Category Archives: Indian cuisine

Flavoursome Fruity Delights


  Jackfruit and Green Olive pickle


Summer is here and turning to fresh fruits in various forms, seems the most logical and healthy thing to do.  Go for it, but add a twist. Instead of the usual milk shakes, lassi, smoothies, try fruits in a new avatar. Yes, experiment with fruits in savoury dishes and there’s a lot you can do.

Of course fruits naturally lend themselves to desserts, but one can be imaginative and use fruits to boost savoury dishes, soups, main course and accompaniments, across various cuisines.

Fruits are a flavour booster, yet, to achieve the right balance, is the key. Tropical fruits have always been used liberally in South Asian cuisines and fruits such as apricots, figs, dates, have been an integral part of Middle Eastern and African cuisine.

Our very own Indian cuisine can be enhanced with the use of fruits. Mango, the king of summer fruits, can add zest and flavour to dishes. Mango sasav or Ambyache sasav, a sweet-sour dish, prepared with ripe mangoes, is a favourite among the Maharashtrians and the Konkan belt. Sasav or mustard seeds, curry leaves, coconut, jaggery, are added as tempering to the ripe mango pulp, which is cooked. This is generally enjoyed with steamed rice.

Understanding the texture a fruit imparts, is important, as it can then be used accordingly. Apples, pineapple, pears, for instance, owing to their firmness, are ideal for stuffings in koftas, or in stuffed tomatoes and capsicums. Gravies and curries are yet, another form in which fruits are incorporated to give body to the preparation. For these, Pineapple and jackfruit are preferred.

Amrud ki sabzi or a dry preparation with guavas, is a North Indian delicacy and can be eaten with puris, instead of the usual potatoes. An interesting use of guavas is their addition to a mutton curry, in the form of a smooth paste.

In Kerala, Papaya appams called pappali appams made with rice flour, wheat flour, coconut paste, jaggery, are paired with spicy mutton or chicken curry.

Salads, soups and dips make use of a variety of summer fruits in global cuisines. Grilled watermelon n feta cheese makes for a refreshing salad in summer. A cold soup can be made using pineapple and orange juice, squeezed freshly from fruits. Cucumber, a dash of lime and a pinch of sugar complete this unique delicacy. A curried squash and pear soup is also a good option to cool oneself.

Regular dips and sauces are often pepped up with the addition of a fruit. Fresh mango salsa is a popular accompaniment. Plum sauce, again is a common favourite in meat dishes.

Interestingly, citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, are sought after, for flavouring seafood items. Used carefully, these can enhance the appeal of fish, prawn, crabs, squids, mussels and scallops, whereas the whole fruit is often added to a duck salad.

In mains too, a fruit like pomegranate can be cleverly combined with a roast chicken, as the fruit adds its typical juicy flavour and crunchy texture to the dish.

Chargrilled tofu with fresh fruits or Rojak( a fruit salad), with pieces of fried, sweet pineapple, green mango and papaya, rose apples and guava, tossed in a dark sauce.  Sounds exotic? Pan Asian cuisine today stands for fusion and fruits are cleverly combined to balance the sweet, tangy and savoury flavours in dishes.

Pears, pineapples, pair well in pork dishes, complimenting the texture and flavour of the meat, while peaches are the perfect complement for chicken. Melon, citrus fruits (orange, grape fruit, sweet lime) and grapes are other commonly used fruits.

So, irrespective of the cuisine, one can give a dish, a ‘fruity’ twist, by making use of the right fruit, in the right form. Innovation is all that it takes.





Healthy Alternatives

Butternut Squash Bajra Paratha 2

With lifestyle changes, people getting more health-conscious. Whoever said millets were a poor man’s grains, needs to think again. The good ol’ coarse grains or millets are now back in kitchens in most homes.

Millets include jowar (great millet), ragi (finger millet), korra (foxtail millet), arke (kodo millet) and sama (little millet) are available in the form of  grains and flour forms in supermarkets. Millets may look coarse and unappealing, but are packed with nutrients and health benefits and are versatile too. Apart from nutritional benefits, now technology has made it possible to process these millets which was not possible earlier.

People are thus celebrating local produce and turning to their backyards to see what is available or even forgotten. They have taken it upon themselves to revive traditional ingredients like ancient grains and millets and reacquaint guests with these.

