. Or make pudina/coriander rice! Or make a pachadi with the right tadka !

    I made these muffin sized cups with coriander, pudina, palak, totakoora (araikeerai), basil, bachali (pasali)
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  6. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Powders that you just eat with rice/idli/dosa when you cant cook a side dish

    These powders can be stored in the pantry for a few weeks and if you have help or time, you can make more and store in double packed freezer covers for more time.

    These podis are very handy

    1. Mix with oil/ghee and it become an instant chutney to go with idli/dosa/pesarettu/adai/even rotis
    2. Add curd and some chopped onions and any pickle/oragaya you have - yummy pachadi for parathas or upmas
    3. Mix powder with hot steamed rice, add ghee and yummy mixed rice ready - tastier with salad and plain yoghurt.
    4. Make a rice with this when you have extra guests or kids or you're tired from a picnic or a long day.
    5. Boil squash/gourd/soft vegetables with very little salt (Salt is already added to the podi). Add this powder to make the curry.
    6. Ideal to give as separate chutney for kids when the adults chutney's dont work out
    7. Ideal to give as a healthy extra dish for unexpected hungry kids !
    8. Ideal for travel to places where you may not get vegetarian food and you are a vegetarian
    9. Ideal for travel meals - you can make idlis/rotis/theplas and take this as an accompaniment.
    10. Chop up left over idlis into bite size pieces, coat with 1 tbsp oil and roast in the oven at 180 C for 10-15 minutes till crisp. Add 2-3 tbsp of any of these powders and coat well. Crispy and filling snack is ready.
    11. Add tamarind paste and dhaniya to any of these powders and use as a stuffing for Gutti Vankaya !
    12. Add tamarind paste and omam podi or crushed omam - use any of these powders for stuffing in mirchi bajji
    NOTE : Pregnant women usually avoid sesame seeds!

    Short versions

    1. Dry fry the nuts/lentils/seeds.
    2. Dry fry the red chillies separately.
    3. Let cool.
    4. Grind the red chillies to a fine powder with salt.
    5. Add lentils if any in the recipe. Grind to powder.
    6. Add the nuts/seeds - ONLY pulse. They should not get oily.
    7. Sesame seeds should be added before the others as it will not get powdered otherwise.
    8. You dont have to refrigerate this podi - just keep in airtight box and use a dry spoon - will stay for 3-4 weeks
    9. If you ran the mixie too much and the podi is a bit sticky instead of powdery - oil has separated - refrigerate and use it up faster !! (not so difficult ;-))
    Ground nut podi - 1 cup groundnuts, 1/4 cup til, 8-10 red chillies, salt

    Til podi - 1 cup til - sesame seeds, 8-10 red chillies, salt
    Idli podi - 1/2 cup udad dal, 1/2 cup channa dal, 10-15 red chillies and salt
    Flax seed podi - 1/2 cup tuvar dal, 1/2 cup channa dal, 1/2 cup flax seeds, 10-15 red chillies, salt
    Kandi podi / Pappu podi / Paruppu podi - 1 cup tuvar dal, 8-10 red chillies, salt

    Kids kandi podi - kandi podi with added nuts - 1/2 cup tuvar dal, 3-4 red chillies (add more chillies if making for adults), 1/2 cup mixed nuts like badam, cashews, walnuts etc, 1/2 cup seeds like sunflower seeds, melon seeds, muskmelon seeds etc.

    Long versions :
    Peanut podi -
    1 cup peanuts - dry roast, cool and remove the skin
    1/4 cup sesame seeds - til - ellu/nuvvulu - roasted and cooled (preferably not the black til, you can use the cream one or the silky white one)
    10-12 red chillies - dry roast (add more or less depending on your taste)
    Salt to taste

    Some people like to add 1 tbsp roasted jeera - if you like, then roast the jeera (just keep in hot pan after switching off), powder it separately and mix to the final powder, else jeera wont get powdered
    You can add roasted garlic and dry tamarind if you want!

