Meal Prep Ideas for Super Busy Women
Today (on demand) I will share with you a few quick meal prep ideas. I devised and used these methods when I was studying and working in Malaysia and UK for a couple of years. There I did not have the luxury of hot yummy meals waiting at the table for me. I had to do all, from grocery shopping to after meal cleaning myself. And hence the conception of these super quick meal prep ideas. Also as a student and someone working abroad on a meager salary I had to be very conscious of my gas bills and these ideas helped with this as well.
Bhuna Masala for Mutton, Chicken, Pulao, Bhendi, Turai, Rajma, Masala Dal: Most of my curries and veggies are made in this ‘Bhuna’ masala, which takes 20 minutes to make each time. Thinking of all the work that it would take I would give up on the idea of making dinners. But then one day it occurred to me that I could make the masala in bulk on weekends and refrigerate it in small boxes.
Here is what you do: Use the chopper to chop 5-6 onions and 3-4 tomatoes. Put some oil and whole garam masala in a rice cooker added the onions, salt as per taste and let it sauté in the rice cooker for 15 minutes. Add 3-4 tblspns of ginger garlic paste, 2-3 tblspns of red chili powder, 1 tspn of turmeric powder and sauté for 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and let it cook for 20 minutes in the rice cooker. Stir occasionally. You will know that the masala is done when the oil starts to separate.
The advantage of using the rice cooker is that you do not have to stand in front of the stove for the whole 40 minutes. You can stir occasionally and let the cooker do the rest. But if you do not have a rice cooker you can do this in any wok or pan..
How to use: Refrigerate the masala in small boxes. And use one at a time. Because I would sometimes just cook for one person I stored my masala in ice trays and would use 2 cubes at a time.
Green Masala for Fish Curry, Dahi Kadi, Chana Masala, Gavar, Shrimp Pulao:
Here is what you do: Grind 2 bulbs of garlic, 6-7 green cjilies, 2 tblspns of cumin seeds, 1 cup chopped coriander. Again refrigerate in small boxes and use as per requirement
Dal Tadka: As I mentioned earlier I had to do my own grocery shopping and there was no bhajiwala to come at your door step each morning. So sometimes I would be out of curry leaves or garlic or tomato.. And I cannot eat my dal without any of these ingredients in my tadka. So I decided to make tadka ice cubes.
Here is what you do: Chop your garlic, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander. Take 1 cup of oil and one cup of ghee, add 1 tspn mustard seeds and 1 tspn cumin seeds, curry leaves and all the other chopped ingredients. Spoon the mixture into the ice cubes and keep in the freezer. Take 1 or 2 cubes and crackle for a minute each time you want to temper your dal.
There are many more such ideas that I employ to make fresh meals in 30 minutes from scratch. But more on those next time. This has become a very long post.