Well it has been almost ten days into the New Year and I have no plans or Resolutions. I have stopped making plans, because it seems my life has a definite mind of its own and leads its own oblivious of the plan I have laid out for it. There are lucky people who make plans and their life stick to it, but alas my life is a free spirit. So I have decided to gather all my faith from every crevice of my being and just put the burden on the All Mighty, let him/her lead me through the path that has been already set out for me.
But however much I don’t plan at the macro level, when it comes to the micro level as in “what to eat for lunch, dinner etc. etc. this week” I need to have some kind of a plan thing in place. More of a TBD I would say, than a plan. This has been the first week after the parents left, after both me & D got back to work, after Big Sis S went back to school and the Nanny is at home taking care of Baby A. I was pretty tense about this week as you might well imagine. Other than major guilt pangs of “Ohhh, I am leaving the little baby girl in mercy of a ruthless nanny, I am a bad bad Mom” there was also the fact that I needed to cook ahead to tide us through most of the week.
So I made a plan, ahem…but a “micro” plan.
This was what I cooked last weekend for this week:
1. Masoor Dal with Brussel Sprouts -- almost the same way I did this except here I used chopped brusel sprouts
2. Baingan Bharta
3. A Mixed Veggie Dish that had carrots, celery, broccoli, brussel sprouts and potatoes – pretty scary all that veggies with the “healthy” label
4. A Thai Veggie Soup – this was delicious and am going to post sometime
5. A simple paneer dish for Big Sis S alone who following on her dad’s credentials refuses to eat fish since the last few months, and following her own pretty much everything else. Kids turn weird as they grow older until they become Moms like me.
6. Fish Curry for Monday
I would make a quick Non-Veg something on Wednesday to survive Wed & Thur I thought.
Come Tuesday evening and I knew my plan was failing. There was very little of what I cooked left. Between us 3 adults (me, D and the Nanny) we had managed to finish major portion of what I had cooked. This weekend I am thinking up better plans, only on the “micro” level of being though !!!
While I was cooking last weekend for the week, I couldn’t possibly let anyone in the family eat that food over the weekend and make my life more miserable. Eating out on cold weekends with the baby is difficult and takeouts is not an option for every meal on weekends. I wanted to make something quick, simple, one pot and I came across Paneer Khichuri in my growing collection of that Bong Mag Sananda.
We liked it served with my Ma's delicious Tamarind Achaar/Chutney, I of course because it was simple and made my life easy, D because he didn’t want to ruffle my already ruffled feathers. Big Sis S proclaimed she didn’t like it that much. She is in a stage or phase where she likes home cooked food only if the home is NOT her own.
But really it was pretty decent if you like Khichuri or Khichdi
This quick Medley of rice and lentils aka Khichuri takes on a new dimension with the Paneer and Raisins.It made the mundane Khchuri special and we liked it, try it out for a quick simple meal
How I Did It
Prep: Lightly fry till golden about 1/2 cup of Paneer cut in small cubes. If your paneer tends to get tough on frying dunk the lightly fried pieces in salted warm water.
Wash 1 cup of Rice and 1/3cup Yellow Moong Dal (Yellow Lentils), 1/3 cup Red Masoor Dal (Red lentils), 1/3 cup of whole Black Urad (or any other dal of your choice) . To learn more about Lentils or Dals go here.
Heat Oil in a Frying Pan.
Temper with 2 Bay Leaves/TejPata, 1/2" of Cinnamon stick and 1 tsp of Cumin Seeds/Jeera.
Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped onions (not in original recipe). Saute till the onions are soft and translucent.
Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped tomatoes(not in original recipe and can be skipped) and fry till the tomatoes are well done.
Add 1 cup of rice, and the Dals, 1/3 cup each.
Add salt, little sugar, 3-4 chopped green chillies, 2 tsp of fresh ginger paste and saute the rice and dal. Add water in proportion, I added about 4-5 cups of water. Depending on how you like your khchuri to be in respect to the consistency adjust water.
Mix well and let cook. When the rice and dal are cooked, add raisins and the paneer cubes. Stir and cook for couple more minutes.
Add 1 tsp of Ghee if you wish
Sprinkle Garam masala and grated paneer and serve.
Tips: Substitute paneer with Tofu for a healthier version. Instead of grated paneer you can add scrambled eggs before serving