After a relaxing weekend, it's time to pull up your socks and get back to work. With busy schedules, project deadlines and daily household chores, you hardly get time for self-care. We understand all of it can be overwhelming, but trust us, it's not impossible at all. You just need to strategize well and work smartly to finish all your duties on time and indulge in yourself. To begin with, let's talk about one of the most tedious parts of the complete routine - cooking meals. During the weekdays, many of you either compromise on the creativity of your meals or eat the readymade ones to save time. But neither of these options are appealing in the long run. Instead, you can take some time out on the first day of the week and sort the basics beforehand including preparing a meal plan, stocking up on your groceries, washing and storing the ingredients in separate containers.
You could also prepare some basic masalas beforehand to save time while cooking. That's right. Grinding masalas just before preparing a gravy-based dish automatically increases the time you spend in the kitchen. Instead, you can just prepare them in large batches and store in the freezer for whenever you need them. Today, we bring you some of the most common masala pastes that are a must in every Indian recipe. Read on.
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Here Are 6 Masala Pastes That You Need Every Day:
1. Ginger Paste:
We use ginger and garlic paste in almost every Indian dish. While some like to grind them together, it is sometimes better to prepare them separately and mix as and when needed. This not only helps keep the two masalas separate, but also gives you the flexibility to use each by itself or mix in the ratio you prefer. All you need to do is, peel the skin of ginger properly, clean and chop them roughly. Then add the ginger pieces in blender and make a paste.
2. Garlic Paste:
For garlic as well, you need to de-skin the garlic pods, wash them and blend in the spice jar of your mixer grinder. Optionally, you can add some salt while blending both ginger and garlic. This will help enhance the taste and flavours of the paste.
3. Tomato Puree:
Tomato enhances flavours and the colour of a dish and there's no denying it. You need to pick some fresh and ripe tomatoes and char them well. Then de-skin and chop roughly. Then, heat a pan and toss these chunks until the tomatoes release their liquid. Turn off the flame, add the tomatoes in a mixer grinder and blend well. You can either strain and store, or keep this mix as is.
4. Onion Paste:
Start with peeling the onion and cleaning it well. Then roast it for some time to soak the excess water. Roughly chop and add the onions in a blender and prepare the onion paste. Do not add salt or water to this paste to extend the shelf life. Instead sprinkle some oil on top while storing.
5. Green Chilli Paste:
To make and store green chilli paste, it is important to select the right kind of chillies. Sort the chillies and throw away the rotten ones. Then remove the stem, wash, dry and cut coarsely. Now, throw the chillies in a blender, add salt and lemon juice to it and blend into smooth paste. Adding salt and lemon help extend the shelf life of the masala.
6. Red Chilli Paste:
Some like adding red chillies to their recipes. For them, we suggest prepare a red chilli paste instead of readymade red chilli powder for added heat. To start, take a bowl of hot water and add the chillies to it. Keep it for maximum a minute and transfer to an ice water bowl. This helps keep the colour of the chilli intact. Then, throw in the chilli in a blender and make smooth paste. Avoid adding extra water to prevent spoilage.
How To Store Homemade Masala Pastes For A Week:
How you store the masala plays a major role in keeping its colour, texture and aroma intact. Besides, storing it wrong may lead to growth of bacteria and virus, further affecting our health. All you need to do is take clean and dry, air-tight container and transfer the masalas. Next, store these boxes in the coldest part of your refrigerator, that's it! You just need to scoop out some portion of the masalas whenever you need it while cooking. For an even longer shelf life, you can portion out the masalas and store them in the freezer.
Liked the ideas? Now, apply them in your kitchen and prepare homemade meals every day.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.