TIP : 1
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:
a.) 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.
b.) 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.
c.)The top clear water in cooked dhal can be used for rasam.
e.) 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.
f.) Make tamarind paste & stock, once a fortnight. Keep this also in the fridge & use a dry spoon.
g.) Squeeze 5-6 lemons, add little salt & keep in the fridge. Do not stock for more than a week.
h.) Always stock, any one green chutney ( mint or coriander), onion chutney & 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.
i.) Any soft dosai, spread with any one of these these chutneys & folded with a sprinkling of water, makes a lunch box tiffin.
j.) 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.
k.) 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.
l.) 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.
m.) As soon as you buy all vegetables, chop 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.
TIPS : 2
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
TIPS : 3
1. As soon as you buy Bombay rava & lapsi, roast it very well on a low fire. This prevents the worms and also it is easy to prepare jiffy upma because it is pre-roasted.
2. Once in 2 weeks, pepare upma mix &; refrigerate for super-fast upma making !
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.
3. Whenever you grind for idli plan that dough for a week.