If you want to prepare the food or dishes with peace as chef, all the members of your family have to cooperate with you for two three hours.

This will help you sort out the things. We Indians prepare meals thrice a day. Like foreigners we cannot rely on one time cooked foods. Our culture, climate and habits do not allow us to do so.

But due to today’s hectic business schedule and a busy life in which everybody seems to be rushing, we are also heading towards the unmanaged and unbalanced life style. On following certain tips, we can continue with the tradition of taking fresh food even today and that too despite our hectic schedule. For this, adopt the style of the chef who is the second name of managed kitchen.

Look at the following tips:

• Bring vegetables from the market. Spread newspaper or any cloth on the table and put all the vegetables. Categorize them. Wash the leafy vegetables and put them in the neat utensils. When these become dry, put them in clean kitchen bags and store in the fridge.

• Cut the lower part of cauliflower and then put in the fridge. Wash tomatoes and capsicum and then put in the fridge. Take the peas from its cover and put in an airtight box. Also wash the fruits, rub them with clean washed cloth and then store in the fridge.

Point to Remember:

• Choose the day when you have plenty of time to do all these works. You can purchase vegetable for a week and fruits at least for three days. With this you can prepare variety of dishes for the whole week. Because you have variety of vegetables that can be mixed in each other, you can enjoy the changed dishes for the whole week.

You make planning for two days. According to this, you cut the vegetables. For example leaves of green onions. Peel the carrots and cut in big pieces and store. The spinach leaves should be cut like that and the stem of the spinach may be cut and put the leaves aside. You can make the vegetable with one potato, onion and tomato and mix the stem of the spinach, which you cut from the leaves.

Take Special Care:

• When you cut the vegetables in very small pieces and store them for a long, the nutrients get wasted. Hence, cut the vegetables in big pieces and at the time of cooking you can make small pieces out of them. Thus, half of your work is already done.

• While preparing the vegetables, not only vegetables, also keep all the spices on the slab of the kitchen. Also store green chilies and green coriander in separate bowls. At the time of cooking, it will be like you have got a helping hand.

The vegetables should be cut and stored in airtight containers especially you can use Tupperware boxes. After the preparation of all the things, keep the utensil or cooker on the fire. If you keep the spices out of the box, you can guess the measurement. Moreover, the spice box will also be clean.

• Always put the fruits according to the need on the dining table. Because if the fruits are before the eyes of the family members, they will themselves take and eat. It is of help for the office going members and the kids; they can keep the fruits in their bags or tiffin-boxes.

Sometimes they can take the fruits in hand and while going to school, can eat them in the van. Dry fruits are liked by the kids and they also are more nutritive than the fruits. Keep them on the dining table in transparent boxes. Generally we take fruits in the morning or in the afternoon. So it is better that you cut guava and sapota and keep in the box on the dining table.

• It is good to take fibers with the meals. It is always beneficial to add them in your meals. If you prepare sprouts on alternate day, you can have it the whole week. The condition is this that it should always be fresh. So keep them in Tupperware boxes.

• Another help you can get is in the way of salad. As all the vegetables are washed and cut in advance, preparing the salad is not at all difficult. You can mix them in a lesser quantity and make the salad. If at all sometime you do not get time, you can keep half kakdi and tomato. This will fulfill the whole day’s need of nutrition and balance all.

• You have cut vegetables and fruits. Keep them in a jar. When you are preparing the tiffin, for variety sake you can also keep fruit and veg-chaat in the tiffin box. Taking this will fulfill the need of water and fiber. Eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables will be healthy for your teeth and intestine. Besides that, the fat of the body will also vanish away.

Moreover you should make all the planning in your mind on Saturday night when you go to bed. Decide the distribution of work to each of the family members according to their capacity.

You can send your husband or son to the wholesale market early morning after serving them tea. Finish the household work or get it done timely. We generally take breakfast a little bit late on Sunday.

After the breakfast and before lunch you can take help of your mother in law. That way, you can take the benefit of her life long experience as a home maker. Take help of young son or daughter to bring and give the vegetables and fruits. Try to cut the cheese in pieces and deep fry them and put on a paper so that the oil gets soaked. At the same time when you fry kofta of loki or mix-veg.

Try to use them on Monday and Tuesday. You can prepare chatni for two three days. May be it is coconut or green dhania leaf chatni. You can put a chunk of thin mustard at the time of use. You can grind tomatoes for two days and if you want, you can also make paste of tomato, ginger, garlic and onion and can use it for two days. Accordingly, you can change the schedule and try for other things for a week. You can put rice and white Urad dal in water for 6 hours and grind it.

Put them in two separate bowls:

one big and one small. Sometimes on Monday night you can prepare idli. Little bowl material can be used as breakfast dosa on Wednesday morning.

Keep on changing this circle now and then and thus always give new variety of dishes to your family members. Really one day’s honest labour will give you six days rest. It is not only full rest from cooking but also you can enjoy the whole week.

-C. RAJAVALLI