The changing lifestyle patterns of consumers, who are keen on staying fit is the key reason for these grains to have made a comeback. Almost all of these “pack a punch” when it comes to a nutritive chart, as these are much superior to wheat or rice, which has been the staple.

The choices today are infinite – buckwheat, quinoa, bulgur wheat, barley, nachni or ragi, rajgira, bajra.  These can be incorporated in a myriad exciting ways, along with other ingredients, into one’s diet, to inculcate variety.

Nachni or Ragi has always been around for the longest time, but, this millet has suddenly acquired a new status in health-conscious India. A great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, protein and fibre, this finger millet is now in demand. Ragi, which is usually difficult to digest, should be soaked, sprouted and dried, prior to milling into atta, to improve its nutrient absorption.

From ragi upma to ragi rotis and even cookies and halwa, this multipurpose millet is being used in varied dishes, both sweet and savoury. Ragi dosa, dumplings, pancakes and porridge are other dishes, one can prepare with ragi.

One of the oldest millets and perhaps the cheapest, bajra  or pearl millet, is completely gluten free and thus beneficial to those suffering from celiac disease. Thalipeeth, bhakri and theplas are not all that you can make with this millet. Dhoklas, chaklis, upma, khichu and even ladoos are what this millet can be used for. Traditionally, Kambu Sadam or bajra cooked like rice, was consumed with raw onions and green chillies in every home in Tamil Nadu. Thus, people have also taken to bajra once again, but in several new avatars.

Buckwheat or kuttu too is preferred by many, owing to the health benefits it endows. A pseudo grain, known for its nutty flavour, it lends itself to several dishes across cuisines. Buckwheat flour is mixed with wheat flour to make Japanese soba noodles. Being gluten free, it is used for pancakes, crepes, rotis, cookies and even mixed with other flours and millets to alter the texture.

Millets can be used on their own in dishes as well as added to other ingredients. Add a small amount of millets to idli or dosa batter or a roti dough.  One can also use millets along with oats, whole wheat and jaggery to make cookies and ladoos, as well as add sprouted millets in salads.

And it is not only in the grain form that millets are being used. Flours of these millets too are being incorporated into the daily diets. Beige coloured Sorghum flour, for example, considered to be “sweet,” softly textured and mildly flavoured, low in glycaemic index, high in fibre, gluten free is now a popular ingredient easily available.

Ironically, once upon a time, an Indian kitchen included a single canister of flour. Today, supermarkets stock myriad options, reflecting increased consumer demand for diversity and thus various flours make way into the kitchens. Each kind of flour has a different nutrition profile and cooking or baking qualities and thus, blending these grains and flours is important as it tones down flavour profiles, yet providing the nutritional benefits.

With evolved palates and matured taste buds, guests in Hotels maybe seeking the exotic, but are also ready to allow chefs to let loose their creative side and churn out dishes that they term unusual or exciting.

There is no smoke without fire

Signature Smokey Cauliflower Hummus - Maffy's

Smoking food can unlock a world of new flavours. Not surprising therefore, many  are turning to this technique to impart a smoldering flavour to their dishes

The process of smoking imparts a distinct flavour to the dish. It elevates and enhances both the aroma, as well as the flavour.

Smoking is being incorporated to impart aromatic flavours to traditionally prepared dishes. After all, there’s something universally appealing about a whiff of fire in our food. And so, today smoking is not restricted to meats only- but cheese, vegetables, fruits, yogurt, butter and even desserts, are being smoked.

Gone are the days when smoking was perceived and used as a method of preservation only. After having made its way into bars for smoking cocktails to create heady flavours and aromas, it is now a must-have technique in kitchens for chefs.

Indian dishes are often cooked in the tandoor and hence already have a smoky flavour.  However, chefs can still enhance other dishes, using the smoking technique. This can be done with Indian curries and gravies, with a combination of utilizing ingredients like clarified butter, desired aromatic spices and a hot piece of charcoal in a small bowl. The same is then placed inside the cooking vessel and covered to incorporate the desired smoky flavour.

Maas Ke Sooley, prepared in a Rajasthani style, with cinnamon stick, being used to impart flavour to the Kababs and Dum ka Murgh -Mughlai Style Chicken Gravy, where mace is skilfully made use of to give an aromatic smoke to the finished product, are some typical examples.