    While running the mixie, ensure you first finely powder the red chillies with salt
    then add the roasted til, and dont run the mixie, just PULSE it - just 1 second ON many times - till the til is powdered (shouldn't be sticky).
    Then and only then add the peanuts - and again ONLY pulsing, running the mixie will cause the oils to separate and you'll get peanut butter instead of peanut podi

    Just pulse the whole mix 3-4 times till the peanuts are roughly powdered and store it in an air-tight box.

    Til podi - Nuvvulu podi - (Til = Sesame seeds = Nuvvulu pappu = Ellu)

    1 cup white til (or the cream one) - dry roast in a hot kadai or microwave for 2-3 minutes till you get the til's smell.
    8-10 dry red chillies - dry roast in a hot kadai or microwave for 1 minute till the red chillies look a little puffed up.
    Cool both the above well.

    Add 1 tsp salt to the red chillies in a mixie and grind till fine.
    Now, add the roasted til and just whizz for a second - if you have the whipper button in the mixie use that.

    Repeat 2-3 times - whirr for a second and switch off. - Till the til comes together and looks powdery - if whole tils are there, there wont be any taste, if the til becomes too powdery, it becomes a paste and oil oozes and the powder will become rancid quickly!!

    If you have only gourds for sabji - boil chopped gourd (ridge gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, cucumber, snake gourd) with very little salt (as salt is already in this podi) - when the vegetable is boiled - add 2-3 spoons of this podi - add more chilli powder if required - adds protein punch to the nutritive value and bursts of taste with every bite !!! Tastes especially good with ridgegourd !!

    Add 1 tsp tamarind paste to 2-3 tsp of this til podi - add some ajwain - stuff the paste into slit long green chillies, dip into a besan batter and deep fry - stuffed chilli bajjis - mmmm !!!

    Kandi podi

    Take 1 cup kandi pappu - tur dal - dry roast in kadai till you get the roasted smell or microwave for 2 minutes
    7-10 red chiilies depending on how spicy you like it - if it is for kids, use only 1-2 red chillies
    1 tsp salt

    Dry grind the chillies and salt first, then add the dal. And run the mixie - keep the podi a little bit rough
    Store in airtight container!
    Mix with hot steaming rice + 1 tsp ghee
    and enjoy with a sour spicy pulusu or rasam or with just chopped onions.

    If you're making for kids, you can reduce the dal and
    dry roast 6-7 cashews, 7-10 badam, pista, handful of melon seeds and sunflower seeds, and musk melon seeds

    Add walnuts if you like !!!
    A very good way for kids to get good fats for brain development from the dry nuts and seeds
    I even add a tbsp of til and groundnuts to the mix!
    Try different combinations.
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  7. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Powders for the ruchi and sugandh and flavour

    We get all kinds of masala powders - aashirwad, ruchi, mtr, priya, everest, mdh - so many companies make it. But somehow after the first time you open the pack the aroma is no longer there, the taste is bland and you have to add more of the powder and you get less flavour.
    Homemade powders are not difficult to make and stay fresh for a long time and hold the aroma !

    I prepare the following powders. I start it all on a relatively free day and dry roast each ingredient one by one and put them to cool in wide plates on the dining table! I usually roast them along with making breakfast/lunch - extra half hour and then when making snacks/evening tea/dinner, I grind them all - another half hour- that way, I don’t spend too much extra hours in the kitchen.

    Ensure that they don’t get burnt. Each ingredient has a different smoking point - so be careful. As soon as you get the aroma of the ingredient, lift off and put it on a wide plate. The heat will stay on for some more minutes, so it will get roasted further.

    For jeera, just put it in a hot pan after all the other ingredients, switch off the stove and stir till you get the aroma.

    Roasted red chillies can give out uncomfortable fumes - ensure that you leave your windows open when you roast red chillies ! And once roasted, keep it out in the balcony (in a dry area) to cool, so that you don’t get too uncomfortable.

    Once all the whole ingredients are roasted - measure out into separate powders - eg. Dhaniya is required for sambhar powder, rasam powder, gutti vankaya podi and dhaniya powder too.
    Similarly red chillies are required for many powders.
    Measure out for each podi separately and then grind each podi !
    Grind the red chillies before dhaniya and dals, else you wont get a fine powder.

    Sambhar powder -
    combination of channa dal, tuvar dal, red chillies, dhaniya and very small quantities of methi, jeera and hing and curry leaves.

