How to Prepare Indian Food in Less Time

Do you want to learn how to prepare Indian food in less time? Just like in preparing ordinary meals, the key is planning and multitasking. Follow these instructions and you will be on your way to become faster and make your time in the kitchen far easier.


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    Plan your menu in advance. Are you serving an appetiser, such as bhajjis, a dhal soup or another form of entrée? Will your menu include a dessert? Will you be serving the meal as a buffet or in courses?
    • Its useful to be able to organise how long the meal is expected to take as that way you can organise your schedule better.
    • If you choose a lot of quick dishes, this can make a problem as you will be very busy organising everything at once. Its usually best to have a quickly prepared dish and a slow one, that way its in better balance and easier to prepare.
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    Read the recipes carefully. You may have memorised your favourite curries and other recipes, but some vary according to time which can give you an advantage when you prepare your food. Some ingredients need marinading, some need slow gentle cooking, where some are quickly prepared and served.
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    Structure your dishes according to when they are to be served as well as how long they need to cook or be prepared. Chapati and Naan dough can be made in advance and left to prove while you prepare other ingredients.
    • Ideally, the meal that takes the longest to cook or prepare should be done first. While this cooks gently in the background, you can prepare other dishes, garnishes and accompaniments.
    • Evaluate the cooking method. Some curries can be made well in advance with a slow cooker or crockpot (however the flavour is not as distinct), or you can use a pressure cooker. This process can save time or add time to suit your needs.
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    Prepare all your ingredients in advance. Especially if you use whole or individual ground spices. You don't want to be wasting time looking for the asafoetida or measuring turmeric while other ingredients burn in the pan.
    • You may also try to do things in parallel, but this is for more experienced cooks as it needs far better control. For example you can put the pan of oil on the gas stove to warm up and this time can be used for cutting the onions. When the onions are frying in the hot oil, with this time you can cut tomato and other ingredients.
    • Involve other family members. This can be to chop vegetables, wash rice or monitor the Naan bread cooking, or more simply to prepare the table and cutlery.
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    Keep a regular check on the time. Generally you want to put your rice on soon before serving, it is best to keep an idea of how long the rice will take to cook so that it will be ready to serve by the time the other dishes are ready. This should also be considered for frying chapati or papad or any breads and other fried foods that need to be served hot and crisp.
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    Have the serving dishes ready. Whether you plan to serve in a bowl or a kadai, or on a plate or other serving platter, its best to have all the serving dishes, garnishes, pickles and chutneys ready and waiting.


  • A clean and tidy kitchen will help the process along as well. Time spent hunting for a utensil can cause problems for even well planned events.
  • Don't try it too fast, learn slowly as that can avoid mistakes.

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Categories: Indian Cuisine | Meal Planning