Meat, dairy and eggs are naturally suited for smoking, but interestingly, vegetables too can be smoked. Broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, are some of the vegetables which can be smoked to perfection. Some chefs are even adding fruits to their repertoire.

It’s not as if smoking is used to enhance the flavours of Indian food alone. Some exciting flavours can be added to international foods too, with smoking. Smoked Chicken Pizzas, Fresh vegetables and smoked sea bass, Honey glazed lamb with smoked yogurt and vegetables, Wood-smoked cauliflower and carrots with pistachio crunch, are some inimitable dishes.

When the surface of the meat is softer, smoke is able to penetrate the meat more deeply and effect a stronger smoky flavour. Thus, sometimes the marinade becomes crucial, even before the meat is smoked.

Flavourful woods like apple wood chips, cedar wood chips, which are the latest cooking trends, lend their taste, aroma, body and texture to the food that are cooked together.

It is recommended that the wood chips being used for smoking food, should be soaked for about 30-40 minutes and drip-dried before being added to the fire.

The smoke generated by hot smoking has a different flavour than the one generated by cold smoking, even though both are used by chefs.  Cold smoking, flavours the food without actually cooking it. Smoked Salmon and Bacon are typical meats that are cold smoked.

Smoke adds a dimension of flavour all its own, something sweet and rich, but also pungent, which is being maximized in innovative desserts.

Some prefer using an open flame to smoke while others rely on the blowtorch or charcoal.  Instead of smoking the whole dessert, one can try smoking one component of the dessert. Smoked vanilla ice cream made with muscavado sugar is a unique dessert, where, smoke acts as an incredible flavour enhancer. Smoked coconut cheesecake, is another example, where the coconut is first smoked. Fruits are a hugely popular choice when it comes to smoking.

Smoking is clearly witnessing a resurgence in kitchens. The textured feel of smoke works on all senses of the diners. It is beautiful to see, vivacious to taste, raw and rustic in smell and the texture feels incredible in the mouth.

Cross Country Ingredients



GOJI BERRY CHICKEN CURRY with black rice pilaf and broccoli-sweet potato sabzi 0


Ingredients may be abundant in a region, but are often used in cuisines across several countries

Lemon grass chicken, Steamed fish with tamarind sauce and Thai basil eggplant, are the quintessential Thai dishes we are familiar with. Thai cuisine is synonymous with strong spicy and aromatic components. Yet, while one may associate basil, tamarind, lemon grass and coconut only with this cuisine, interestingly, these versatile ingredients lend themselves effortlessly to several other cuisines across the globe.

The French call it, basil herbe royal. Basil, a fragrant herb finds itself in every chef’s kitchen as it enhances a multitude of cuisines. The flavours range from mild and floral to spicy and complex from different varieties and are used across cuisines.

The aromatic Thai Basil, part of the mint family with the distinguishing flavours of licorice, anise and clove, is fairly commonplace. The herb is popular in South East Asian cuisines and is generally incorporated fresh, in dishes. Thai basil is equally flavourful when eaten raw and added to salads.

Vegetarian pot stickers are dumplings with tofu and shiitake mushrooms, tossed with galangal, coriander root, green curry, coconut milk, then steamed and pan-seared, boast of the subtle flavours of Thai basil.

But there is more to basil. The slightly sweetish basil is a part of Italian cuisine. Whether it is pesto from the Ligurian region or a Pizza from Naples, or a Tomato and basil soup, the addition of the basil leaf is a must.

Again, the bold and balanced flavours of Mediterranean cuisines are characterised by herbs such as basil. The understated, fresh aroma of basil with its intense, but light taste, is the perfect ingredient for a Tomato Dandelion Salad.

Tamarind is a popular fruit which is used in cuisines all over the world. The fruit pulp is used in drinks, snacks, sorbets and most notably, Worcestershire sauce. In Thai cooking, tamarind is used in a variety of dishes including Pad Thai.

No Indian snacks are complete without the sweet and tangy tamarind or imli chutney. Used a souring agent in Indian cuisine, tamarind is extensively a part of dals, sambhar, curries too. Some chefs even use tamarind as a marinade, as besides adding flavour, tamarind helps to tenderize the meat.

And of course tamarind is a popular choice, as a base for many a tangy-sweet refreshing drink, apart from the Thai Nam Makham.

