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  • Cooking secrets/tips

    How do you stay on top of cooking? Cooking everyday, making sure there is enough food, making sure there isn't too much of the same food..etc :scratch: Most importantly how do you minimize cooking time/effort

    I have to cook everyday for next 2.5 months. My inlaws are back home I am use to only cooking (helping) on weekends but now its all on me. I am trying to find the best practice. My sis in law seem to manage cooking with ease. I picked up few tricks from her but still have lot to learn. In my 1.5 week experience on being charge of kitchen/house, I noticed I can never be on top of food without external help (as in relax because there is plenty of food at home).

    Everyday I stress about what to make after work, will there be enough time to cook? what do I cook? will we get hungry before the dish is ready and munch on junk? Only when my mom sends food over or hubby brings take out, that's when I relax and feel like "I got this under control". Do you have any tricks/tips

  • #2
    Re: Cooking secrets/tips

    Figure out what you need on the weekend and make some of the stuff then, so you don't have to be so stressed when you come home. Soups are a great way way to make meals last longer. If you make a big pot, you can freeze some. Or, after you've had some soup, you can puree it and have it again, or (what I like to do) have the hearty vegetable soup act as the liquid portion for your pancake mix (use whatever kind you like). Then make a simple tomato sauce and have the two together. It sounds weird, but after you crisp it on the pan it's delicious and healthy. You don't need a lot of of the pancake mix to do this, just enough to bind the soup together so you can pan fry it.

    A good pot of soup can last you four days if you use it right. You don't want it to always taste the same, so make a simple version and then every day you can take some out and jazz it up.

    Always try to taste your food and know that salt isn't your enemy. If you do over salt just add water. If you burn something just take whatever is in the pan (that isn't burned) and put it in another one.
    مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً وَاللّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

    "Who is he that will loan to Allah a beautiful loan, which Allah will double unto his credit and multiply many times?
    It is Allah that giveth (you) Want or plenty, and to Him shall be your return."
    Surah al-Baqarah
    [2:245]

    .:.
    .:. Perfer et Obdura : Dolor Hic Tibi Proderit Olim .:.
    Be patient and strong : someday this pain will be useful to you

    .:.
    ...said the spider to the fly...

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    • #3
      Re: Cooking secrets/tips

      Salaam

      You can prepare your dishes a few days in advance, For example chicken, Marinate it in a bag and leave it in the fridge until you cook it.. Always make rice cause it goes with nearly everything.. Make dishes that last 2-3 days and like that you can save money and not stress too much. Grilling food is healthy and should be an option, just place what you like and put it in the oven to cook softly..
      Cooking is simple as long as you know what your about to cook.. Get cooking books which contain easy ways to make delicious meals. Keep it simple and Healthy
      I love you, cherish you and worship you,
      Guide me on your path to your janna,
      Unite me beside you My King and all mighty,


      :love:Allah:love:

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      • #4
        Re: Cooking secrets/tips

        I don't know how to cook, but some ideas:

        Make food that can last a few days in a freezer

        Make a recipe schedule beforehand, so it makes it easier.

        You can watch cooking vids, or cooking recipes online/books etc

        Also some dishes are super simple to make in comparison with others.

        Don't stress about it sis, just plan and prep beforehand
        And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record”
        [al-An’aam 6:59]

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        • #5
          Re: Cooking secrets/tips

          I used to find it easier to cook for the day after. So we would come home and eat, then I"d cook for the next day. It's not fresh, fresh, but it is less stressful.

          You can also marinade all of your chicken/meat the day you buy it and then freeze it. The day you're going to cook it take it out, and as it defrosts, it will marinate also. I like to marinade all the meat or chicken that's not going in a curry on the same day. There is a Shan masala for every day of the week. And remember to keep the boxes hidden. No one ever uses shan masala.

          For curries you can cut and pressure cook a weeks worth of onions at one time. Freeze them in portions. They will go really mushy and wont' take so long to make the curry base.

          Cooked meat and minced meat stores well in the freezer (chicken not so well). You can make meat curries and freeze in portions, then cook different vegetables and add e.g. potatoes/meat, cauliflower/meat, peas/mince etc.

