A Short-Cut Recipe for Indian Food

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Indian food can be pretty labor-intensive, especially if you’re trying to make it on weeknights after a long day at work. I’ve discovered a short-cut that makes it a lot easier. It consists of making a basic gravy or “raso” over the weekend that you store in the refrigerator. Then, two or three times a week, you can take a portion out, heat it in a pot, add a vegetable or meat to it, and serve it with bread or rice. Best of all, it involves ingredients that are probably already in your kitchen.

A disclaimer: The amounts in this recipe are majorly estimated, so if they don’t seem right to you, feel free to add/subtract where needed.

Here’s what you’ll need:
½ cup canola oil
2 tbsp whole cumin
½ tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp red pepper (add less if you don’t want any spice)
4 tbsp ground cumin/ground coriander mix (dhana jeroo)
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 i-inch piece of ginger, chopped
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
Salt to taste
Main ingredient (see below)
Optional: chopped coriander

Here’s what to do:
Heat oil in a non-stick pot on medium high heat. When hot, add whole cumin. Add onions and stir. When the onions become golden or translucent after 4-5 minutes, add garlic and ginger. Stir for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir. Add turmeric, red pepper, ground cumin/coriander, and salt, and stir. Turn heat down to medium and cover. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little water if it starts getting dry.

The ingredients will mix together and become thick, forming a lumpy gravy. Wait until it cools, then store it in your fridge.

Later in the week, you can take some of the raso out and heat it up. Now you can add a number of different vegetables and/or meat as a main ingredient, including:

-Cooked pieces of chicken
-Lightly sauteed paneer cubes and chopped spinach
-A defrosted package of mixed vegetables
-Boiled eggs, peeled and halved

After putting the main ingredient in, stir and let everything cook for a few more minutes. Garnish with coriander if you’re a fan. Voila, easy Indian food!

Do you have any short-cuts to making Indian food? We'd love to hear them!
seema said...

i like to keep chopped onions and garlic in the frij for easy cooking. you have to make sure they are in an air-tight container though, otherwise they can get smelly.

Anonymous said...

great recipe! i would add some tamarind or lemon to it to make it sour, but i like sour stuff.

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