The current pandemic may have many ill-effects but it appears to be a boon for us as well. It has given us plenty of time to spend with our families. For those of us who were fortunate enough to get quarantined with our family, food isn’t a concern. On the other hand, there are many students, doctors, and health workers who have to live alone as bachelors or bachelorettes and cook for themselves. Let us not consider gender and assume that everyone needs a cookbook irrespective of their previous experience in the kitchen. The pandemic is already very stressful and cooking can help you relax. The least I can do is offer some help in the form of easy to prepare tasty recipes. Hence, I present to you 10 non-conventional recipes you can learn cooking in Lockdown. I have curated these recipes based on the following factors:
‘A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook must bring soul to the recipe’Thomas Keller
- Availability of Ingredients
- Short cooking time owing
- Ease in preparation
- Nutrient and calorie content
I have therefore curated the following recipes especially keeping in mind a Bachelor’s constraints.
- Banana Bread
- Suji/ Rawa dosa (without batter)
- Khuboos / Pita Bread
- Puree or Chutneys
- Coconut Puree
- Mint Puree
- Tomato Puree
- Global cuisine
- Pasta Makhni
- Spanish Omelet
- Afghani Chicken
- All-purpose flour (250 gms/ 1 cup)
- Powdered Sugar (250 gms)
- Vegetable oil (3/4th cup)
- Baking Powder (1 tsp)
- Vanilla Essence (1/4th tsp)
- Ripe Bananas (2)
- Mix the all purpose flour and baking powder in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mash the ripe bananas to form a uniform thick paste and add the powdered sugar.
- Add melted butter and vanilla essence to the banana mixture.
- Now add the flour mixture little by little into the wet ingredients by cut and fold method (so that there are no lumps)
- Once all the flour is mixed, it looks like a thick batter.
- Keep your baking tin ready & greased with melted butter and oven preheated at 200 degree Celsius
- Now bake this batter on 250 degrees Celsius for 30-45 minutes. Viola! Your banana bread is ready!
RAVA DOSA [WITHOUT BATTER]
This recipe is especially designed for quarantine cookbook for many people do not have batter at home.
- Ingredients for dosa
- Semolina (Sooji- 1 cup)
- Water (1/2 cup)
- Salt (1 tsp)
- Curd (1 tsp)
- Ingredients for filling
- Potatoes ( 4 large sized Boiled)
- Onions (2 large sized chopped)
- Chana daal
- Mustard seeds ( 1 tsp)
- Soaked Channa Dal
- Ginger paste
- Curry leaves (1/3 cup)
- Salt according to taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp dry corriander powder (dhaniya powder)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Mix the Sooji (semolina), salt, water, and curd until it acquires a thin batter-like consistency and leave it to set for half an hour.
- Once ready, grease the skillet with some oil and pour the batter in like a Dosa
- Let the Dosa cook perfectly until golden brown on both sides by flipping accordingly.
- For the filling, in a pan add the 3-4 tbsp oil and wait for it to heat up.
- Once completely hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter
- And then soaked Channa Dal ,Finely Chopped onions, Ginger Garlic paste and some curry leaves. Sauté for a while till the onions are translucent.
- Add in the boiled potatoes and salt to taste and mash it well with a masher
- Lay the dosa on a plate, add the filling roll and roll it like a Dosa.
- The Rava dosa is ready to serve!!
KHUBOOS OR PITA BREAD
It is Arabic flatbread and known in other countries as Pita bread.
- All-purpose flour ( 4 cups)
- Lukewarm Water (1/2 cup)
- Active dried yeast ( 1/2 tsp)
- Salt (a pinch)
- Sugar (1 tsp)
- Milk (1 cup)
- Oil (1tbsp)
- Dissolve sugar and yeast in lukewarm water, mix it well and set it aside for 15 mins.
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast water and a pinch of salt. Start kneading slowly by adding milk and keep adding till it attains dough like consistency.
- Brush the kneaded dough with oil using a pastry brush. Cover the dough with a clean damp cloth and keep it aside for 2hrs. Wait for the dough to rise.
- Take the inflated dough and break it into 12 balls. Roll the balls using a rolling pin but not too thin
- Heat a Skillet pan and cook the rolled dough for a couple of minutes just like Rotis on both sides. Enjoy the Khuboos hot!!
2. PUREES OR CHUTNEYS
Puree or chutney can be made easily within 5 minutes. All we need is a blender and fresh ingredients.
CORIANDER AND MINT CHUTNEY
- Fresh mint (50 gms)
- Fresh coriander (50gms)
- onion (1 no)
- Green chili ( 3 nos)
- lemon (1 no)
- Garlic (two cloves)
- Blend in the green chili, coriander and mint together till it forms a puree.
- Blend Garlic along with the onion, and add it to the puree.
