Convenience cooking is not at all about buying packaged food from the market and using them, rather it’s about using handy tips. These tips will help you with your kitchen prep and cut down your cooking time. So, by just spending some extra minutes over the weekend in the kitchen, you can save all the effort on weekdays.
1) Half-cooked rotis/paranthas
Flatbreads are the staples of Indian cuisine. While making rotis or paranthas are easy, kneading dough is a tiresome job. So what you can do is make a large batch of half-cooked rotis and freeze them.
DIY: While kneading a dough, use yogurt along with water in whole wheat flour. This will make rotis softer. Roll out rotis and cook them for few seconds (half-cooked). Once done, stack them with a layer of cling wrap between each, and stock them in the freezer. Now, whenever you want to eat or use them, heat a skillet and cook them completely.
Tip: You can keep these half-cooked rotis and parathas for up to one to two weeks.
One of the most convenient options is bagging your salad beforehand. Well, storing salad is quite easy, if you do it right.
DIY: Wash and portion all your preferred salads — greens, baby corn, capsicum, and broccoli. Don’t mix them, just layer them or put them in a bowl and drape a paper towel over it. You can even use zip pouches. Keep the dressing and seasoning separately. And before eating, you just have to mix veggies, add the dressing and seasoning.
Tip: Don’t use onions
3) Pasta Sauce
Buying pasta sauce from the market is easy but can be harmful too. It is always better to make it at home. Once you have some home-made sauce handy, you can make pasta in no time. Preferably go for tomato-based sauces instead of creamy white ones.
DIY: Mix tomato puree, chopped onion, garlic, black pepper, chilli flakes, oregano, 2 tsp tomato sauce, a pinch of sugar, and salt to taste. Cook for 10 minutes in olive oil and here it is.
Tip: Fresh pasta sauce can be kept in a freezer for over a week.
4) Frozen Herbs
The best way to give a twist to any dish is by garnishing it with herbs. But it’s not everytime when you have fresh herbs available on hand.
DIY: Wash herbs properly and dry them. Now, spread a layer in each section of an ice tray, and fill it with olive oil and freeze them. Once frozen, label them.
Tip: Not all herbs can be frozen. Some of the herbs that be frozen are basil, lemongrass, mint, cilantro (dhaniya) and oregano. Make sure to thaw before using.
5) Leftovers with twists
You can easily use last night’s dinner scraps next day by giving them interesting twists. Just add few ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes.
DIY: If you’ve leftover rotis and veggies or chicken, just roll them in the rotis, add some sauce and here your roll is ready. You can use veggies for a sandwich or fried rice too.
Tip: Keep leftovers in the fridge.