    Rasam powder - tuvar dal, red chillies, dhaniya, pepper, jeera, hing

    Tea masala - cinnamon, elaichi, sonth (dry ginger), pepper and tiny quantities of clove and dhaniya

    Biriyani masala - bay leaves, cinnamon, big elachi, cloves, suanf, small elaichi, mace, dagad phool

    Gutti vankaya podi - dhaniya, til, groundnuts, channa dal, red chillies (optional to add cashews)

    Mirchi bajji stuffing podi - dhaniya, ajwain, salt, dry coconut

    Single ingredient powders that I make and store. Just dry fry, cool, grind, store.
    Red chilli

    Keep all the above powders in small quantities in your pantry.
    I use a lot of dhaniya and red chilli powder, so I keep it in 2 airtight containers. That way the flavour stays longer.

    Excess powder can be packed in zip lock covers, labelled and packed inside freezer safe containers and put in freezer till the first batch gets over.
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  8. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Gravies for the masala showers

    With most north Indian dishes, the major part of the task is bhunaoing and grinding of the masalas !

    You can keep these gravies in individual single use containers in the freezer and use it as required.

    Situations of use:

    1. A working woman who wants to pack easy lunches
    2. You are expecting many house guests for the week
    3. You have a kid who loves North Indian food and asks for it at a minute's notice
    4. You have to cook for a single person
    5. Make ahead for a dinner party or a relaxed weekend.
    6. Gift idea for a dear friend or sibling.
    7. You have an elderly guest who doesnt eat onions and garlic and you want to offer the same menu as the others - just cook the same vegetables/rice/paneer in the no onion/no garlic gravy !

    Red gravy & White gravy

    Fry a big batch of ground onions, ginger, garlic.
    Keep aside half of it for the red gravy.

    For the remaining half, add a paste of cashews, muskmelon seeds, sunflower seeds, khus-khus - all soaked for half an hour in hot water. Once the paste starts leaving the sides of the pan, add your masala powders - dhaniya, jeera, red chilli powder, garam masala and whatever else you want and fry some more. Remove it to a plate to cool well before packing in single serve freezer safe containers.

    With the half kept aside for the red gravy, add pureed tomatoes and fry well till the paste starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add your masalas - dhaniya, jeera, red chilli powder, garam masala and whatever else you like and fry some more. Remove it to a plate to cool well before packing in single serve freezer safe containers.

    Makhni gravy -
    Add to a pressure cooker 2 onions, 2-3 tsp cashews, salt,

    Make a potli of elaichi, dalchini and cloves. Or add powder
    Ginger garlic paste - 2tbsp,
    Green chillis - 4
    Red chilli powder -1 tbsp
    Tomatoes - 7
    Pressure cook for 15 minutes
    Strain, add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp kasuri methi
    Store individual portions for ease of use.

    No onion/garlic gravy for the days you are not supposed to eat onions and garlic -

    To a pan, add oil or ghee, add jeera
    Saute a cup of chopped yellow pumpkin, chopped tomatoes, required masala powders (dhaniya, jeera, garam masala, red chilli powder, saunf, cloves, cinnamon, elaichi etc), salt and let it cook till soft (If in a pressure pan, cook for 1-2 whistles.
    Let cool, blend, strain if required and store in individual portions in the freezer.

    How to use:
    For 2-3 persons
    You can use any of the above gravies to make the following recipes !

    Mixed veg curry -
    Take a 3 litre pressure cooker.
    Make a tadka of ghee, hing, jeera if required.
    Saute 1 - 1.5 cups of the required vegetables you are going to add to the gravy !
    (carrot, beetroot, capsicum, cauliflower, sweet corn, peas etc)
    Add 2-3 tbsp of any gravy above. Close the lid and put the whistle on.
    Add enough water for the vegetables to cook - since it is pressure cooked the volume of water will remain the same, so add accordingly. A good approximation is to add enough water to just cover the vegetables.
    If you want richer curry, you can add half milk, half water.
    Cook for 2-3 whistles (depends on the veggies you have added and the cooker you have )
    Open after the pressure is released.
    Add salt and red chilli powder if required.

