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Jiffy cooking & Planning of Menus for all occasions at home.

Discussion in 'Ask ChitVish' started by Chitvish, Nov 8, 2007.

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  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    In this thread, I mainly want to emphasise on planning work and time in the kitchen.
    Organised work is a pleasure and I want you all to enjoy cooking as a creative art rather than a mundane chore. A little planning goes a long way in bringing out our efficiency, which is latent in everybody.

    I will start with some general hints and then proceed to simple menus for daily cooking, which can be planned ahead. I also plan to give a variety of menus for get-togethers over breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. I solicit your right earnest participation, my dear friends! You can ask me any doubt you have and I am willing to explain, whatever I know – ofcourse, subject to my limitations, which I want you to always bear in mind !

    Yet another request. I want you to send me the feedbacks and queries about what more you want from me in the following threads only:
    Chitvish Recipes - Post your comments here (part 4)
    Third Thread-Ask here the Recipes you want from Chitvish
    Let this thread and the links thread go uninterrupted with whatever I want to offer you !

    Wish me good luck, my friends - I am starting with just a vague idea, honestly !

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2011
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  2. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    General Tips - 1

    Plan your menu in such a way that you definitely include any one dhal everyday without fail.
    For working women, the following method will be easy.
    Weekly once cook 1 cup tur dhal, ½ cup of moong dhal & ½
    cup of gram dhal and stock in the fridge – not freezer. Take out just before use. Remember to use a dry ladle & keep the dhal back immediately.
    To cook tur dhal, first wash well & soak in 4 volumes of water for 6-8 hrs or the previous night. The volume can be less for gram dhal. Use 5 volumes for moong dhal, to avoid a thick dhal. Cook moong dhal for just one whistle, gram dhal for 2 whistles & tur dhal for 4 to get it soft. I add 2-3 drops of castor oil ( yes!) to tur dhal besides haldi.
    The top clear water in cooked dhal can be used for rasam. Hence I give this proportion.
    Those who have the leisure can cook dhal fresh, if they so prefer. Always soak dhal without forgetting, to get soft dhal, in a shorter time.

    Make tamarind paste & stock, once a fortnight. Keep this also in the fridge & use a dry spoon.

    Squeeze 5-6 lemons, add little salt & keep in the fridge. Do not stock for more than a week.

    Always stock, any one green chutney ( mint or coriander), onion chutney (can be korda)& M W tomato chutney in the fridge. This will be handy as a side dish for tiffins and doubles up as a sandwich spread also. Do not add coconut if you stock like this. For fresh sandwiches, use green chutney with cucumber or tomato slices. For toasted sandwich, use this as a filling with a cheese slice.
    Any soft dosai, spread with any one of these these chutneys & folded with a sprinkling of water, makes a lunch box tiffin.
    As soon as you buy coriander & mint, clean, wash & dry some. In ½ tsp oil, fry the same with enough green chillies & stock in a box. On the days you make coconut chutney or fried gram chutney, add tbsp of this to get an interesting variation.

    I shall alternate menus and tips to keep your interest alive.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    General Tips – 2

    Coconut can be grated and kept in the freezer compartment.Take it out an hour before use & freeze it again. By careful, correct use, the rancid smell setting in, can be prevented.

    Soak whole moong ½ cup for 8 hrs after washing well. Drain & tie loosely in a cloth. Keep in a casserole. In just 12 hrs, it will sprout very well. Keep in the fridge for a week. Mix in any salad, use with mixed vegetables for upma etc.
    How to make sprouts at home?
    Tips on Sprouting Kollu ( horsegram )

    As soon as you buy all vegetables, chop , parboil, cool and mix 1 cup each of carrots, beans, cauliflower, cabbage with peas and corn. Freeze in small ziplock covers. Ideal for use in kurma, mixed vegetable upma, a quick dish with white sauce for topping toasts etc. This finds multivarious uses.

    For dry curris keep these powders always ready:
    1 - Roast & powder coarse
    Red chillies – 6
    Dhaniya – 2 tbsp
    Peanuts – 2 tbsp
    Seasame seeds – 2 tbsp

    2- Dry roast 4,5 red chillies & powder with ½ cup fried gram

    The first is good for brinjal, kovakkai etc.
    The latter can be sprinkled in place of coconut for any curry.

