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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Meal Prep Ideas for Easy Cooking ~ Ramadan Meal Preparation Ideas

Ramadan Meal Preparation Ideas
Meal Prep Ideas


Here is a list of meal preps which we can be done well in advance, say weekly or once in a month and make our cooking process much easier. Even though I am posting this pre-Ramadan, these Meal-Preps can be done throughout the year which is equally beneficial for working mothers as well as those who have a busy schedule and rely only on home cooked food.

Do check out my previous year's post on Make Ahead Meal Preparations For Ramadan


You can watch a quick video here

 


1. Fried Onion

Fried Onion (Birishta)

Peel and slice the onion evenly (not too thin, not too thick). Heat enough of oil for deep frying. Fry sliced onion in the hot oil without crowding the saucepan, by leaving enough of space while the onion is frying. When the color starts to change to light brown, lower the heat and start removing the fried onion from the oil. Take a large plate or tray with a kitchen towel on it. Spread the fried onion evenly over the paper without overlapping them. As it cools down, the onion gets crispier. Store in a container only when the onion has completely cooled down. It remains fresh in the refrigerator for 1 month.

You can use this for makingChicken Tikka BiryaniHaleemMethi Chicken



2. Spice Powders

Spice Powders

You can dry roast the cumin, coriander and red chilies separately and powder them. These homemade powders are far better than store bought.


More recipes for Masala Powders:








Pepper Masala Powder (for making Pepper Chicken or Pepper Mutton)


3. Fruit Juice and Pulp Ice Cubes

Lemon Ice Cubes




Squeeze out the juice of the lemon with help of a juicer and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. These cubes are very handy to make a quick lemonade, to be used in curries or to preserve them for a longer period of time.

You can preserve some of the seasonal fruits by making a puree and freezing it in an ice cube tray. Use these cubes to make Smoothies & Milkshakes. 

Recipes to use Fruit Pulp & Juice Ice Cubes:






4. Powdered Nuts

Cashewnut, Almond, Pistachio Powder, Nuts
Powdered Nuts

Powdered nuts like cashew nut can be used for Mughlai curries, almond powder for smoothies, and chopped pistachio for desserts.

5. Boiled & Shredded Chicken

Boiled & Shredded Chicken
Freeze Boiled & Shredded Chicken

This prep is my personal favorite and the most versatile of all, as it makes the breakfast and lunch box preparation super easy. 
  
Recipe: Heat 4 cups water in a large saucepan. Add 1 onion sliced, 3 to 4 garlic pods chopped (1 tablespoon), 1 carrot (optional), salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper powder and 500 grams chicken pieces with bones. Boil till chicken is cooked and tender. Reserve the water as chicken stock and use it in soups. Discard the bones and shred the chicken pieces and freeze in a sandwich bag. It can be stored in the freezer for 10 days.

You can use this for makingChicken Mushroom SandwichCreamy Chicken Sandwich
Chicken Paratha


6. Boiled Chickpeas

Meal Prep Ideas, Boiled Chickpeas
Freeze boiled chickpeas

This is my way of avoiding any canned food and whenever it comes to making 'Hummus' we completely rely on cans. I usually boil a big batch of chickpeas, drain them and store them in small packets in the freezer section which stays good for 2 to 3 weeks. 

Recipe: Wash and soak 1 cup chickpeas for 5 hours or overnight. Cook the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker with enough of water (water should be just above the level of chickpeas) and salt. The timing of cooking in pressure cooker varies according to the size and shape. Drain the boiled chickpeas and use the stock for cooking other things. Once the chickpeas have completely cooled down, store in a box or a sandwich bag and freeze. It can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 weeks. Defrost in a microwave or by leaving it out at room temperature.

You can use this for making: HummusAloo Chana ChaatChana Masala 


 7. All in 1 box for quick access

Meal Prep Ideas
All in 1 box for easy access
  1. I usually remove the stems of green chilies, wash them and dry them.
  2. Peeled garlic remains fresh for 4 to 5 days or almost a week.
  3. Wash and pat dry the coriander leaves completely with help of a kitchen towel and the store in a plastic bag with small holes in it. (After washing, you can just spread it open on a large tray and leave it for drying)
  4. Curry leaves can also be washed and pat dry before storing.
  5. A small piece of ginger but without washing.
All these need to be stored together in 1 box so that you can remove all at once from the refrigerator, instead of wasting time to search for it.  This prep lasts only for a week, so you need to do this on a weekly basis. You can add your own personal favorites which you need to use more often like mint leaves or any other herbs.

8. Ginger & Garlic Paste

This prep needs no explanation as we all know how handy this one could be. It goes in most of the Indian dishes like curries, biryani, etc. and helps in saving time on peeling and grinding ginger and garlic which can be the most tedious job.


