Quick-fix Food Ideas For Your Hectic Schedules

Do you want to make easy and healthy Indian food to satisfy your weekday hunger pangs? So often we tend to get intimidated by the sheer number of ingredients needed to make a wholesome meal. But fear not, we’ve got you covered! There are plenty of vegetarian, quick-fix meals that take less than 45 minutes to prep and serve. The best part? They’re really good for your palate and your body too! Just make sure you keep your kitchen stocked with a few veggies so that when you get home after a tiring day of slogging at work, there is nothing much coming between a yummy meal and your tummy!

The key to cooking good Indian meals is to keep the spices and raw materials ready-at-hand. Once you have the necessary flavouring, it is simply about cooking them together with the veggies and you have cooked up a delicious dish for yourself out of scratch! Whether you’re a gym enthusiast planning on cooking healthy meals, a student surviving on limited budget or a professional exhausted from a day’s work, we highly suggest the following recipes to spruce up your mood!

Not only is home-cooking extremely efficient and healthy, but it also saves you a lot of money and gives you the choice of customizing your meals. Once you start cooking for yourself, you discover the sheer number of ways veggies can be fixed up as a culinary wonder! Using seasonal veggies will only add more flavour and nutrients to your diet! So don’t resort to experimenting when your stomach is rumbling to eat a savoury meal, just choose one of the following recipes and tell us how you like it.

1. Pumpkin & Cabbage Sabzi

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

This mixed sabzi can be served as a main meal for 2 people or as a side dish for 4 people. It is made using pumpkin, spices and cabbage, and is good to be eaten as it is or with roti accompanied by daal and rice. It is a great dinner or lunch recipe as it is low on fat with plenty of proteins and fibre.

Method of preparation:
  • Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a frying pan and add 1 tsp of kalonji seeds.When they start popping, add a thumb-sized piece of grated ginger and 2 garlic cloves. Cook for 1 minute on medium flame
  • Add 200g peeled and 1 – 2 cm cubes chopped pumpkin, 200g chopped cabbage, 1 tsp turmeric , 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chilli flakes and 1 tsp salt. Mix everything together well with a splash of water, and cover the pan with a lid. Leave to steam for 7 – 8 mins on low heat.
  • After this time, lift the lid to check if the pumpkin is cooked. In case uncooked, keep the lid on and cook for a few more minutes. Add 2 tsp lime juice for seasoning before serving with daal and rice or roti.

2. Chatpata Potatoes

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

These Chatpata Potatoes are a brilliant dish for a carb-rich feast and great to satisfy hunger. The dish easily serves 2 people for the main course.These potatoes are made with dollops of spicy tomato juice. They are easy to make and are very high on fibre and other nutrients.

Method of preparation:
  • Add a thumb-sized piece of ginger, 2 garlic cloves and 4 halved, deseeded and chopped tomatoes into a food processor and blend until smooth. Set them aside.
  • Put 800g of halved potatoes in a large saucepan. Immerse them in adequate water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. After cooking for 8-10 mins and checking if they’re tender, drain them and leave to dry.
  • Simultaneously, heat 3 tbsp of sunflower oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Add 1 thinly sliced large onion and ½ tsp of salt and fry for 15 mins. Cook until the onions are golden and sticky. Add 2 thinly sliced green chillies, 1 tsp of black mustard seeds, 2 tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp turmeric ,1 tsp ground cumin and 2 tsp garam masala to the pan and fry for another 2 mins. Add in the tomato mixture and let it simmer for some time, then carefully toss in the potatoes and remaining tomatoes. Let the Chatpata Potatoes simmer for a few more mins, then serve them topped with a small sprinkle of chopped coriander.

3. Onion & Chilli Bhajjis With Tangy Raita

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

These bhajjis can be prepared as appetizers or a light meal. You can make 12 bhajjis at a time and serve them as a light lunch or part of a full course Indian meal.The bhajjis are wholesome, low on sugar and carbs.

Method of preparation:
  • Take 2 onions. Finely chop both the onions. Sift 100g chickpea flour (gram flour) and ½ tsp baking powder into a bowl. Add 2 tsp of curry paste or powder, 1 finely chopped green chilli and some salt to taste. Add 150ml of cold water to the bowl to make a thick batter. Add the chopped and sliced onions and mix until they are well coated.
  • To make the raita, add 150g of natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves,1 small crushed garlic clove with some salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix with a small spoon.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan for frying. Add a little bit of batter to check the readiness of the oil. If it rises and starts sizzling to brown, then the oil is ready for frying.
  • Add the mixed onion batter to the pan, few at a time. Once the bhajjis start turning slight brown, turn them over until they are evenly browned and crisp from both sides. This will take about 4-5 mins. Filter the excess oil by straining the fried bhajjis onto napkins. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Serve the hot bhajjis with yummy, appetising raita.

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