- Add 1tsp salt, 1tsp sugar (just for tangy taste)
- Squeeze half a lemon or according to taste
- Fresh Tomatoes (3 large- chopped)
- Onion (1 large– cubed)
- Red Chilies (4 nos)
- Sesame seeds ( 2 tbsp)
- Garlic ( two cloves)
- Cumin seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Turmeric powder (1/8 tsp)
- Oil (1 tbsp)
- Heat a pan with 1 tbsp oil. On a medium flame, add the sesame seeds and roast for a while
- Add cumin and sauté for a minute. Remove from flame and cool completely.
- In the same pan add the chilies and fry. Add the garlic and onion until it turns aromatic.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, and turmeric. Continue sautéing until the contents are soft and mushy. Remove from flame and cool
- Take the cooled mixture and blend. well with a masher or in a grinder. (depends on the consistency you like).
- Add water if need be (I recommend not to, as tomatoes leave their own water)
- . Chutney is ready to be served!!!
3. GLOBAL CUISINE
I tend to have a huge craving for pasta and an Indian version of pink sauce pasta would do no harm
Let’s try this Italian staple, the Indian way..
- Pasta ( Rotini or Penne – 2 Cups)
- Water ( For boiling the pasta- 4 cups)
- Tomatoes ( 1 cup- chopped)
- Onions (1/2 cup- finely chopped)
- Cashews (1/4 cup)
- Red Chilies ( 2 nos)
- Butter ( 2 tbsp)
- Garlic paste (1 tsp)
- Dried fenugreek leaves (1 tsp)
- Garam masala (1 tsp)
- Tomato puree (2 tbsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Boil the pasta in water and olive oil for 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked (al dente). Strain the water and keep the pasta separately
- make a smooth paste of cashews
- In a pan, add tomato, onion ,tomato puree, garlic paste and cashew paste.
- Cook this mixture and keep it a side. (if you do not have all these ingredients, it would just taste perfect with tomato puree and fresh cream)
- Add butter, salt and spices.
- Sauté for a minute or two.
- Add dried fenugreek leaves, Cook for a couple of minutes.
- The Makhni gravy is ready. you can now pour the cooked pasta with a splash of water and cover it with a lid.
- Once ready< add chili flakes, oregano and cheeseon top. Serve hot!!
Nothing and I repeat nothing goes better with Khuboos than hummus. They are just made for each other.
- Chickpeas ( 1 cups – soaked overnight)
- Tahini (1/2 cup)
- Garlic ( 1 clove)
- Olive Oil (2 tbsp.)
- Lemon juice ( 1 no – fresh)
- Cumin ( 1/2 tsp – ground)
- Salt- to taste
- Water ( 1/4 cup)
- Blend the tahini and lemon juice for a minute.
- Add olive oil, garlic, cumin, and salt to the tahini mix. Blend for another 2 minutes
- Add the chickpeas in three parts and blend it for 2 minutes each to get a thick and smooth paste
- Add a very little amount of water and blend again to get the perfect consistency
- . Ready to serve!! you can top it up with some olive oil and smoked paprika.
Spanish omelette is tasty and nutritious and a wonderful source of protein.
- Potato ( 250 g- peeled and sliced)
- Onion (1 no- chopped)
- Olive oil ( 1/2 cup)
- Parsley or coriander ( 2 tbsp – chopped)
- Eggs (3 nos)
- Salt- to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add potatoes and onion and let it stew for about 30 minutes on simmer till the potatoes are softened.
- Strain the potatoes and onion into a large bowl. Keep the oil aside.
- Beat the eggs separately and stir into the potatoes. Add the coriander, salt, and pepper.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and add the eggs. Cook on a moderate heat while using a spatula to shape the omelet into a cushion. Cook evenly on both sides.
- Cool on a plate for 10 minutes and its ready to serve!! You can also add some cheese to top it with.
The chicken is easy to make tasty. Furthermore, the paste prepared can be used as a dip.
- Yogurt or thick curd (1/2 cup)
- Fresh cream (1/2 cup)
- Garlic ( 1/2 tbsp – paste)
- Green Chili (1/2 tbsp – paste)
- Black Pepper ( to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Garam masala ( ½ tsp)
- Lemon Juice (1 tbsp)
- Oil ( 1 tbsp)
- Chicken ( 500 grams – boneless and cleaned)
- Dried Fenugreek leaves (1tsp)
- In a bowl, add yogurt, cream, garlic paste, green chili paste, pepper powder, salt, garam masala, , and oil. Whisk the contents into a paste.
- Add the chicken in the bowl, add fenugreek leaves and add lemon on top
- Mix it well, such that the paste is coated well on the chicken. Keep it in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 5 hours.
- In a heated pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Add the marinated chicken pieces and let it cook for around 5 minutes on both sides (check accordingly) till it is well cooked. Cover it with a lid.
- Take these out and top it with fresh cream
- serve hot with Roomali Roti.
Cooking is a medium in which a group of ingredients has infinite permutations, each more unique than the previous one, bringing more smiles than the last, turning sorrow to joy and anger to serenity. And Cooking during Lockdown is even more If your creative spirits are kindled and you want to share a recipe, you can add it in the comments.