Do you need a quick Indian meal plan for a week? Or are you a mom looking to save time by planning your grocery list out? This meal plan is not only delicious and healthy, but it’s everything you need to have a great week. To save time and money make a weekly Indian meal plan. This is how I make Indian food for the week and always have something to look forward to eating for lunch or supper.
Indian Meal Planning 101
Meal planning 101 – Check out this essential guide to meal planning to learn all the tips that’ll take the stress out of making homecooked meals.
If you prefer eating homemade meals to frozen food, this meal prepping and planning guide is for you. Learn all the tips and tricks that’ll make cooking weeknight meals a breeze.
For most folks who grew up in India eating leftovers was probably an alien concept because –
- Labor being affordable in India meant most middle-class families would have maids who were available to cook or at least help with chopping vegetables daily.
- The hot weather made sure that we cooked only as much as needed for the day because food went rancid quickly in spite of refrigeration.
When you are used to fresh homemade food, all hell breaks loose when you have to travel abroad for work or studies. There is no one to cook for you, you are pressed for time after having spent long hours at work, commuting, and not to mention kids’ extracurricular activities. That makes eating fresh homemade every day a distant dream.
Having gone through the same grind, I have some tips and tricks for you that’ll get you very close to eating fresh homemade food every day without having to wake up at the crack of dawn.
What is meal planning?
Meal planning can mean different things to different people.
For instance, it could mean planning, shopping, prepping, and cooking all the meals over the weekend so that you just reheat and serve. The other way of doing it would be to plan, shop and prep over the weekend so that you can churn out fresh meals every day. I prefer the latter because I like the idea of eating fresh food every day.
Irrespective of which method you prefer, here are the steps to follow –
Step 1 – Meal planning
Let’s begin with planning first.
Note – I have only discussed dinner options in this post to keep it less overwhelming. Start with one meal a day and once you got the meal planning process figured out for that meal it becomes a lot easier to rinse and repeat for other meals.
These are the steps I follow to meal plan for the week –
- Create categories such as dals, biryanis, pulses, curries, side dishes, rice dishes, and one-pot meals. Add your family’s favorite recipes under each category.
- Assign a theme for each day of the week. Use the categories above to pick a theme and then for each day, pick one recipe from that category. For example –
- Monday – Dal (E.g. – Rasam, Sambar, Dal Fry, Tadka Dal + side dishes with Rice or roti)
- Tuesday – Potatoes or any other vegetable side dish (Dum Aloo, Aloo methi, Aloo Matar, etc) + dal or roti
- Wednesday – Paneer (E.g. Palak Paneer, Matar Paneer, Paneer Makhani, etc.) + Roti or rice
- Thursday – Pulses (E.g. Channa masala, Chowli, Rajma, Mung, etc with rice or roti)
- Friday – One pot meal (such as Vegetable Biryani, Khichdi, Pasta)
- Saturday – Seafood (E.g. Fish Curry, Shrimp Curry, Shrimp Biryani)
- Sunday – Chicken (Curry or Biryani) with rice or Parathas
- Load your meals into a meal planning software such as Prepear (affiliate link) and generate your grocery list or you can grab my 4-week meal plan. The other option is to use an excel meal planning template and manually fill it in each week.
- Check the ingredients against your pantry and make your final shopping list. Here’s a helpful article that will guide you on different ways to efficiently track your pantry items and create a grocery list.
- I like to meal plan once a month – it takes me less than 30 minutes using Prepear. Grab my 4-week meal plan from here.
- Grocery shop either late Friday evening or Saturday morning so that you have enough time for your next step – Meal prepping.
Step 2 – Meal prep
There are several chores that you can do over the weekend to make weeknight cooking less time-consuming. Here are some of the things that I do over the weekend to plan for the week.
- Chop vegetables and freeze them – There are plenty of times that we throw our veggies out because we were not able to use them before they start rotting away. Here are my 2 cents – chop and freeze them. Beans, cabbage, cauliflower, okra (bhindi), etc – most veggies freeze well and there is NO impact on the taste when you cook them. I use frozen veggies most of the time for side dishes such as beans poriyal, cabbage poriyal, bhindi do pyaza, etc.
