Today is Day 4 of The 7 Day Challenge, it has been good so far. I am not missing my grains any more, I have become paranoid about going grain free and am eating better in both quality and quantity.
The problem is both me & D are true foodies and cannot live on just salad & soup even if it only for a week so we both have to do a lot of work every day cooking interesting stuff and prepping. Only if I was able to transmogrify into a bovine creature chomping greens in a spring meadow, life would be easier.
I will analyze the pros and cons at the end of 7 days, but believe me even if you don't lose an inch this challenge is worth every salad because of the self-restraint you will acquire by the end of it
Now to The All Purpose Masala Paste which is an efficient homemade packaged solution for busy moms.
If I had any business acumen I would market it and put it on not Patel's but Whole Food's Freezer aisle. But before that I would have to pay hefty royalty fees to Vee and then Coffee, the original creators of this idea. This masala saves me on most weekdays and if you are not already making it, I urge you to refrain and wait till my product is out there.
I promise I will have a fun, family ad out with it too with a jingle that says "Taste mein Best, Mummy aur Mummy Ka Paste"
Till then you can make it on your own by following these steps
Chop a large red onion roughly
Chop a medium plump red tomato in rough chunks. I keep saying rough because you don't need to spend time and cut in small equal sizes
Peel two to three cloves of garlic and chop in 2-3 pieces
Peel and chop about an inch of ginger, again roughly
Heat little oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic, follow by tossing in onions and then ginger
Fry till the onion is soft and translucent. Toss in the tomatoes and saute till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
At this point you can get imaginative and add some generic spice powders if you wish, like say Garam Masala or maybe Kasoori Methi. I usually skip this step.
Cool the above and make a paste in your food processor, make a smooth paste not one of those chunky ones.
Cool this paste, pour it in a ice cube tray and freeze
Once frozen, take the frozen cubes out and store in a ziploc bag. I usually make enough to last me a week for impromptu weekday cooking
On a busy week night when all you want to do is just pull a blanket over your head, take some of this cubes out and make a quick gravy in minutes.
Depending on your taste you can vary the proportions and add green chillis to the above
I made a Fish on Day 3 of the challenge using this paste. I had some Tilapia Fillet which I marinated with this paste (I made with Kasoori methi added this time), salt and some red chilli powder for 24 hours. However 30 mins to an hour should be enough. I usually bake this fish drizzled with Olive Oil but then I saw this recipe at Shilpa's and wanted to try this instead.
So for 30 mins before cooking I marinated the already marinated fish with some more garlic paste, red chilli powder and lime juice. For one of the fillets I added tamarind paste instead of Lime Juice.
However I am a Bong who always fries her fish except for maybe Ilish(Hilsa) so I was not sure how just poaching the fish would taste like. I therefore smeared my frying pan with a little olive oil, maybe 1/2 tsp. Added some curry leaves to it and then placed the fish fillet on the pan. Slowly added enough water so that the fish were just submerged in water. Let it cook till all the water has evaporated.
The fish tasted definitely good but I feel this method is best if the fish was more fresh. We had it with some salad and oven baked masala potato fries.