Honey, Mind A Quick Bite?!!

June 11, 2011
I wrote about how merely by doing a little planning about food, we can avoid ordering food from outside or eating out too frequently. (Honey, What's Cooking Tonight?!)

The first step towards an organized cooking area, is to know what's already there in the kitchen cabinets and fridge.  Make a list of things which you think are missing.  Basics like lentils, flour, rice, gram flour (besan) ; spices like cumin seeds (zeera), coriander powder (sookha dhaniya), turmeric powder (haldi), Garam Masala (north Indian ground masala mix), dried red chillies/powder,whole black pepper/powder, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom etc help cook anything.

The second and important step is to go shopping for various food articles.  The thing to keep in mind is to buy lots of fresh veges and a few packs of frozen veges too.  Go for frozen mixed veges, french fries, non-veg frozen food for the times you have nothing left in your fridge.  Another option is also available now for the one's who just don't have any time.  Processed and packaged North Indian dishes (like Rajma, Chane etc) and South Indian dishes(like Sambhar) are available in most big stores.  Even packaged ready to eat chicken dishes are available, which just have to be heated before eating.

I've listed a few ingredients, which people having vegetarian food can keep at home at all times:

# Curd - (curdle milk at home, it's easier in summers)

# Cottage Cheese - setting it properly at home is a bit difficult, but you can still try.

# Boiled Potatoes - You can boil around 8-10 medium sized potatoes in a pressure cooker and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days minimum.

# Soya Chunks and granules - Highest content of protein is found in these. Store them in a sealed container. 

# Soya Sticks - The frozen variety can be bought from local cheese shops.  Can be cooked to make a delicious meal with gravy.

# Cream or 'malai' - adds instant richness to any dish

# Tomato Puree -  This is a must have.  Buy small packs and store in a cabinet. Or else make it at home (Boil whole tomatoes with little water in a pressure cooker ; cool it ;  grind it ; cook in a kadai or wok to evaporate extra water ; cool it again and store in a closed container in fridge.  It lasts for a week to 10 days)

# Ginger garlic paste - Helps to pep up any dish ( I don't like the packaged ones though)

# Mozerella Cheese or Pizza Cheese

# Onions and green chillies - They are versatile and be used in many ways

The third and the most important step is to get into the kitchen to cook!  Let me share with you that I was one person, who HATED TO COOK ALL MY LIFE.  It's after years of marriage ( and constant coaxing over food !!) I learnt cooking by reading a lot on Internet and cook books!!

Try these two simple and quick vegetarian dishes which save time and are nutritious and delicious too:

Quick Paneer (Cottage Cheese in cream) - taught by a man!

Heat a little cooking oil in a Wok.  Add chopped ginger to it, fry for a while and then add 3-4 spoons of tomato puree to it.  Add salt, pepper, garam masala, dhaniya powder and red chilly powder to it. Mix and now add 2 spoons of whipped malai/cream to it. Mix well, add a little water. After about 1 minute of frying, add small cut pieces of cottage cheese to it. Lastly, you may like to add dried methi leaves (Kasoori Methi) or coriander leaves to the dish. Serve hot.

Dahi ki sabzi (Curd delight) - My mother's recipe
Heat a little oil in a pan, add thinly sliced onion (1 medium sized), shredded ginger(depending on your taste), green chillies (2-3) slit into two and fry a little.  Add salt, garam masala and red chilly (a little).  Fry a little and pour around 2 cups of curd into the wok and immediately turn off the fire.  Serve it then and there. Don't prepare and keep this dish, as it will turn watery.  It's a quick and very spicy n tangy dish which can be had with chapattis.



PS: I am not a cooking expert! You too are free to write about your quick recipes and your experience with cooking :)


Anshul Thakur said...

The Curd Delight, its actually a delight and quick to make. And its delicious :) Only that a little care needs to be taken while we add curd, because not taking care can spoil the curd if we don't stir.

Blasphemous Aesthete

RESTLESS said...

Anshul, the only man till now (commentator) who seems to have some interest in cooking :) am glad :D

Good to know that u like this dish :)

Prathama Raghavan said...

Thanks for the tips! I will definitely try the curd one, it sounds so yumm...

Usually when I am not in the mood to cook its pasta - I buy good organic wheat pasta (from Fabindia) and their yumm pasta sauce. But I also make tomato puree and store so I can whip up a quick pasta sauce with garlic and some capsicum and whatever herbs you want - heat it. Cook the pasta and mix it up and its done. It takes about 20-30 minutes. My sister who writes a food blog has this recipe she calls the long Hard Day pasta
click link to see it.

For winters Pasta is good but in Ahmedabad its like 45 degrees right now and in this weather, I like boiling channa, black dal and making cold salads with just a simple salad dressing to go with it, add tomatoes, cucumber and coriander and you have got a nice dinner. Served with toasts :-)

Aakash Johry said...


Niceguy251 said...


I appreciate your courage to give THIRD step the importance due to it. When do I get to taste these two delicious sounding dishes?

Take care

Upasana said...

I am going to try Dahi ki sabzi!! Thanks so much for the recipes! You should post one quick recipe once in a while..! 

Niket said...

kyaaaaaa hai yeee? kyyyuuuunnnn? :O :( 
kabhi bulao toh sahi khaane pe :P :) hehe....

RESTLESS said...

Hi Prathama!

Tks for sharing ur recipe :) Will surely see ur sister's blog.

Try the curd recipe and tell me :)

RESTLESS said...

What r u thinking Aakash?!

RESTLESS said...

Thanks... I was indeed very scared of cooking! And nothing but giving a shot to cooking helps!

hmm... well...!!!

RESTLESS said...

Sure Upasana! Will do!

tk cr

RESTLESS said...

Hmmm... will make 'Khayali Pulao' one day for you :P hehe :)

neeha said...

Thanks you shared it,I will surely try it once & let you know..

Vee said...

There are times when I go through food blogs and posts related to food items and satiate my hunger. 
You know what, these kind of posts are much required for people like us! :)

Desh Kapoor said...

Dahi ki Sabzi was also my Mother's special thing.. I used to love it! 

I like to make some of the sabzis.. started out when I came alone to US without any cooking prep.. and one day decided to start the cooking myself.  All I knew was that we put onions in oil and make it brown.  After that?  I had no idea.. but I ended up making Gobi-Aloo.. and then tried other things.  I soon became popular in my relatives as one who could make gobi, bhindi etc by immersing it in water and yet make it stand out.  It would taste better than most women could do. 

Other specialities - Upma and Pancakes (which you don't really cook though - but I make blueberry, Granola, Raisin, and Strawberry stuffed ones).. which my kids enjoy and urge me to do every now and then.

I also tried to make Pumpkin cake, but ended up making Pumpkin Pie.. which came out really nice. :)

BookWorm said...

Cooking was never my area.. so if i say something here, it would be out of place.. 

but ya, this post and the other on the same topic indeed reminded me of  another blogger friend of mine.. i would be writing on her story in my blog sometime.. watch out for that... 

Reema said...

though I am little lazy but I love cooking for others and to get compliments :)

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