- Make curry sauce – This basic onion-tomato sauce is a life-saver. They store well for a week in the refrigerator (and freeze well too). It is a versatile sauce that you can use as a base for curries including Makhani gravies, chicken curries, and even dals. Here’s a detailed post on how to make and use curry sauce.
- Chopped onions – When I am not using curry sauce, I keep a week’s worth of onions chopped in the refrigerator. While the onions are being fried, I use the time to cut tomatoes, mince ginger/garlic, etc. Also, it is a rumor that stored onions turn poisonous.
- Peeled Garlic – You can either buy store-bought peeled garlic (available in Costco or most grocery stores) or peel them over the weekend.
- Roti dough – Roti dough stays perfectly well in the refrigerator for a couple of days. You can always make extra dough and store it in the freezer.
- Homemade ginger garlic paste – I do not like the store-bought ginger garlic paste. You can make a big batch of homemade ginger garlic paste at home or (ginger paste and garlic paste separately) and refrigerate for a week. If you want to make a bigger batch that would last you a month you can do so by grinding ginger and garlic together and freezing it in an ice-cube tray. Remove the cubed paste and store it in the freezer in a Ziploc bag or a freezer-proof glass container for about a month.
- Coriander chutney – Make coriander chutney over the weekend. It goes well with most breakfast and snack items and tastes great for a couple of days. If you are making large quantities, store it in the freezer and follow the same process as you would for storing homemade ginger garlic paste in the bullet point above.
Storage solutions – You can store your frozen veggies in a freezer-safe Ziploc but my preferred option are these glass containers – safe for you and the environment.
Equipment needed for meal prepping
Here’s a list of my preferred tools
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
- A good kitchen knife – I prefer Wusthof
- Vegetable chopper
- Instant Pot or Mealthy Electric Pressure Cooker – Stovetop pressure cooker is fine too!
- Blendtec Blender or Vitamix – A high-performance blender is worth every penny. I use it to make everything from sambar masala powder, smoothies, and even idli batter.
- Immersion Blender
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer – It is really handy for kneading chapati dough.
Note: You don’t need all of these tools but they do shorten your chopping and cooking time considerably.
- You can store your frozen veggies in a freezer-safe Ziploc but my preferred option are these glass containers. They are safe for you and the environment.
- Mason jars – These are perfect for overnight oats and chia pudding.
Indian Meal Planner
For the new week, here is my simple Indian meal planner, precisely a vegetarian one. Plan, prep and make healthy meals for your loved ones!
Are you new to meal planning and prepping or looking for new ideas?
I have been sharing 5-day weekly meal planners for the past two years, and I have over 40+ Indian vegetarian meal planners on my blog. You can check them out all under the “meal planner” category. Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section.
Advantages of meal prep
Meal prepping could be as simple as chopping all the required veggies, soaking and cooking the beans and lentils in advance, or preparing the base sauces and freezing. Or you can be well prepared by batching, cooking all the meals, and even portioning, packing, and freezing them.
This might sound like a lot of work, and yes, we need to set aside some time during the weekend. But trust me, folks, that helps a lot during the workweek.
Not all days go as planned. Some days work gets hectic, or something unplanned might come up; if we have our meals planned and prepped, we can whip up something quickly instead of ordering a take-out.
PS – You can do the prep work over the weekend or batch cook every alternative day. It all depends upon your work schedule. Opt for the one that works the best for you. I plan my meals depending upon my work week and kiddo’s classes.
This week’s Indian meal planner.
Like every week, I have a mix of south Indian and north Indian recipes, and I have some paratha and pav bhaji, khichdi, and other rice dishes. Also, I am relying on store-bought pav buns and ravioli, and pasta sauce for Thursday dinner.
Let’s see the prep work required for this particular week.
Recently I started cooking a few dishes, especially Monday and Tuesday ones, and refrigerating them), and trust me, it comes in handy. This week, I have already prepared raw papaya chutney, pav bhaji, and cabbage kootu.
Dishes like pav bhaji freezes well, and you can make them in bulk for two to three meals. You can serve bhaji with dosa and can make pulao or sandwiches too.
- Prepare the idli-dosa batter.
- Boil the potatoes and let them cool and refrigerate.