    Please go to
    Navaratna Paruppusili
    Ready Mix Paruppusili
    How to freeze Paruppusili?
    Paruppusili Parade

    Make a large amount of usili, steam, crumble & freeze in small ziplock covers. That is with any steamed vegetable, paruppusili in a jiffy !


    For kootus, to avoid or cut down on coconut:
    Kootu without tamarind:
    Fry on a dry kadai & powder - this can be stocked in the fridge for 2 weeks.
    Red chillies - 4,5
    Urad dhal - 2 level tbsp
    Rice - 3 tsp
    This powder can be added to any kootu after cooking dhal an vegetable, for thickening.


    Kootu with tamarind:
    Fry on a dry kadai & powder - this can be stocked for 2 weeks in fridge
    Red chillies - 4,5
    Urad dhal - 2 level tbsp
    Rice - 3 tsp
    Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
    Methi seeds - 1 tsp

    This powder or sambar powder is good to be added to pulikootus..

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
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  4. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    General Tips – 3

    As soon as you buy Bombay rava & lapsi, roast it very well on a low fire. This prevents the worms infesting rava and also it is easy to prepare jiffy upma because it is pre-roasted.
    Once in 2 weeks, pepare upma mix & refrigerate for super-fast upma making !
    Refer to my recipe on rava upma. Heat oil, temper all ingredients, add rava & salt ( ie everything except water). Refrigerate, in ziplock covers. To make upma, take out a cover, add one packet of frozen cooked vegetables & water. (2 cups for Bombay rava & 3 cups for lapsi). Cook stirring on low fire till done.
    Perfect Rava Upma (1)
    Perfect Rava Upma (2)



    Whenever you grind for idli plan that dough for a week. I personally prefer to make idlis with fresh dough & refrigerate. In the remainig dough, make first dosai, then oothappam when it becomes more sour & finally paniyaram, if it still remains.

    Every week, besides the above dough, grind for anyone tiffin – Kanchipuram idli, 1-2-3 oothappam, aappam, venthaya dosai, tur dhal oothappam, set dosai etc. All these doughs come out well as they ferment. So one half can be frozen, thawed when necessary & used. I always have stocks of any 2 doughs and it makes the work very easy.


    Regularly grind just 1 cup of urad dhal only. Keep in 3 different vessels 1-1 ½ cups each of attal ragi flour & bajra flour, made into a thick paste with salt & water. Divide the ground dough into 3 pasrts & add one part to each vessel. The proportion can be approximate, as well. Mix well & ferment all the three for 8 hrs. Refrigerate. There is always stock for one dosai mavu. This with any one of the refrigerated chutneys maked a quick breakfast.


    Yet another paste for N I gravies can be stored.
    Oil Free Sabji Base
    8 med tomatoes 4 big onions
    10 - 12 garlic pods 2” piece ginger
    1 tsp red chilli pdr 4 green chillies
    1 tbsp dhania pdr salt
    Chop tomatoes , onions, garlic and ginger. Liquidise all the
    ingredients together without adding water. Transfer to a Microwave casserole , Micro Med for 40 - 45 mts , stirring and scrapping the sides twice in between. On removing add 1 tsp garam masala powder and 1 tsp ghee for a nice flavour.This can be refrigerated and preserved.
    oilfree.jpg
    1. For Vegetable Sabjis cook plain potatoes or a combination of vegetables. Then add 2 -3 tbsp of the above base , remove and add chopped coriander leaves.
    2.For Kabuli Channa ,rajma or any dhal , cook the dhal thoroughly and add the above paste to get the desired consistency. Add chopped coriander leaves.
    Sabjis prepared in this way are totally free from oil, which is otherwise is not possible.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    General Tips – 4

    Rava idli mix can be prepared and refrigerated for 2 weeks. Follow the recipe
    Rava Idli
    Add fruit salt & curds, just at the time of making.

    For rava dosai, keep rava – rice machine ground mixture always ready.
    Tips on Rava Dosai
    Rava Dosa - Two different Recipes

    Always keep moong dhal lightly roasted till the colour changes slightly. Then the stickiness reduices on boiling.