Globally, tamarind is often made use of as an ingredient in a salad dressing. With a dash of lemon juice, brown sugar and olive oil, this can prove to be a great dressing for strongly flavoured greens with apples and cashews. Chicken wings with tamarind mango glaze is another favourite.  And of course no one goes through summer in Mexico, without sipping the refreshing Aguas Frescas.

The coastal cities in India may be using coconut in various forms daily in their cooking in curries, chutney and desserts, but certain global cuisines make use of it also.

Thai food, Sri Lankan and Caribbean cuisine, are replete with coconut. Scraped coconut makes its way into several Sri Lankan curries amidst an array of flavours that the cuisine boasts of. Mallum is made from shredded leaves (kale, mustard greens, cabbage, or others) with scraped coconut, lime juice, onion, chili, and fish. Apart from that, a coconut roti with sauce is a popular dish in Sri Lanka. And of course several Sri Lankan sweets are made with desiccated coconut.

Coconut milk is widely used in Caribbean cuisine to add volume, creamy texture and flavour to a dish. Coconut is often married with curry and such a coconut curry, served with lobster, fish or chicken are spicy and sweet is common.  From rice or Johnny cakes subtly laced with coconut milk to super sweet coco brut candy, Belizean, Creole and Garifuna cuisine often incorporates this tropical mainstay. Muffin sized coconut tarts, empanada style ‘crusts’ stuffed with shredded coconut and creamy pies, are other typical desserts made with coconut.

Coconut milk is used as a base for many Thai curries as the rich flavour cuts through the spices.  No Thai meal is complete without the classic Thai soup with coconut milk, galangal and kaffir lime. Equally important in this cuisine is the Green, red or yellow curry, abounding in coconut milk and served with steamed rice.

Bird’s eye chilli and ginger are other such ingredients which foray into kitchens across the world, to enhance the flavours of food.

Back to Basics

Prawns Raw Mango Curry

Maa ke haath ka khaana has always been the preferred choice. Interestingly, this simple, rustic, home-style food is back and how

It is suddenly fashionable to eat basic food. And people clearly prefer that. Honest and simple food is what gourmets seek nowadays. Mother’s recipes with simple cooking techniques and rustic, natural flavours are sought after.

Home style food holds a special appeal for everyone as it is their comfort food. Also, more people are looking for authenticity.

Freshness is key to home style food. Not just buying fresh food but, the method of cooking also makes a great difference in retaining the freshness, flavours and nutrients of the dish, giving it that home-style touch.

The basic idea of home- style cooking is that the food is made in one go and consumed immediately. Home-style cooked food is not cooked and stored over a period of time for future meals. Ingredients are equally crucial when cooking a simple meal.

Emphasis on home-style cooked food with simple recipes from mothers and grandmothers is in.  Knowledge of masalas, blending of spices and ingredients, personal touch, that home makers possess is unparalleled.

Traditional recipes definitely have their own value. Home style food is a balanced meal of fat, protein, and roughage. It is prepared with a lesser usage of oil and spices to maintain that balance.

Home-style food experience can be achieved across global cuisines too. Hand-crafted pastas right from ‘Tajarin ai tartufi’- typical flat long pasta from “Piedmont to the ‘Pizzoccheri’- Ribbon shaped buck wheat flour pasta from “Lombardy”, are preferred.

So it is clearly time for  your favourite kadhi chawal or Prawns Balchao at home.


A Mouthful of Southern Flavours



Kozhambus (curries), poriyals, kootus (vegetable dishes) and rice, may be the mainstay of meals in South India, but flavourful podis and chutneys, are equally an intrinsic part

A soft, fluffy idli is almost always, dipped into piping hot sambhar, but sometimes it is simply enjoyed, coated with the reddish dry gunpowder or milaga podi, to set one’s taste buds on fire. Gunpowder, is one of the most popular and commonly eaten podis in Southern India.

Bursting with varied flavours, podis and chutneys are multipurpose spice mixes that can enhance any meal. A unique culinary delight of South Indian cuisine, the Podi, a dry spice-mix, is made from a combination of lentils like chana dal, urad dal, tuvar dal, along with spices and condiments, such as sesame seed, chilies, fenugreek, curry leaves, coriander leaves, asafoetida and sometimes garlic, which are roasted and ground to make a coarse textured powder

These are usually an accompaniment to adais, idlis and dosas and often mixed with hot steamed rice and ghee or sesame oil drizzled on top. Apart from adding zest to a meal, the podis, at times, are also used as ready-to-use premixes for preparing dishes like sambhar, rasam, bisibele in households.

