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Whip Up A Quick Meal For Guests With These Kitchen Hacks That Work Wonderfully For Working Women

Posted: May 3, 2016
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A working woman, you want easy menus when house-guests arrive. Here are some hacks to help you plan quick meals in advance.

Even with all the brouhaha about ‘sharing the workload at home’ the responsibility of kitchen still falls mostly in the woman’s kitty. And there is no denying that kitchen is a lot of work and it eats up a huge chunk of time. For a working woman, it becomes a little more challenging to rustle up an elaborate menu especially when there are house-guests for a couple of weeks.

My mother made our favourite food, threw an occasional party and yet never faltered in her job as a gynaecologist in a district hospital. I grew up seeing her planning quick meals in advance always. She would soak lentils overnight so that she could cook it early next morning before leaving for her shift at hospital. I remember how she used to prepare basic bhuna masala on her day off and store in refrigerator for using on a particularly busy day of double shifts or when house-guests arrived.

Working as an architect, I followed my mother’s example.  I opted for easy and quick meals fit for a working woman and planned the menus in advance. Along with few other tricks and hacks I managed to tide over meal menus even if house guests arrived for a couple of weeks.

It is safe to assume that our houseguests want to spend time with us. Since a working woman would have only few hours to interact with guests it would be wise to go for quick meals.

A breakfast menu of idli and chutney or besan chila is not only quick and easy but also can be planned in advance. Rajma, chhole accompanied with pea pulao, yogurt or curd and poori or chapatti is a great meal combo. Various pre-cooked lentils can be quickly seasoned to make dal accompanied with a vegetable preparation, rice and chapatti makes for a filling lunch menu.

Let me share a few hacks to cut down on the cooking time of meals so you can sit down to chat and catch up with your guests.

Hacks and Tricks

These are a few tried and tested tricks and hacks to help the working women breeze through the time when house guests come calling:

  • Plan a menu ahead for each day of the week subdivided into breakfast, lunch and dinner. Shop and stock up the ingredients to avoid that last minute panic.
  • Chop veggies like carrots, beans, okra beforehand and store in airtight containers.
  • Keep grated coconut, tamarind pulp and tomato puree handy.
  • Make pastes of ginger and garlic. Freeze and later thaw to use. This lasts up to two weeks in freezer.
  • Stock up on cottage cheese or paneer. Most people like a paneer dish. Cottage cheese is versatile and can be used as fried finger food, filling in wraps and rolls and with gravies.
  • Boil and refrigerate potatoes, beans, lentils for making dal. It is better to cook peas, corn and cauliflower florets in microwave so these don’t get overcooked.
  • All the dips, sauces and chutneys can be made well in advance and stored for a month in refrigerator.
  • Make large portion of bhuna or curry masala. It can be quickly mixed with chick-peas (chhole), rajma(kidney beans), boiled eggs, paneer or boiled potatoes to make a gravy dish.
  • Caramelize onion rings and store in fridge. It gives a nice flavour to the dish.
  • Better still choose dishes which do not rely on using onion.
  • Idli is acceptable to almost everybody. The batter stays good for many days in the fridge and can be made beforehand.
  • Vegetable or Chicken broth can be frozen in ice trays and used as per requirement.
  • Fish and chicken can be marinated beforehand and stored for later use.
  • Desserts like Gajar Halwa or Sooji Halwa stay good in freezer for more than two weeks. These can be prepared beforehand and stored.
  • Always keep bread loaf for that change in plan when just easy sandwich recipes will do for everybody.

Voila! With these few hacks up your sleeve, you can survive a house full of guests and even your regular week after a hectic office schedule.

If nothing helps

And if all this doesn’t help bat your eyelids, pout or snuggle up to your knight in shining armour and get him to help you in kitchen next time when the guests arrive. After all, as the host, the guests are also his responsibility! It works…believe me…this hack is tried and tested too!

Image source: woman cooking by Shutterstock.

Shoma Abhyankar

Shoma Abhyankar

I graduated as an architect and after working for three years decided to be a homemaker and bring up my daughter. I love to travel, read history, paint and now I maitain two blogs http://shomaabhyankar.wordpress.com/ (places to see in India) http://shomabhagwat.wordpress.com (my poetry and random thoughts)


Author's Blog: http://shomaabhyankar.wordpress.com/,https://www.shomabhagwat.wordpress.com

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