I just moved into a new apartment. It's got everything I want (two bedrooms, hardwood floors, ceiling fans) and one thing I really effing hate: an electric stove. These stoves are crap because they make it overly hard to shift the temperature, or be precise about anything. Also, the burners stay hot long after they get turned off, which is bad for kitty paws that like to hop up when no body is looking. But despite these disadvantages, I was able to cook a pretty quick and delicious Indian dinner for two last night.
I bought two different dishes from separate companies to compare. Trader Joe's Indian Fare "Madras Lentil" and Tasty Bite "Bombay Potatoes." Both are vegan and are about three bucks. The latter was bought at a Giant grocery store, and I assume it can be found in other such places (Meijer, Kroger, Hy-Vee, Safeway, Giant Eagle, etc.). I also bought Trader Joe's White Basmati Rice for around three dollars. You can definitely make Indian dishes with regular rice, but the taste and texture won't be quite as authentic.
I also recommend Trader Joe's Garlic Naan (for dippin'), though my sheckles are lacking and that was one three dollar purchase too many for this meal...I'm going for meager chic here.
Once the cooking magic is done, grab the packets out with some kind of tongs, because they are hot and not above burning the shit out of you. Then rip 'em open by the convenient slit at the top, and dump them on the rice I'll assume you already smartly distributed on your plates. Then it'll look like something not wildly beautiful, but pretty fucking delectable (see below).
The lentil one is on the top and the potato one is on the bottom. The lentil one is much more mild, while the potatoes are spicy spicy, too much for my wimpy palate. Also, if you're into texture, the lentil one is pretty runny, and soaks into the rice right away, while the potato one lingers a bit more in it's chunkiness. All in all, it's a pretty great dinner for two. It's yummy, under 10 bucks, and it'll be cooked in less time than it takes to watch another That 70's Show rerun.