Monday, January 14, 2013

Indian for a Week ( Menu and Freezer or Bulk Cooking Plan )

Chickpeas in Ginger Sauce over Rice
Lemon Dal
Here is a one-week plan featuring Indian Meals all week.

If you're a Homeschooler (like I am), you might want to do something like this in conjunction with a Homeschool lesson plan on India.

If you don't want to eat Indian every day for a week (even though I'm pretty sure that people in India do it all the time!), you could incorporate this cooking session into your vertical meal planning.

Here's the Menu for the Week:
Monday: Chickpeas in Ginger Sauce over Rice, Salad
Lemon Rice with Peas & Nuts
Tuesday: Lemon Dal, Naan, Salad
Wednesday: Spiced Black-Eyed Peas over Rice, Salad
Thursday: Lemon Rice with Peas & Nuts, Salad
Friday: Dal with Beans, Naan, Salad

Here's the Plan:
This menu is based upon several staples that each take a short time to prepare and simmer for about a half an hour.

Prepare one Batch of Bread Dough (Make Whole Wheat or White, according to your preference). This method really DOES take 5 minutes!

Begin your Entrees:

1. First, Begin a Double Batch of Yachni. Yachni will be used in the Monday, Wednesday and Friday entrees.

2. Next, Sort and Rinse several times in Cold Water - till water runs clear
6 Cups Red Lentils (Split Masoor Dal)
Drain the lentils, and add
16 Cups water.
Set Lentils and water to boil. Reduce heat to simmer & cover, stirring occasionally.
The lentils should take about 25 to 30 minutes to fully cook
Lentils will be used in the Tuesday and Friday Entrees.

3. Start cooking: 2 Cups Brown Rice (or White, if you prefer) for Lemon Rice & Peas.
Rice Will be used in the Thursday Entree.

Spiced Black-Eyed Peas over Rice
4. Additionally,  (depending on how much cooking equipment and/or freezer space you have) you may go ahead and cook your favorite rice to serve with Monday and Wednesday's Meals. Basmati goes well with Indian food.

If you put these four items on to cook in the above order, then you'll probably see the first one finish about as the last one is well started.

5. When the Yachni is done, Assemble the ingredients for Chickpeas in Ginger Sauce directly into a freezer container. This is a meal that can be thawed and put in the Slow Cooker (or in a regular pot) to simmer on the day you will eat it.


6. Similarly, Assemble the ingredients for Spiced Black-Eyed Peas directly into a freezer container. It, too, is one that can be thawed and simmered on the stove top on the day you will eat it.


Dal with Beans
7.  Make the "Flavour Packet" for the Twin Indian Dishes (Lemon Dal/Tuesday and Lemon Rice with Peas and Nuts/Thursday).

8. As the Brown Rice Rice from step three finishes cooking, Cook the Lemon Rice with Peas in a large pan (do not add the nuts - they will be added at serving time).  When it is cool enough, put it in a freezer container.


9. When the Lentils finish Cooking, Remove half of the Lentils and combine them with the "Flavour Packet"  for Lemon Dal and additional ingredients. When this is cool enough, put it in a freezer container.


10. Saute the spices for Three Bean Dal (Friday) and add the spice mixture to the remaining Lentils. Add the Beans and additional seasonings. When this dish is cool enough, put it in a freezer container.


If you cooked additional rice for the Monday and Wednesday Meals, you can also put that in freezer containers when it is cool enough.

If the dough has risen enough (it usually takes two hours), you can cook the Naan today. If you prefer, you can cook it on the day it will be eaten. It freezes well after cooking, and the dough may be refrigerated before cooking -so it's your choice. I like to heat two skillets, and with my young daughter helping me roll out dough, we can cook a large batch quite quickly.

Depending on your time constraints and energy levels or general health, you may prefer to do steps one through 4 in one session  (for example, one evening after dinner - it should take about 1 not too intense hour) and do the remaining steps in a separate session (for instance, the next evening after dinner- that session might also take about an  hour, depending on your work style).

Indian for a Week Shopping List
1 #10 Can Chopped Tomatoes (or 7 15oz cans)
1 6oz can Tomato Paste
2 Bay leaves
2 (12oz) bags frozen Chopped Onions (or 4 large fresh)
2 Cups Brown Rice (about 1 pound)
6 Cups of your favorite rice for putting beans over (enough for 2 meals - about 3 pounds)
7 cups Flour for making Naan (your choice - Unbleached or Whole Wheat)
6 cups Red Lentils/Split Masoor Dal (about 3 pounds)
1 Pound bag Frozen Green Peas
4 (15oz) cans Black-Eyed Peas (or 6 cups home prepared)
3 (15oz) cans Chickpeas (or 4 1/2 cups home-prepared)
Optional Salted Nuts for the Lemon Rice with Peas (Cashews, Peanuts - your choice)
3 Cans Beans of your Choice (Black, Kidney, Chickpeas) to add to Friday's Dal
OR 4 1/2 cups home-prepared
Salad Fixings for 5 Days
Fresh Seasonal Fruit for Desserts
If Desired  (and if you're going to an Indian Grocery anyway)- Indian Style Pickles may be purchased to serve alongside.

Check Pantry for these staples
Fresh Minced Garlic (I used the Jarred Kind)
Fresh Minced Ginger (I use the Jarred kind)
Oil  (I use olive - but it's your choice)
Vital Wheat Gluten (if you're making Whole Wheat Naan)
Whole Cumin Seed
Whole Mustard Seed
"Heat" if desired (cayenne, red chilies - whatever you use)
Lemon Juice
Garlic Salt
Soy Sauce
Ground Coriander
Ground Cumin
Ground Cardamom

If you like this Freezer plan, you might also enjoy these:

Greek for a Week   

Mexican for a Week

Make Sauce Tonight, Have Easy Meals for a Week

World Tour One

World Tour Two

Or, if this plan has really inspired you, you might want to check out these:
How to Design Your Own Freezer Cooking Plan

Why Do Freezer Cooking? 

This menu is also being submitted to
And on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways
And Healthy Vegan Friday
Mums Make Lists
Traffic Jam Weekend

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  1. How about sharing some sweet recipes, too? I make a simple rice and coconut milk one...grate a big of nutmeg and vanilla extract and serve with mangos!

  2. By all means, Martha - post a link to your recipe. (I've made something vaguely similar -but only once or twice & never perfected the recipe) I'm allergic to Mangoes, unfortunately - but I'm sure others here will enjoy it! : ) It would be fun to see.

  3. I love the idea of eating indian food for a week and you make it sound so easy. You were featured as one of my favourite posts on Healthy Vegan Fridays! We hope to see you again next week! Have a great weekend, Katherine

    1. Thank you so much, Katherine! I'm so honored! That really makes my day! : )

  4. Anna, these are some easy indian recipes that anyone can make. you've done such a wonderful job in compiling the list. :)

  5. I love Indian food! And I need freezer meal ideas because we're hoping to have some go-to-meals on hand when our baby comes in a couple of months... perfect timing, thanks so much!

    1. Thanks so much! Hope the arrival of that wonderful baby is Blessed!


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