    Pongal Mix:
    Wipe rice and dhal with a clean wet cloth.
    Heat oil+ghee, sauté crushed pepper-jeera, chopped ginger, curry leaves, cashewa, hing and finally sauté rice – dhal mixture. Cool & refrigerate. Use as & when necessary.
    This is applicable for any pongal.


    Grind
    green chillies, ginger paste
    ginger garlic paste
    both with little salt & refrigerate. A little vinegar, if added, helps to preserve it.

    For a quick pulao, grind ginger, garlic, green chillies, cashenuts, chopped coriander leaves, as far as possible without adding water & refrigerate.

    Simple quick pulao:
    Simple Vegetable Pulao (1)
    Simple Vegetable Pulao (2)

    The following mix is good for a real jiffy pulao.
    Take Basmathi rice ( better to avoid soaking and draining to make sure of preservation)
    1 cup.
    Heat 2-3 tbsp oil+ghee. Fry bay leaf, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, 2-3 sliced onions, necessary amount of the above paste & finally the rice, just wiped with a wet cloth.
    Fry till rice becomes stiff. Cool & store in ziplock covers in fridge.
    When making the pulao, add water, salt, a packet of frozen vegetables and cook. You can add coconut milk for a better flavour.

    Love,
    Chithra.
    <!-- / message --><!-- controls -->​
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
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  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Menu Planning – 1

    I am generalizing on the South Indian way of menu planning with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    I am including tips from my dietician also.

    It is customary to eat rice for lunch.
    The breakfast must consist of carbohydrates necessarily, for giving us energy.
    The dinner can be chappathis or any other tiffin.

    Preferably do not repeat the same cereal for breakfast and lunch.
    For example, if breakfast is idli made with rice, dinner can be lapsi upma or pongal.
    If you have atta or ragi dosai in the morning, plan a dish like Kanchipuram idli or kozukkattai for night.
    Oily and heavy tiffins like adai are best eaten atleast 2 hrs before going to bed.


    Let us assume you have ground idli batter say, on Sunday.
    So you have 4 menus from it – idlis for 2 days, dosai, oothappam and paniyaram (if the dough stretches, ofcourse!)
    On the same day, grind for one more tiffin like aappam, or adai or any oothappam.
    The dough can be refrigerated on fermentation so that you have the dough on any day of the week.
    Besides the ground batter, we can make any upma or poha variety or pongal or toasts for other times.
    Tiffins like Coorg idli, masoor dhal dosai etc need to be fermented for just 8 hrs.
    Pessarat is made immediately.
    So plan to soak in advance suitably.
    On days, you make sambar, suitably match breakfast or dinner – idli, any dosai etc.
    On days you make mulakootal or poricha kuzambu etc, make a tiffin with a new side-dish like pongal-gotsu or something similar.
    Monthly once make kichdi-kadi for dinner with lapsi idli, rava idli or morkali like for breakfast.
    Poha dish is an anytime easy tiffin.
    On days when there is more work, use bread for breakfast.
    See that the breakfast is light on days when you have oiy tiffin like adai, pessarat, Kanchipuram idli etc.
    Keep stocks of mini idlis to prepare any variety that I have given.
    On the days you make deep fried tiffins, have just bahala bath (any of the three I have given) along with it.

    Include keerai atleast 5 times a week. In Chennai, we get varities and so we can alternate.
    Or if you go only once a week, buy keerai, clean, cook & freeze. The keerai can take different avatars on various days. Try to include salads , atleast on 5 days, if not everyday.

    When you make sambar with lot of dhal, make a green vegetable curry. You can even add 2 tsp coconut, if you like. A kootu with dhal is not necessary. A raita or salad can complement better.

    On the days, you make vathakuzambu, keep “ kalathukku paruppu” or make a kootu with dhal or a paruppusili or a vegetable with any dhal. A raita & keerai go very well.
    Keerai can also be made into a kootu.

    With morkuzambu, dhal is a must either as paruppusili or kootu. If you are making kootu, make a roast curry. It makes a good combination with morkuzambu. On that day for dinner, make sevai variety or idiyappam or adai. All these go well with morkuzambu.

    With varutharaicha kuzambu, coconut milk kuzambu etc, a roast curry is best so that coconut is not repeated.

    With mulakootal, eriseri, mulakashyam etc, make a raitha or and puli pachadi.