          Most of the preparation might take you a whole Saturday, but it's well worth it.

          Pita bread is your friend. You can also buy frozen roties from the shops, but I prefer the ones ladies make and sell from home.

          If you are in the UK surely you can get a 'dinner lady' to come over and cook a few meals for you which you can then freeze.

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          • #6
            Re: Cooking secrets/tips

            Secrets to Success by Pepe the Prawn . Be motivated. http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthrea...ess&highlight=
            “ I try to be El diplomatique ~Abu General El Diplomatique

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            • #7
              Re: Cooking secrets/tips

              sister these days everything is made easier for women,
              eg
              onions come in frozen packs. That means you do not have to chop any, just take out from the freezer and start cooking. Also frozen garlic and ginger cubes
              Peeled Potatoes are sold, all you have to do is boil and mash
              Ready made white and red sauce
              You get all sorts of frozen veg from spinach, okra, mixed veg
              some days just fry food as in fish and chips
              pizza night
              The meat dishes can be frozen and then you can alternate so the family is not eating the same thing for 3 days straight..hope this helps, you just need to be savvy..go to the supermarket during your lunch break...you will be surprised how much easier it has got
              Women lost their modesty when men lost their gheerah..” .

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              • #8
                Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                I remember one of your earlier food threads suggested one problem was that there are a lot of boys in your house who eat so much that you don't really get leftovers even if you make extra portions so that there is food for the next day. That makes it difficult to cook anything in advance.

                My mum does this thing whereby she cooks a huge batch of lamb chops in the pressure cooker with onions, garlic, salt and pepper, then freezes portions of it. That way, when she wants to make any salan (alu gosht, saag gosht, chana gosht etc), she just takes a tub out of the freezer, adds the spices and veg and it makes the dish much easier to cook. Nowadays she makes the whole haandi and stores it in the freezer but if you say there are boys or men in the house that eat up whatever is ready made, then I wouldn't recommend that.

                One thing goray do is make a roast on a sunday with veg, then use up the leftovers by using the carcass (eg chicken bones) to make a stock and then it can be blended into a soup with the leftover veg and that soup can be part of lunch and dinner the next day. If you make it for dinner, then serve it with garlic bread to make it feel a bit more indulgent. Another goray style option is to make a base mince in tomato sauce and then freeze batches of it. Some can be used to make chilli, some can be used to make lasagna, some can be used to make cottage/shepherd's pie and so on, though it's probably better to not rely on those options more than two days in a row cos' people might catch on that the dishes seem like too much of the same thing, but at least it increases your options.

                As for desi leftovers; leftover salan is delicious in toasted sandwiches... if you have a sandwich toaster. Here's a more traditional desi option though; let's say you make keema for dinner and alu methi with roti, the next day, you can use the same leftover salan and atta to make keema parathas and alu parathas. If you have leftover chicken or gosht salan, then you can cook it in rice to make it into a pillau. In the past, I've even cooked leftover chicken salan in couscous, which tastes even better if you add a little diced courgette to it (the secret ingredient to making the couscous or rice work is garlic infused olive oil).

                If you're already working during the day, then I think your best options are to make the base mince and/or pressure cooked lamb during the weekend to put in the freezer in batches.
                The Lyme Disease pandemic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5u73ME4sVU

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                • #9
                  Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                  I was going to answer but [MENTION=46324]Ikki[/MENTION] said pretty much everything I would too.

                  Marinate when you buy, separate into portions, put into freezer, defrost, cook an hour or two beforehand.

                  Also, crockpot. If you know what that is....slow cooker i mean. Just dump the meat, spices, veggies or whatever in there and you can make stews, soups and fillings with it. Just drop it and let it cook.

                  Lol

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                    Originally posted by Kya View Post
                    How do you stay on top of cooking? Cooking everyday, making sure there is enough food, making sure there isn't too much of the same food..etc :scratch: Most importantly how do you minimize cooking time/effort

                    I have to cook everyday for next 2.5 months. My inlaws are back home I am use to only cooking (helping) on weekends but now its all on me. I am trying to find the best practice. My sis in law seem to manage cooking with ease. I picked up few tricks from her but still have lot to learn. In my 1.5 week experience on being charge of kitchen/house, I noticed I can never be on top of food without external help (as in relax because there is plenty of food at home).

