My easy meal prep ideas make planning everyday Indian meals easier. These planning and prep work tips will help you eat home-cooked meals daily, save money, and reduce stress throughout the week.
How To Plan Everyday Indian Meal
Following easy meal prep ideas, you can make various Indian food recipes throughout the week despite being busy.
- Think and plan the menu for the week (follow my 30 Everyday meal calendar)
- Write down meal prep notes for each meal
- Prepare your grocery shopping list
- Finish your grocery shopping over the weekend
At first, you might feel like it’s a lot to do, but once you get going and see how effortless it is, you don’t have to worry about dinner/lunchbox/breakfast throughout the week.
How To Start Meal Prep
Take Baby Steps: Start with one meal that pains you the most. It could be either breakfast, dinner or packing a lunchbox (check out lunchbox ideas for adults). Later, slowly move to plan all the meals of the week.
Set Reminder: During the first week of meal prep, you must set a few reminders to get it into your routine. Like, if you are starting with breakfast, set a reminder for Sunday night to do prep work for the weekly breakfast.
Handpick Recipes: First, pick Indian food recipes that are easy to follow and execute on weekdays. Over a period, you can select more elaborate recipes and plan their execution like an expert.
My favourite meal prep tools, I hope you also find them useful:
Glass Box Set: They are fantastic for storing anything from boiled lentils, salad, and chopped vegetables to fruits. Mason Jars: They are perfect for storing salads, fruits, overnight oats or anything you want to grab and go.
Free Weekly Meal Plan: Download a free printable weekly planner.
Ziplock Bags: They are the lifesaver when storing chopped onion, garlic, and fruits for smoothies or green vegetables.
30 Everyday Indian Meal Ideas: Use these meal ideas to plan a weekly menu for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Meal Prep Ideas for Indian kitchen
1) Freezer-Friendly Indian Curry Paste: Making an excellent Indian curry after a long working day is a sort of challenge. It requires hours of labour if you start from scratch. Hence, with meal prep-friendly DIY Indian curry pastes in the fridge, you can make your favourite Indian curry in 30 minutes.
You can make them over the weekend, and they remain fresh for up to a week. These curry pastes are one of my favourite easy meal prep ideas for an Indian kitchen.
You can get my debut cookbook for The 100 Best Indian Curry Recipes to use these curry pastes in a hundred creative ways.
2) Cutting & Preparing Ingredients: For making any Indian meal, we require a lot of chopped onion, tomato, vegetables, and greens.
- Chop a small batch of onion, ginger, and tomato. Store them in the refrigerator.
- Peel and chop vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin, carrot, cauliflower required for the first few days of the week.
- Clean green leafy vegetables like fenugreek, spinach, kale, lettuce, mint, and coriander. Store them in ziplock bags.
- Cut and freeze fresh fruits like mangoes, bananas, strawberries, kiwi for smoothies or milkshakes.
These small meal prep steps expedite the cooking process during the weekdays. You can use a food processor or a handy chopper for the purpose.
3) Cook & Store: A few cooked ingredients and side dishes can help you sail through the week.
- Boil a big batch of potatoes. Keep them handy to make Indian breakfast, curry, sandwiches, and snacks.
- Boil and store lentils and legumes like chickpeas (chana), red kidney beans, and brown chickpeas (kala chana) for making salads and Indian main course dishes.
- You can always cook and store side dishes like matar pulao, jeera rice, or plain rice to serve with dal and gravy dishes.
- Make a little extra serving of dishes like dal fry or Rajasthani Kadhi to reheat and eat during busy weekdays.
- Make spinach puree and store it in the refrigerator. Use it for making poori, paratha, or spinach egg curry.
- Marinate proteins like paneer, tofu, chicken, cauliflower, and prawns to make quick stir fry or tikka during the week.
- And, of course, you can always boil and store noodles, pasta, couscous, quinoa, or brown rice to make a variety of multi-cuisine dishes.
- Prepare whole wheat dough for chapati or paratha and store it.
- Similarly, you can make dosa batter, dal chilla or besan chilla batter and store them for a week in the refrigerator.
4) Takeaway Salad Jars: On Sunday night, layer up all the salad ingredients in a mason jar, pack the dressing separately and keep them in the fridge. Each morning pick a salad jar and rush to the office or eat them for lunch.
This way, you can save a lot of time cooking an office lunchbox and eat healthy homemade lunch even on a busy day. Not only salads, but you can also pack smoothies, milkshakes, overnight oats, wholesome soups or just anything in a jar and keep them handy for a takeaway.
5) Ready To Use Indian Condiments: We use a lot of herbs, spices, and chutney in an Indian kitchen. To save time,
- Keep a container full of peeled garlic, ginger, and washed green chilli in the fridge.
- Clean, wash and pat dry fresh coriander leaves. You can use a salad spinner to drain all the water from the coriander. Store in a ziplock bag or an airtight container lined with a paper towel. While cooking, you can chop and add it in an instant.
- Prepare and store a few condiments like green chutney, coconut chutney, tomato chutney, pickled onions (sirkey wala pyaaz) to serve with snacks and breakfast. Or make multi-purpose dips like hummus, salsa, and store them.
- Make a big batch of multi-purpose ginger-garlic paste and store it.
- Homemade condiments like garam masala or chai masala add a lot of flavour to the dishes and save money.
These easy meal prep ideas save a lot of time in the kitchen and help me cook wholesome, nourishing meals in no time.
6) Recycle Leftovers: There are zillion creative ways to use leftovers; they are the best way to check on food wastage and reduce your grocery bill.
- Leftover plain rice can be easily transformed into a delicious bowl of fried rice, coconut rice, or lemon rice.
- If you have roasted or grilled chicken in the fridge, use it to make sandwiches, salads, or biryani.
- Use leftover idli from breakfast to make chilli idli fry or idli manchurian.
- Similarly, leftover paneer tikka can make a colourful tawa paneer pulao.
- Use all those leftover vegetables in the refrigerator to make vegetable stock.
- Use leftover yellow dal to make Punjabi dal paratha or missa paratha.