Tips For Weeknight Indian Cooking

When you’ve had a long and tiring day at the office, the last thing you want to do is return home and spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. You’re after a ‘quick fix’;but does that always mean you have to buy yourself a microwave meal or reach for the takeaway menu?

No, it doesn’t. After a stressful day, what you want is to be able to cook up some hearty, feel good grub, and fast. Sure, takeaways and microwave meals are quick and easy, but they aren’t as satisfying as a home-cooked dinner.

We typically think of Indian food taking hours to prepare and cook; however, this is isn’t always the case. A tasty homemade curry can make the ideal weeknight meal – here are some tricks on how you can prepare one quickly:

Simplify

If you want to create a quick meal, then you need to simplify your ingredients! Only opt for recipes which use three or four different spices; spices you know you’ve got in your kitchen cupboards.

Onions

Lots of Indian recipes require you to brown or caramelise onions; however, this can be particularly time-consuming. So, if you’re in a rush, it’s best to avoid recipes with fried onions in them. Alternatively, when you have some free time over the weekend, brown two separate batches of sliced and fried onions and store them in the fridge for when you need them in the week.

You can also chop, slice and dice onions (without browning), and then store them in the freezer for when you need them. Not having to chop-up onions for your weeknight meal will save you lots of time.

Grinding Spices

Need to grind your own spices? Well, if you want to save time, then you should ditch the traditional pestle and mortar and embrace machine power! Coffee grinders can crush your spices in a matter of seconds – at the simple push of a button.

Pressure Cookers and Food Processors

Do you have a pressure cooker? If you don’t, then you should consider investing in one – they will cut cooking time significantly. Similarly, if you want to make a quick meal, then you don’t want to spend ages chopping ingredients – just blitz them in a food processor, instead!

Ginger and Garlic

Most Indian recipes will use ginger and garlic, in either a paste or ground form. Ginger paste and garlic paste can be prepared beforehand: store it in glass bottles in your fridge, and add a tablespoon of oil to the mixture to ensure a longer life.

If you don’t cook Indian food that often, then it’s best to freeze your ingredients. A good tip is to mince garlic and ginger and put them in an ice cube tray to freeze. Once frozen, you can pop the cubes out from the tray and store in a concealed plastic bag for when you need them.

If you’re really not in the mood for cooking this evening, then don’t! Hang up your utensils and head down to one of London’s fine dining Indian restaurants instead.