Tushyanti Bhojane Vipra (brahmins are pleased in good food)!! No wonder it is said that the way to person’s heart goes through stomach. No festival in India is complete without the festival special meals for the guests and family.
But the burden of it all is on the female counterparts of the family. The biggest dread starts deciding the menu – what do I cook today? We plan elaborate meals, intent upon impressing our near and dear ones with our cooking prowess.
End result of all this mostly is, we spend more than half our time in the kitchen, either preparing some exotic dishes or cleaning up after we are done!! Thus, by the time everything is done, we are so exhausted, that there is no strength left to enjoy anything else! Festivals are meant to be a time, when all family members and friends come together and enjoy some quality time together. Isn’t it?
Festival special meals
So, this year, let’s focus on spending minimum time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying outside with everybody. And, how do we achieve this? By adopting our effective yet easy meal plans for special days.
So, the first one of our series for festivals goes as below –
- Masala Bhendi
- Green Peas Gravy
- Plain Dal, & Rice
- Green Chutney
- Sprouts Salad
- Aamrakhand (or whatever is your favorite sweet available in the local sweet shop!)
Pre-preparations on the previous night
1. Soak a bowl of green moong for the sprouts salad.
2. Wash & cut the bhendi into 1.5 inch pieces and quarter the same about 3/4th of the height. If you have more time, you can lightly fry the bhendi and keep. This keeps the bhendi from sticking together when you are actually making the sabji. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.
Cooking on the festival day
Start with the pressure cooker. Put on the dal and rice to cook, so they have a nice long time to cook nicely. (5 min)
Then, grind the masala for the green peas gravy (grated coconut, jeera, green chilies, & coriander). You can make this masala and store it in freezer for making various meals over the festival season. Make the tadka for the gravy, add the ground masala, green peas, salt & a little sugar, and cover it to cook. (5 min)
While these 2 things are cooking, fill in the bhendi quarters with the masala for the sabji. (10 min)
Next, take down the cooker, put on the sabji to cook, and make the sprouts salad (green sprouts, onions, tomatoes, salt, chilli powder & lemon juice) (IMP NOTE: You can involve your kids to make sprouts salad. It is very simple to make; they will love the fact that they have contributed to the day’s feast in some way)
Then prepare the green chutney, the way you like it. (10 min)
You can keep phulkas for the end, so they remain hot till the meal. (20 min)
For the sweet dish, cut the guilt trip, and ask your hubby to get your favorite sweet dish available in the nearby sweet shop. Please remember, this is a holiday for you as well!
If you are still interested in making the amrakhand from instant chakka, please refer to this site – http://allrecipes.co.in/…/marathi-amrakhand—mango-flavour…
The preparation time mentioned is 30 minutes.
IF you get help from your kids and hubby, your festival feast is ready within an hour!
Now, you are free to spend fun & quality time with your family, as it should be in the original place…
Like the plan? Stay tuned for more such time-savers on#WooingWednesday, every week… Save your time, and spare yourself the stress… Enjoy gals…
You can read about meal planning here!