While podis are always dry, chutneys can be either dry or wet. Chutney is also called Thogayal or Thuvayal, in some parts of the South. There are many varieties of chutneys, some cooked and others made with vegetables. The primary ingredients remain the same, but vegetables vary depending upon the season and taste buds.

Fresh South Indian chutneys are smooth, uncooked purees, tempered with fried mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves, that attributes a distinct flavour to a chutney. Cooked chutneys are soft and pulpy mixtures of cooked ingredients, again seasoned with fried mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves. Chutneys in South India are usually made using the mortar pestle or Ammi Kallu, for the right texture and flavour.”

Kandi podi and Beerakaya Pachadi in Andhra Pradesh, Milaga podi and Kollu Kadyal or horsegram chutney in Tamil Nadu, Chamannthi podi in Kerala.  While these may be characteristic of each Southern State, the ingredients of these chutneys and podis, are largely common, with minor variations.

Primarily, it is only the spice quotient and perhaps the combination and proportion of dals and lentils, that differs in podis, thus introducing a variety in different parts of South India.

Podi and pachchidi (chutney) is the first course of any traditional Andhra meal unlike other regions, where it is usually sambar and rice. Podis from Andhra Pradesh tend to be more fiery.

The flaming hot kandi podi or gunpowder made from equal portions of tuvar, chana and moong dal with red chilies and cumin (jeera), is perhaps the most famous podi here, even though it is consumed elsewhere too. A must in every household, it sets the taste buds tingling. Gunpowder is typically eaten with rice and ghee. If it is paired with dosas and idlis, or even the green gram pesarattu, it is usually mixed with oil to temper the spice.

Nalla Karam Podi, another typical Andhra-style podi, similar to gun powder, is made with tamarind, garlic, red chilies and urad dal. Roasted groundnuts or peanuts, dry red chilies, garlic and salt, with a distinctive smoky flavour make the Chennakai podi, while Nuvvulu podi is made with sesame seeds and dried red chilies.

If podis are palate-tickling, the chutneys of Andhra are equally legendary. Korivikaram Chutney with Curry Leaf, tamarind, chilies is famous, as is the crunchy peanut chutney.


And, while a typical podi in Tamil Nadu is made from the combination of the various dals, peanuts, kopra (dried coconut), sugar, curry leaves, tamarind, dried red chilies and a pinch of asafetida, other specialties of this state are; Kollu or Kaanam podi, made with horse gram, a staple of Tamil Nadu, Flaxseed or Paruppu podi, made with toor dal and flaxseeds and Karivepillai podi made with curry leaves, tamarind, urad dal and chilies. Of course, here too gunpowder or milaga podi, remains popular, served with idlis and ghee.

Coconut, a key ingredient here, is used to make a podi, to which only a few chilies are added. Endu Kobbari Podi or dry coconut spice mix powder, is another versatile coconut-based powder stocked in every kitchen. This podi has a strong nutty flavor with a subtle spice taste and a hint of sweetness, owing to the combination of lentils, dry red chilis, garlic and dry coconut, which are roasted in oil, till the aromas are released and ground to make a fine powder.

Who can eat a Tamil Brahmin meal and not savour the ubiquitous coconut chutney? Apart from a basic chutney with coconut, chana dal and a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, other variants include coriander, tomatoes and even onions. Sometimes curd is added to a coconut chutney, to impart sourness and the right consistency.

Equally popular here are; the tasty Parangi kai or yellow pumpkin chutney which is commonly paired with Ragi Adai for breakfast, the unique gooseberry chutney called Nellikkai, which is relished with curd rice and the tomato chutney with Kanchipuram idli.

In Karnataka, the standard podi also called, chutney pudi, requires urad dal, chana dal, toor dal, grated coconut, dried red chilies (Guntur and Byadgi), curry leaves, tamarind, jaggery, and salt. It is seasoned with mustard seeds and turmeric.

Here, tamarind and jaggery are added to podis, instead of garlic and roasted peanuts, which are common in Tamil Nadu, informs Chef Jacob. Again, instead of hing, cinnamon powder and coconut, form the combination for podis with lentils and other spices.

One cannot be in Karnataka and not taste Bisibele Bhath, a delicacy of this region, which can be prepared using the podi pre-mix and rice.