- Chop the required vegetables.
- Knead the roti dough in bulk and knead the day before.
- Chop the fruits and pack them in containers. Cleaning and chopping fruits like melons, pineapple, and pomegranate help a lot.
Note – Use the grain of your choice. Instead of rice, you can use millets, quinoa, or brown rice. Also, you can make multigrain roti or quinoa, or ragi roti too.
Without any further ado, here is this week’s meal planner. Please check the recipe links below.
- Breakfast – Oatmeal
- Lunch – Rice with raw papaya chutney (more like my chow chow chutney, replace chow chow with raw/green papaya) and cabbage kootu.
- Dinner – Dosai with nuts-chutney, and podi
- Breakfast – Oats puda
- Lunch – Pav bhaji
- Dinner – Ragi roti. (I am yet to share this recipe)
- Breakfast – Almond butter toast loaded with hemp seeds
- Lunch – Rice, pineapple rasam, potato curry, and raita. (It’s a special day for us, so a slightly elaborate meal)
- Dinner – Arisi upma with gojju(sweet and spicy tamarind stew)
- Breakfast – Ven pongal with leftover gojju for kiddo and smoothie for us.
- Lunch – Venpongal with gojju.
- Dinner – Store-bought ravioli with red sauce
- Breakfast – Tofu paratha. (I am yet to share this recipe)
- Lunch – Tofu paratha
- Dinner – Buckwheat khichdi. (I have shared a similar recipe on my IG with bulgur wheat, you can check that for reference)
Indian Meal Plan Week 6 – Breakfast Lunch And Dinner Plan
Indian Meal Plan with recipes for a week. Day wise weekly Indian Meal plan with recipes, grocery list and meal prep tips for everyday dinner under 30 minute.
So a new week starts from tomorrow, and more than anything, what worries every busy woman like me is what to cook for my family so that despite a busy weekday schedule there is healthy homemade dinner on the table. And so you asked me to come up with a menu plan for all three meals which are doable, especially for those who have a very busy schedule.
So, in this weekly Indian menu plan I have added ideas where you can do some batch cooking and repurpose one dish for a meal sometime during the week. I personally spend 2 hours doing meal prep and meal plan and for rest of the week most of my meals (full meals) are on table in almost 30 Minutes. Hope this helps you to plan your meals better an with less effort, no matter you are working person, stay at home Mom or work from your home person.
My mantra is meal planning for the week and meal preparation for it in advance. Here is my guide to simple and easy Indian meal plan for a week your family can enjoy together every night for a week and maybe wish to take as lunch the next day.
Moreover, to make your life simpler, I have added grocery list for simple Indian meal plan ideas. You can buy groceries during the weekend and keep them ready over the weekend. So, I have got you covered for next 5 days of meal plan which is mostly suitable for Indian meals. Now, all that you need to do is just take the pre-prepped food out, mix, cook and there is breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table in 20 minutes -30 Minutes.
I am also adding a 20 Minutes meals section on the website, so that even if you are not really prepared as per this menu plan you can cook a decent Indian meal in under 20 Minutes. Can it get better than that? Yes, a lot! and I am hoping to make it better one day at a time.
Indian Meal Plan with Recipes
Grocery list For Indian Dinner Plan Week-6
These are the things to buy during the weekend and preferably keep chopped and prepped in the fridge.
- Capsicum (green, red, yellow)
- Green beans
- Mint leaves
- Green Chilli
- Coriander leaves
- Curry leaves
- Green peas
- Basil Leaves
- Arbi (colocasia)
- Karela/bitter gourd
- Arhar/ Toor dal
- Kidney Beans / Rajma
- Rice Poha
- Whole wheat bread
- Sookhi Boondi
- Rice noodles
- Indian spices
- Atta (whole wheat flour)
- Moong Dal
- Wheat Dalia
- Urad (dhuli Dal)
- Soy sauce
- Thai Green Curry paste
- Coconut Milk
- Mozzarella cheese
- Paneer/chicken depending upon biryani recipe you like to make.
