Minimalistic Indian Cooking

Minimalistic Indian cooking is my effort to share Indian vegetarian recipes that can be made with minimal ingredients in a short time. This page is meant for those young folks who wish to cook their own meal, staying away from home either in India or abroad, with the limited facilities available. 

First of all, let me tell you "COOKING IS EASY..." You need not be a great cook or have an elaborate kitchen to churn out a meal. However, you need to equip yourself with minimal utensils and ingredients to be able to cook. You can also make use of certain ready-made products available in the market.

Your kitchen

I presume that you have at least a gas stove or some stove in your kitchen. You will need the following kitchen utensils (Fig.1) to start cooking and of course, eating!
  1. Pressure cooker, 3 liter capacity
  2. Small kadai or wok with lid
  3. Two flat spoons
  4. One hollow ladle
  5. One tablespoon
  6. Few teaspoons
  7. Medium sized bowl for mixing
  8. Two teacups
  9. Two dinner plates
  10. Cutting board
  11. Knife & peeler
  12. Tava (optional)
  13. Separator containers for pressure cooker 
Choose utensils with heat-proof handles. Otherwise, you will need a pair of kitchen tongs or 'idukki' to handle hot utensils.
Fig.1: Minimalistic Kitchen Utensils
Your Pantry 

Well, it is advisable to have a stock of minimal quantity of few essential ingredients in your pantry.
  1. Rice available in your location – 2 kg
  2. Split red gram or pigeon pea or toor dhal – 500gms (½ Kg)
  3. Split green gram or moong dhal – 500gms (½ Kg)
  4. Sugar – 500gms (½ Kg)
  5. Salt – 1 kg 
  6. Cooking oil – 500ml (½ Liter)*
  7. Mustard seeds – 100gms 
  8. Cumin seeds – 50gms
  9. Red chilli powder – 100gms*
  10. Turmeric powder – 50gms*
  11. Pepper powder – 50gms*
  12. Garam masala – 50gms*
  13. Coriander powder  – 100gms*
  14. Cumin powder – 50gms*
  15. Tamarind paste – 200gms*
  16. Coconut milk powder – 25gms sachets, a few*
  17. Ginger-garlic paste – 50gms sachet*
  18. Sambar powder – 250gms*
  19. Rasam powder – 100gms*
  20. Instant coffee – 50gms*
  21. Tea bags – 1 box*
  22. Pasta – 200gms*
  23. Oregano – 7gms*
  24. Tomato ketch up – 200ml*
  25. Pickle of your choice (optional)*
  26. ‘Pulikaichal’ or Tamarind rice paste (optional)*    
* Select the brand of your choice, while buying these products.
* Though these items are not required for cooking, you will find them useful.

You may get milk and yogurt on daily basis or may keep a few days’ stock in your refrigerator depending on the availability and your convenience. Always keep onions, potatoes and tomatoes stocked for a few days. 

Ingredients of the recipes may not be limited to the items mentioned above. Vegetables and other readily available ingredients will be included in my recipes. 

Your Measures

I would like you to use three basic 'measures' (Fig.2) for measuring ingredients.
  1. A small teacup (150ml measure)
  2. A tablespoon (15ml) 
  3. A teaspoon (5ml)
Fig.2: Minimalistic Kitchen Measures
I intend to keep posting 'minimalistic cooking recipes' one by one and list them here. Check this page for updates. 

List of Recipes  

Please click on the recipe name to view the recipe. You may also click on the label ‘Minimalistic Cooking/ Bachelor cooking’ to view all the recipes. 

Note: Some of the recipes listed below are cooked in a pressure cooker. All these recipes have been tried and tested with Prestige (3 liter) pressure cooker. However, please read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using your pressure cooker. You should always clean and maintain the pressure cooker as per the manufacturer's manual and safety instructions. Please note that it is safer to use the separator container for cooking dhal/lentils.  

Caution: Mustard seeds and cumin seeds used for seasoning tend to clog the pressure cooker nozzle. Hence, it is preferable to use a separate pan for tempering and add the seasoning as a last step, after you finish cooking using the pressure cooker.
  1. How to cook rice?
  2. Potato Masala 
  3. Quick Lemon Rice  
  4. Simple Kuzhambu
  5. Onion Raitha  
  6. Peas Pulav
  7. Vegetable Korma
  8. Plain Potato Curry  
  9. Quick Rava Kichadi 
  10. Dhal Rice
  11. Simple Sambar Rice 
  12. Corn-Capsicum Wrap 
  13. Easy Dhal 
  14. Macaroni with Baked Beans 
  15. Potato-Baked Beans Roll
  16. Spicy Tomato Chutney  
  17. Tangy Tomato Rice 
  18. Easy Sambar
  19. Easy Vegetable Sandwich  
  20. Quick Cucumber Sandwich
  21. Homemade Breakfast Cereal (Rice Flakes)  
  22. Potato Sandwich
  23. Effortless Veg Pizza ! 
  24. Quick Cumin Rice 
  25. Onion Cheese Sandwich
  26. Split Green Gram or Moong Dhal Sambar
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