The long lost ‘chacha-ji’ who drops in on a rainy afternoon or the ‘bua-ji’ plus her three brats on a Sunday? Surprise visits can be fun or stressful depending on your state of readiness to welcome guests.
Worry not ladies, your ‘ghar-ka-khana’can look outstanding with these basics that can add that special touch to your meals.
We present 5 must-have ingredients that will help you ‘Be Prapared”:
1. Green Chutney:
Quick to prepare, the green chutney can be made with mint, coriander, and hot green chilies and lemon. It makes for a perfect side for almost any snack or meal.
1. Make a sandwich with bread slices smeared with pickle, green chutney and ketchup.
2. Make a chapati roll with leftover sabji and line it with fresh green chutney
3. Use as a coating sauce for quick green tandoori chicken/paneer or mixed tawa vegetables, for tasty starters
Health benefits: Coriander helps in digestion and anemia, while mint leaves ensure good skin and oral hygiene.
2. Dal/Beans/ Pulses:
The ultimate Indian comfort foods, we all swear by the glorious dishes that can be cooked with this terrific trio. Store pre-cooked dals/ bean/ pulses in the fridge to conjure up some quick and wholesome dishes.
1. Toss up an attractive bean salad using available vegetables that complement the warmth of black/ kidney beans
2. A tasty dal soup can be an instant appetizer for the hungry guests
3. Lentils can be used to thicken and add warmth to a leftover chicken curry
4. Mash chickpeas to produce instant cutlets, while moong dal, soaked for 20 minutes, can parade as pakoras with onion and chillies
Health benefits: Dals, beans and pulses are sources of proteins that help control blood sugar levels and clear bowels.
Curd, a staple in Indian homes, can be easily transformed into various lip-smacking avatars.
1. Curd shorba: The humble dahi-kadhi can be transformed into a low-cal curd shorba
2. Lemon curd dessert: A healthy dessert option that is easy to make
3. Dip : Add chopped veggies to whisked curd with some black salt
Health benefits: Curd is probiotic, helps digestion, builds immunity and helps lose weight.
4. Garam Masala & Ginger-Garlic Paste:
These are must haves for most Indian dishes. You can pre-grind and store your special whole ‘hot’ spices combo with cloves, black cardamom, pepper etc, while the ginger-garlic can be ground every week and stored in the refrigerator.
1. Marinate chicken or fish briefly in ginger-garlic paste and lemon before grilling or frying
2. Use paste for a basic sauce for pasta or spaghetti or fried rice
3. Spice up curries with garam masala; also add to mayonnaise for an interesting flavor, sprinkle over a coffee brew or on humble popcorn!
Health benefits: Garam masala aids digestion; ginger-garlic paste prevents inflammation and builds immunity.
Every home has its favorite version of whole wheat rotis. But you could add a unique twist to the meal using these new flour mixes (homemade or bought) that are healthy and surprisingly tasty.
Make rotis, parathas(plain and stuffed), phulkas, masala pooris with the following mixes, and enjoy their health benefits too:
1. Ragi-wheat: Gluten free, controls weight and boosts calcium
2. Wheat-oats: Hi –fibre content aids digestion, is light on the stomach
3. Jowar- bajra: Helps in weight loss and diabetes.
4. Rice-oat: Provides starch and proteins
Store these fab five ingredients in your kitchen and go experiment with your usual ghar-ka-khana!