    For makhni dal or rajma or channa or green moong or lobia
    Take a 3 litre pressure cooker.
    Make a tadka of ghee, hing, jeera if required.
    Add the soaked dals. For rajma, channa etc soak overnight. Pressure cook the beans or dal with haldi.
    When done, add 2-3 tbsp of any of the gravy above. Add salt, any required spices. Close and cook again for 1 whistle.
    Add a generous dollop or cream when serving.

    Mixed vegetables Rice -
    Take a 3 litre pressure cooker.
    Make a tadka of ghee, hing, jeera if required.
    Saute 1 cup of vegetables (carrot, beetroot, capsicum, cauliflower, sweet corn, peas etc)
    Add 1.5 cups of soaked basmati (or long grained) rice.
    Add 3-4 tbsp of any of the above gravy (white gravy tastes wonderful with rice).
    Add the required water (3 cups water for 1.5 cups long grained/basmati rice).
    If using white gravy, to make the rice taste special, you can add half water, half milk.
    Cook for 1 whistle. Done.

    Paneer Dishes
    Heat the gravy, fry the paneer (optional), add the paneer. Boil for 5 minutes

    If you're not using pressure cooker and using a normal kadai or pan or electric rice cooker, ensure that the dal or veggies is cooked completely before adding the gravy. Rice will cook even with the gravy.
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  9. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    [h=3]Pasta/Pizza sauce to go around the world[/h]
    Instead of buying the pasta/pizza sauce, why not make it at home ! You know exactly what you are putting into them and you can customize to your tastes and preferences !
    You can use the same recipe for a no onion/no garlic versions !
    Just skip them OR add cabbage instead of onions

    Tomatoes - 7 - choose ripe red wild tomatoes (the softer rounder tomatoes are more flavourful than the hybrid variety)
    Onion - 1 medium (skip if you don’t eat onions on specific days)
    Capsicum - 1
    Garlic cloves - 5-10 (skip if you don’t eat garlic on specific days)
    Italian seasoning (I used basil leaves from my balcony garden)
    You can add any flavours you like - oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, even coriander is good!
    Red chilli powder to taste
    Green chillies (if you want more heat - add 1 or 2)
    Oil 1 tbsp
    Butter 1tbsp
    Salt to taste

    Roughly chop tomatoes, onions, capsicum
    Puree half of the tomatoes in a mixie.

    Heat a pan, add oil, onion, capsicum and saute for a minute or two till onion is transparent.
    Add chopped tomatoes. Add the garlic, any fresh or dried herbs that you have, and red chilli powder ( and green chillies if using) and salt.
    Stir to mix.
    Add the tomato that was pureed.

    Cover and cook till the chopped tomatoes look soft and done. About 5-8 minutes.
    Add 1 tbsp butter.
    Switch off. Cool thoroughly and then blend and store in refrigerator if using within a week. Or in freezer in individual containers for upto a month

    How to use this

    1. Buy or make your own pizza base, spread a generous spoonful on the base, add your toppings and cheese and bake in oven (or your dosa pan - covered) for 5-10 minutes till the cheese melts.
    2. You can boil with salt and few drops oil, some spaghetti or pasta or shell pasta or fusili or fettucine or ravioli or any shaped pasta till al-dente (should have a bite).
    3. Drain and coat with the pasta sauce, eat as it is or top with cheese or italian herbs (optional) !
    4. In a pinch, you can add boiled mixed vegetables to this pasta sauce and eat with rotis or even idlis
    5. Use the sauce as it is to eat with idlis/dosas/rotis etc.
    7 people like this.
  10. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    Boiled dals for those unexpected dinner guests
    Remember - no canned goods allowed !

    If you are expecting guests but don’t know if they'll have dinner or not - do you want to still offer them elaborate dinner?

    1. You can keep boiled dals and beans in the freezer.
    2. Sprouted moong dal and moth,
    3. Black whole udad dal for dal makhni,
    4. Rajma for rajma masala or rajma rice
    5. Chickpeas for making channa masala
    6. Skinless arhar dal

    Soak dals as per recipe and pressure cook and store in individual containers in the freezer. Thaw and use.
    4 people like this.

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