Eating out is a very simple alternative but may not be good for health or for the wallet. Cooking 4 different dishes or so on Sundays, as one of my friends does eliminates the need to cook over most part of the week. Yet another way to minimize cooking time is to partially cook and freeze the dish for use over the week. And this is my way of saving cooking time on weekdays. In fact I try to make substantial amounts of masala for different dishes, portion control it and store in the freezer. This way, a major part of my cooking is taken care of and it hardly takes 15-20 to mix the masala with veggies or lentils to make an entire dish.
Heads up: Time saving tips
- Grind coconut, jeera, peppercorn and green chillies ahead of time and pop the ground mixture in the freezer. This stays good for 2-3 weeks. Increase the amount of ingredients to four fold (or as per your need), grind it all at once, portion it into 4 different containers and use it on 4 different days.
- Beans is just one of the veggies that I had on hand. Feel free to substitute it with cabbage, greens, carrot & peas or just about any vegetable.
2 cups chopped green beans (1/2" long pieces)
1 cup moong dal
1/4 cup toor dal
One large pinch of turmeric.
To grind: (This part can be done ahead of time and the masala stays good in the freezer for 3-4 weeks)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp jeera
2 green chillies
2 tsp oil
1 tsp channa dal
2 tsp split urad dal
2 tsp jeera
1 tsp mustard
A few pinch hing
Few curry leaves
cilantro for garnish.
- Boil green beans and dal until well cooked, about 20 min.
- Soak all the ingredients listed under 'to grind" for 15 min and then grind well to a smooth paste.
- Add the ground mixture to boiled dal and beans.
- Let this mixture boil for 15 min.
- In a small kadai heat 3 tsp oil, add all the ingredients for tadka.
- Add the tadka to the boiling mixture and let it boil for 2 more min.
- Garnish with cilantro (optional).
- Goes well with rice or roti.
And this is my entry to "WYF: Colour in Food" event hosted by Simple Indian Food blog.