Meal Prep Task for this Week’s Indian Meal Plan over the weekend
- Vegetables chopped
- Tamatar pyaz paste (onion paste and make fresh tomato puree)
- Ginger garlic paste
- Green Curry Paste
- Dal – Boil it
- Rajma Soak and Boil
- Dough kneaded
- Chopped coriander (for garnish),
- Chutney (as side)
- Green Curry Paste
INDIAN DINNER PLAN FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast – Boiled egg Sandwich + Fresh Juice/Tea/ Coffee
Lunch – Pad Thai Noodle Salad (lunch box friendly) + Soup
Dinner – Vegetable Pulao (Make Extra for Thursday Lunch) +Beetroot Raita + Green Salad
Today is the first day of the week and it is better to start easy. You can make pulao for dinner using all your favorite vegetables. Chopped vegetables during weekend prep can be used in making Thai Noodles salad and soup for lunch as well. Thai Noodles can be packed for lunch box as well.
TUESDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast – Vegetable Poha (20 Minutes) + ½ Apple ½ Cup Dahi
Lunch – Aloo Matar with masala paratha (Pack or eat at home) or Burrito Bowl
Dinner – Sabut Moong Dal Tadka (Make Extra for Wednesday Lunch) + Khatte Aloo (Make Extra for Thursday Breakfast) + Green Salad
For breakfast, it is a wholesome meal of Vegetable poha with fruits and dahi which makes a complete meal. Burrito bowl for lunch can be made using rice and rajma that you cooked on Sunday. Dinner can be made quickly if you have boiled moong dal and potatoes during the weekend meal prep.
WEDNESDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast – Caprese Sandwich (10 Minutes) + Pear/kiwi
Lunch -Sabut Moong Dal Tadka + Crispy Arbi fry + Tadke wali Dahi + Chapati
Dinner- Gujarati Khatti Dal (Make Extra for Friday Lunch) + plain Dahi /yogurt +Baingan Bharta + Red Rice
Breakfast sandwich will take 10 Minutes to put together, you can pack it for lunch as well.
If you eat lunch at home there is leftover moong dal from the previous night and leftovers arbi from Sunday meal.
For Gujarati dal keep the boiled dal cooked on weekend and add fresh tadka. Baingan/eggplant for bharta can be roasted over the weekend as well.
THURSDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast – Mumbai Toast with Leftover Aloo (10 Minutes)
Lunch – Matar Paneer + Sookhi Urad Dal + Chapati
Dinner- Paneer Biryani/ Veg Biryani/ Egg Biryani/Chicken Biryani + Dahi
Breakfast can be made using leftover aloo and it should be ready in under 20 Minutes. For lunch, you can use onion paste and tomato puree that you made on weekend. Sookhi dal takes under 20 minutes if dal is soaked previous night.
FRIDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast – Granola and Fruit Parfait (5 Minutes)
Lunch – Gujarati Khatti Dal + Karele ki Sabzi + Phulka /Chapati
Dinner- Matar Paneer + Aloo Gobhi Achari + Rice/Quinoa
Breakfast takes just 5 minutes. Lunch is leftover Gujarati dal and karele ki sabzi (you can cook it over weekend too as it stays good for 7-8 days in refrigerator)
For dinner Matar Paneer from Yesterday’s lunch is used and fresh sabzi of aloo gobhi can be made in 20-30 minutes(your effective time just 5 minutes) if you have your vegetables pre-chopped.
SATURDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast- Masala Paratha/Sabzi/ Paneer Burji
Lunch- Egg Curry + Malabar Parotta + Curd + Green Salad
Dinner – Eat Out
Saturday I like to take it even easier than the week so after a good breakfast of Paratha and sabzi which takes 30-35 minutes.
There are egg curry and frozen Malabar parotta for lunch and rest of day to relax or do grocery shopping because I do meal prep on Sunday morning.
Dinner is mostly eating out or ordering in.
SUNDAY MEAL PLAN
Breakfast – Bread Poha +Masala Chai / Juice / Green Tea
Lunch – Rajma (Boil Make Extra for Tuesday Burrito bowl Lunch) + Chawal + Masaledaar Arbi +Kachumber Salad
Dinner – Vegetable Dalia + Dahi + Papad
Breakfast takes just 20 minutes as usual and for lunch and dinner, 2 hours spent during meal prep solves everything.