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Each morning every efficient housewife has this nightmare which is what to cook that day that could be got ready easily and quickly and at the same time please the palates of each family member. I know how difficult it is for that’s a common scene at home daily. And I completely sympathise with all those who face this. 

Food should be tasty and healthy
The food should be tasty and healthy at the same time and also should appease everybody’s appetite. Young or old, everybody needs the right food at the right time and in the right amounts. The food that is served should be something that each member of the family looks forward to. For after all food is as important for our physical and mental well-being as water and air. Which makes our daily food that much more important.

It is advisable to plan the menu for the week in advance and do the shopping for fresh and other ingredients accordingly. Here there is a little suggestion that would go a long way in making things easy. Plan multiple dishes around certain vegetables or meats while deciding the menu for the week and shop likewise. Once that is done, pack the perishable ingredients in separate lots and store in the refrigerator so that each day you take out just what you need and cook.

How to plan everyday menu

Ideally the menu should be planned keeping in mind the easy availability of the ingredients especially the fresh ones. For example some vegetables and fruits are seasonal so when a certain vegetable or fruit is in season, make the full use of it. For example mangoes can be used to make a wide variety of dishes, both sweet and savoury.

Plan items that will complement each other. For if there is a gravy dish then make another dish dry one. If one dish is a bit heavy on the stomach, then let the other one be light. A salad should be a must for it is very nutritious too, easily digestible and extremely rejuvenating.

Keeping the spice bottles filled is another way to ensure that the food you cook is always delicious.

Spices, we all know, can make or mar a dish. Using right spices in the right combination and in the right amount is very important.

Equally important is that our daily menu should have dishes that can be prepared easily and fast. In this jet age time is an expensive commodity. Most women juggle two jobs - that of running a household on well-oiled wheels and handling the responsibilities at work place. And to do that efficiently she needs to spend as little time as possible sweating over a hot stove. Not that there are many who would like to do so anyway.

Here a few of my favourite daily recipes

For breakfast make Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Peas and serve it with some toast. The addition of mushrooms and peas make the dull scrambled eggs so much more interesting with added colour and texture. For those who do not eat eggs, make some Buttermilk Pancake. For lunch you could make Hara Bhara Paneer and Gavar Falli Aloo ki Sabzi – one a North Indian speciality and the other a favourite of the Gujaratis but they complement each other very well. Serve them with phulkas or chapattis. Dinner is generally a family meal in most homes during the week. It is when the entire family gathers round the dinner table and enjoy a sumptuous meal amidst exchange of conversation. You could make Dahi Methi Murgh and Batatachya Kachrya and serve it with a Tadkewali Dal, steamed rice and Pyaz and Pudine ki Roti.

Dabba khali, pet full
When the menu is easy and can be rustled up quickly the housewife does not find cooking an effort. Food that does not tire you while cooking, on the contrary makes you happy, will turn out extra tasty. When you are in a happy mood while cooking you tend to add your love in generous doses and who can resist such delicacies. And when you see your loved ones licking their finger tips and asking for more, you know your efforts were well worth it. Personally it gives me a lot of pleasure when I see the food disappearing faster than it took to make them. In other words dabba khali pet full should be the daily mantra.

So enjoy your daily stint in the kitchen and serve up delicious meals to your loved ones. But while at it remember that along with delicious food, you should also ensure that your family has a daily dose of exercise. Working out is as important as eating well. So eat well, work out and lead a healthy life and most important happy cooking. 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.