                    Everyday I stress about what to make after work, will there be enough time to cook? what do I cook? will we get hungry before the dish is ready and munch on junk? Only when my mom sends food over or hubby brings take out, that's when I relax and feel like "I got this under control". Do you have any tricks/tips
                    Welcome to adulthood.

                    I don't get it, you're female, married but having cooking queries. Oh my dayz.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                      Originally posted by zi-zizou View Post
                      Welcome to adulthood.

                      I don't get it, you're female, married but having cooking queries. Oh my dayz.
                      What is the world coming to....
                      وَالْعَصْرِ

                      إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

                      إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

                      "If Allah (swt) only sent this Surah to us, for the guidance of Mankind, this will be enough for us” - Imam Shaafi'ee r.a.

                      "Yeh dunya daar e faani hain, Tum apna dil mat lagaon, Ganimat samaj zinadagee ki bahar, aana na hoga, yahaa baar baar......"

                      Khanqah Habibiyah

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                        Originally posted by Jenicca View Post
                        What is the world coming to....
                        I know right!!!

                        I remember a time when women could multitask. Sad times...the struggle for single brothers is real.

                        For all those single sisters who say they will cook once married, take note!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                          Sister, you should try cooking during Ishraaq time - Allah has blessed this time for the Ummah of Rasoolullah :saw: - at this time you can complete work in one hour which would normally take 2-3 hrs at any other time of the day.

                          I'm totally against frozen meals . I believe it's better to cook & eat fresh food every day.

                          When I married, I made it a point at my in-laws that we would cook only that which could suffice us for the day - never extra to store in the freezer. I'm against making curries, syrups, soups, marinating meat & storing stuff in advance.

                          Even if I have to do the cooking, I'd prefer preparing a fresh meal than taking something out of the referigerator to eat/serve.

                          Honestly, cooking doesn't take a long time once you get used to it.

                          For any Indian dish, veg/non-veg , just remember the basics - Saute onions well, add tomatoes, ginger/garlic paste & the 5 Indian masalas - salt, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, corriander powder & garam masala. And yoghurt . You could plus or minus a few ingredients.

                          Don't stress - even if your dish doesn't turn out right a few times, you'll get better with time. Be confident that you can cook perfectly well alone & you don't need a helper by your side.

                          Prepare a menu for the next 3-4 days & keep the ingredients ready, so you don't worry abt what to cook each day.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                            Originally posted by zi-zizou View Post
                            I know right!!!

                            I remember a time when women could multitask. Sad times...the struggle for single brothers is real.

                            For all those single sisters who say they will cook once married, take note!
                            No one you always go on about 4 wives...I understand where you are coming from now

                            No one listens to me when I keep saying Cook Good...look cook and don't talk too much! !
                            وَالْعَصْرِ

                            إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

                            إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

                            "If Allah (swt) only sent this Surah to us, for the guidance of Mankind, this will be enough for us” - Imam Shaafi'ee r.a.

                            "Yeh dunya daar e faani hain, Tum apna dil mat lagaon, Ganimat samaj zinadagee ki bahar, aana na hoga, yahaa baar baar......"

                            Khanqah Habibiyah

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Cooking secrets/tips

                              Originally posted by zi-zizou View Post
                              Welcome to adulthood.

                              I don't get it, you're female, married but having cooking queries. Oh my dayz.
                              I think you're being a bit sarcastic lol, but this is normal, as long as one is happy n willing to try n learn, insha ' allah it's all good

                              It's when peeps need to cook, yet don't want to, that's problematic, but of course not the case with the op.

                              It's normal to be married, female n not know how to cook, time and practice makes perfect, insha ' allah. Not everyone knows how to cook before marriage n it's not as much of a biggie as ppl make it out to be
                              And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record”
                              [al-An’aam 6:59]

                              Comment

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