    The main idea is to balance the taste, but at the same time taking care of nuitrition.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Daily Menu – 1

    I am giving sample menus (very general), which, please modify to suit your taste and convenience.
    I suggest, you do the grinding on Sundays so that you will have ready doughs on the week days. Since you have the grinder work on Sunday mornings, I give suitable menu.
    I plan to go into more detailed menus in the days to come. I shall wait for your F b s about how you like this & proceed further.

    Sunday:
    Breakfast - any poha tiffin
    Lunch - bisibela, potato roast, any raitha, pepper-jeera rasam (to offset heavy dhal in bisibela), salad
    Dinner - Any deep fried snack + Bahala bath

    Monday:
    Breakfast - idli & sambar
    Lunch - Sambar, any green vegetable curry with little coconut, keerai masiyal, salad
    Dinner - Lapsi upma (any non-rice tiffin)

    Tuesday:
    Breakfast:- Rava pongal & chutney
    Lunch - Morkuzambu with pusanikkai, any paruppusili (or roast curry), keerai kootu, salad
    Dinner - Sevai or idiyappam if morkuzambu is left over
    Kozukkattai & gotsu

    Wednesday:
    Breakfast - Semiya upma with vegetables
    Lunch - Vathakuzambu, paruppusili or thengai-paaruppu potta green vegetable curry, keerai masiyal, raitha, lemon rasam
    Dinner - Chappathi with dhal & a dry vegetable (make dhal to offset vathakuzambu for lunch)

    Thursday -
    Breakfast - Bread toast with a filling
    Lunch - Any pitlai or Rasavangi, keerai, any green vegetable curry, goddu rasam
    Dinner - Dosai with the left over kuzambu

    Friday:
    Breakfast - any cereal dosai
    Lunch - Mulakootal, pachadi, a roast curry, puliyitta keerai, paruppu rasam
    Dinner - Channa-bathura

    Saturday:
    Breakfast - any mini-idli variety
    Lunch - pulao, raitha, kuruma, salad, jeeraka rasam
    Dinner - Oothappam

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Ready mix Paruppusili:

    Tur dhal - 1 cup

    Gram dhal - ½ cup

    Red chillies - 8

    Hing - 1 tsp

    Dry all ingrediesnts in the sun or

    MW hi for 2 mts.

    Grind to a coarse rava consistency.

    Stock this for use.

    To make usili:

    Mix 1 cup of this mix with just about 1/3 cup of warm water

    It will soak in 20-30 mts - the consistency should be "uthir uthir".

    Steam the chopped vegetable & keep ready.

    Heat 3 tsp oil & temper mustard seeds & urad dhal.

    Add vegetable, mix & just enough salt.

    Cook on a low fire for 10 mts.

    Jiffy paruppusili is ready. I tried stuffing brinjals thus:


    mar 12th 002.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
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  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Jiffy Adai with home made adai mix:


    Boiled rice - 1 ½ cups flat

    Raw rice - ½ cup, heaped

    Tur dhal - ¼ cup

    Gram dhal - ½ cup

    Urad dhal - 1 tbsp

    Red chillies - 12-15

    Salt

    Hing powder - 1 tsp

    Mix all ingredients (except last two) & grind to a coarse rava in the mixi.

    30 mts before making the adai, add 1 - 1 1/2 times the volume of water for one volume of mix , with salt & hing.

    Give just one run in the mixie to get a homogeneous mixture.

    You can add finely chopped cabbage, carrot, onions, keerai etc.

    Make adai as usual.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2007
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Banana Modak - the jiffiest naivedhyam, call it sweet !

    Ripe bananas - 2 medium ( grate)

    Chiroti rava - ¼ cup, heaped

    Sugar - 2 tsp

    Salt - a tiny pinch

    Cardamom powder - ¼ tsp

    Oil - to deep fry

    Mix all ingredients together to a dough.

    Heat oil to medium.

    Pinch tiny portions of the dough & drop in oil.

    Lower the flame to prevent fast browning.

    Gently turn over when the first side turns golden.

    Cook on a low fire till uniformly coloured.

    Remove & drain on a tissue paper.

    If you do not have chiroti rava, either a mixture of rice flour & maida or plain atta can be used. But chiroti rava gives best modaks.

    BananaModak1.JPG
     
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