Typically, in Kerala, podis are made on the stone mortar and pestle, for the right texture.

While the Chammanthi podi or roasted coconut chutney powder, is synonymous with Kerala, Kothamali podi or coriander leaves podi with urad dal, red chilies, tamarind, is popular too. But it is the Avalos Podi, made from roasted rice flour and grated coconut,  that is unique to this region.

What sets the Coconut chutney from Kerala apart, is the absence of the roasted gram which is used by the other Southern states. Sour green mangoes are another popular ingredient  for chutneys.

Thottu kootan, a simple chutney-like side dish which is a mixture of sour, sweet, and spicy flavours to offset the richness of a meat curry or to enhance the flavours of a lentil, is widely eaten. This can be made with tomatoes or green chilies, or even vegetables like okra and bitter gourd.The delectable, sweet-sour Pulinji or bitter gourd chutney made from bitter gourd, tamarind and ginger, is a delicacy known for its distinct flavour.

It is not only for that extra zing or diverse flavours that podis or chutneys are eaten with a meal. these help in digestion and are quick supplements of protein too, since most of these, use lentils in some form or the other.

A Pot of Convenience

Stout and Lamb stew, Brewbot

When time is premium and people are not in the mood for an elaborate meal, one dish meals come handy. It’s all about appeasing your taste buds and satiating your appetite. Add to that convenience, pleasing flavours and a nutritionally well-balanced meal. What more can busy people living at a frenetic pace ask for? Indeed. One-dish meals or pot foods are the answer.

These are a compromise. A winning combination of taste plus health, these meals can be varied, as well as packed with essential nutrients. What’s more these can be prepared in a jiffy, and also save the bother of clearing a mess and washing endless dishes. Naturally then, more and more people are veering towards these.

Eating habits are also changing drastically today and gen y prefers easy to cook, hassle-free food. More so, as they live away from their families and are working. As eating out daily is not a feasible option, many prefer to cook, albeit, a one-dish meal. Such is the growing popularity of these dishes, that not only single people, but also, housewives or working mothers too opt for such a meal to give themselves a break.

For many, the health quotient is what prompts them to opt for these. Eating a wholesome,  one-dish meal, enables many people to avoid over- eating and enjoying a healthy meal. It is tasty, as well as satisfying and yet, prevents them for eating too many calories in a course by course elaborate meal. The portions, can be controlled.

Echoing this sentiment of these one dish meals being healthier, as the food is cooked from beginning to end in one single pot and no blanching, draining and re-shuffling of ingredients are done. This way, not only, are the nutrients retained, but also, the dish becomes much more exotic with use of several ingredients. French style casserole is a perfect example of such a meal.

Less is more, when it comes to such meals. So clearly, the advantages are multiple, convenience being the driving force. Apart from being easy to prepare and time-saving, these one-dish meals can be made ahead of time and heated for a fast, easy and complete dinner. Pot roast for example, tastes better the day after it is cooked. One can refrigerate cooked pot roast overnight in the sauce it was braised in.

What is interesting is that, these one-dish meals or pot food, do not get monotonous. There are several options across cuisines, to suit each palate. One can have a fresh option each day.

Wholesome Salads with Meat or Chicken and grains, beans, bread croutons and stews, Mexican Fajita or Enchiladas, Indian Kathi kebab rolls, Indonesian Mee Goreng (noodles), Burmese Khowsuey are some of my recommendations.

At times when eating out too, one-dish meals are preferred, as simple menus with few choices make dining straightforward. Also, with paucity of time during lunch hours, busy corporate executives, prefer these. Small wonder then, that restaurants are increasingly realizing this and catering to this growing demand among consumers. There are options where one can make one’s own meal by building a dish from a host of ingredients. One can actually mix the base, sauce, protein and toppings according to one’s palate.

Indian cuisine abounds in these choices. Biryani, is yet another dish which can be a complete meal in itself and is thus the first choice of many. Masala khichdi and Pongal from North and South India are also exciting options. Lasagna is an all time favourite and can be made in a vegetarian version too. Pot noodles or rice, stew, casseroles are other typical preferences.

So, you may want to spend less time in the kitchen, but that does not mean you cannot eat healthy and tasty food. What you want to put in that one dish is entirely your decision, but clearly, there is a lot to choose from.