9. Potato Cutlets


Potato Cutlets ~ Aloo Tikki ~ Ragda Pattice
Potato Cutlets

Cutlets, when made and froze in bulk, can be the most versatile of all the preps. Just shallow fry the cutlets and it can be used as stuffing in Kathi Roll, Sandwiches, Chat...and the list goes on. After giving shape to the cutlets and before frying, place them on a large tray with butter paper, side by side. Keep the tray in the freezer for 1 hour till all the cutlets turn hard. Now remove the frozen cutlets and store them a freezer bag. Now you can remove only the required amount of cutlets without them sticking to each other.

You can use this for making - Ragda Patties

10. Mint Chutney

Meal Prep Ideas, Pudina Chutney, Chat Chutney
All-Purpose Mint Chutney

Just like potato cutlets, mint chutney is also a versatile dip which goes with dishes like sandwiches, rolls, and chats or as a dip for kababs.


11. Frozen Bananas

Frozen Bananas for Smoothies
If you have ripe bananas and have no time to make anything out of it, just peel them and cut them into desired pieces. Wrap the banana pieces in a cling wrap and freeze it. Just use the frozen bananas in smoothies without defrosting it.


12. Curry Paste

Meal Prep Ideas for Easy Cooking ~ Ramadan Meal Prep Ideas
Curry Paste


Meal Prep Ideas for Easy Cooking ~ Ramadan Meal Prep Ideas
Curry Paste

Most of the Indian curries call for some authentic and classing spice mix or pastes which includes coconut and other ingredients. Grinding and freezing these curry pastes speed up the cooking process and the curry can be cooked in a jiffy. Here is a list of curry paste along with the recipe which you can grind and freeze in advance. The shelf life of these curry pastes is 10 to 15 days.









Baghara Baingan Masala: Dry roast 2 tablespoon peanuts, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, 5 dry red chilies for 5 minutes on low heat. Grind it along with 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut, 2 tablespoons chopped onion, 1 tablespoon chopped ginger, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1 green chili, Few curry leaves, 3/4th cup tamarind soaked juice (or 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp), and salt. Grind to a smooth paste and freeze in a zip lock bag or a plastic container. This paste is good enough for 10 small sized eggplants.

Mutton/Chicken Curry Masala (white): Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and dry roast 4 cardamom, 4 cloves, 1 small piece of cinnamon, 5 almonds chopped 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (Badi Saunf), and 1 tablespoon coriander seeds. After a minute add 1 small onion, 5 to 6 green chilies roughly chopped, 2 tablespoons chopped ginger, 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic. Fry all these ingredients for 2 minutes and then add 1 cup grated coconut. Fry for 1 more minute so that coconut just gets warm and does not change color. Cool and grind to a smooth paste with very less water as possible. Use this paste to make any non-veg or vegetarian curry. 


13. Make Ahead Stuffing Recipes for Samosas, Sandwiches, and Pies


14. Freezer Meal Preps


Make & Freeze Chicken Seekh Kabab

Meal Prep Ideas ~ Ramadan Meal Preps
Freeze Spring Rolls

Meal Prep Ideas ~ Freezer Meal Preps
Red Velvet Cutlets 

Meal Prep Ideas ~ Ramadan Meal Prep
Mutton Seekh Kabab






15 comments:

  1. What an amazing post!!! So many ideas... I never do prepping up earlier, somehow like doing it then and there how much ever I try to think ahead, but Alhamdulillah somehow I work fast so don't end up spending too much time in the kitchen... :) I am sure this post will be of help to many...

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  2. Mashalla, this is a great go to spot for so many foods!

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    1. Thanks and you are most welcome to check out my other recipes as well

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  3. Such amazing prep ideas, and so handy for Ramadan! Thank you for sharing sis, I will be referring back to this post often! :)

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  4. thanks for all the wonderful ideas. I love home made lemonade and make it quite often. I will try freezing the leamons and limes.

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    1. Freezing lemon juice is my favorite prep too as I drink lemon water every morning

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  5. This is one must read post before fasting....thank you for coming up with this awesome post....

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  6. SubhanAllah, how big is your freezer?! :) Jazakillahkahyr for these ideas and recipes.

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    1. Not very big Elizabeth but yes I do manage some how and you are most welcome

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  7. wow wow woW!! This is such an amazing post full of fab ideas! I love the frozen pulp idea - I think the only one I do is freeze kebabs and chutney from time to time! thank you - I plan to follow up on some of these!

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  8. Just amazing! Beautiful recipes and tips for Ramadan! Thank you for sharing.

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  9. MashaAllah! Very useful post would save this post for future reference. Love the juice cube and cutlet ideas the most. JazakAllahu khair for sharing this awesome post�� How do you store mint chutney? Mine goes bad after two days in the fridge��

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