The current lockdown in India is a precautionary measure that will curb the coronavirus spread. People are staying indoors and only venturing out for emergencies. Even though the government has made all essential commodities easily available, citizens are avoiding stepping out unless it is absolutely necessary.
So with a limited supply of groceries available at home, we are struggling to come to new recipes. Mothers are tired of their kids demanding something new every day. Students and bachelors have exhausted their recipe knowledge and are fed up with eating instant noodles. We give you 21 easy, healthy recipes to make during the lockdown.
1. Dadpe Pohe
This isn’t your typical poha recipe. It’s popular in Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. It requires almost no cooking and is a quick and simple recipe. It is a delicious Maharashtrian evening snack recipe made with flattened rice. You don’t have to cook the poha in this recipe. All you need to do is mix it with chilli powder, raw onions, coriander and tomatoes. You can add grated cucumber as this turns it soft. The poha is then finished with a flavourful tadka with cumin seeds (jeera), mustard seeds (rai), asafoetida (hing), peanuts and curry leaves (kadipatta). Use the thin variety of poha for this recipe. This dadpe pohe recipe is spicy, sweet and makes for a perfect evening snack.
2. Fruit & Nut Salad
A healthy salad is just what we all need during this lockdown. Grab some fruits like pomegranate, apple, orange, kiwi, banana and strawberries. Wash, cut, peel, dice and cut as needed. Add some almonds, walnuts or cashews. You can put in some soaked chia seeds (sabja) and enjoy.
3. Aloo Paratha
We all have potatoes in the house and what’s a better way to cook them than the all-time favourite aloo paratha! Make a chapati dough and let it rest. Cook, peel and smash some potatoes. Add red chilli powder, coriander, chat masala and salt. You can even put in diced onions, green chillies and garam masala powder. Grab some dough, make a flattened small round, fill it up with the potato mixture, seal it, roll it and cook on a tawa. Delicious and easy aloo parathas are ready.
4. Eggless Omelette
Have some spinach waiting for you in the fridge? Let’s make a vegan, eggless omelette that’s full of nutrition. In a bowl mix gram flour (besan), maida, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add water and stir until there are no lumps. Then add chopped ginger, green chillies, mint (pudina) and spinach. Cook this on the tawa with oil. A hot, yummy, vegan omelette just for you!
5. Vermicelli Upma
Get on board the easy-to-make and delicious breakfast ride. This recipe is a South Indian staple that’s vegan and gluten free. Boil some water, add salt and then put in the vermicelli (seviyan). Cook it just like you would cook pasta, el dente. In a pan, heat oil; add hing, curry leaves (kadipatta), red chillies and urad dal. Then put in green chillies and onions. Next, add the drained vermicelli and salt. Serve with a drizzle of lemon juice.
6. Egg Kejriwal
Time to get political, but just with some recipes. No, this isn’t named after a certain political figure but was popularised by a gentleman with the same surname. The dish is quick and simple, ideal for breakfast or a hearty snack between meals. Toast bread slices and smear them with mustard. Then pile on some grated cheese mixed up with chopped up green chiles, red onion and coriander. Put it on a pan with butter and as the cheese melts, slide on a fried egg.
7. Chana Pulao
Also known as choley chawal pulao, it is a popular combination to serve it with achaar. When you want a quick rice dish, this is a great recipe. Start by washing and soaking rice. Grab your pressure cooker and heat some ghee. Add cumin seeds (jeera) along with whole spices followed by sliced onion, cook for 2-3 minutes or until onion softens. Next is ginger-garlic paste, cooked chickpeas, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix in the rice and pour in some water. Put the lid on and cook for 10 minutes or until done.
8. Burrito Bowl
Have some leftover rice and no idea what to do with it? You will need boiled corn, beans (rajma), chopped veggies of your choice, salsa and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to make a bowl of pure deliciousness.
9. Kheema Gobi
Kheema Gobi is a very traditional Punjabi recipe that solves the age-old problem of making cauliflower interesting. Grate the cauliflower finely. Heat some oil and roast cumin seeds (jeera) and whole spices. Next, fry onions and mix in tomato puree. Then add turmeric, dhaniya powder, salt and chilli powder. Stir the cauliflower in with some water. Cook for 10 minutes.
10. Masala French Toast
Eggs for breakfast is a favourite for many. This recipe puts an Indian twist to the classic french toast. Make the stuffing with onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander and cheese. Whisk together eggs, milk and spices till nice and frothy. Put the stuffing between two bread slices. Dip it in the egg mixture and cook on a pan with butter.
11. Masala Maggi
It’s time to step up your maggi game and break the routine. Heat some butter and add ginger-garlic paste and onions. Sauté till the onion turns light golden and toss in veggies of your choice. Peas, broccoli, capsicum and even mushrooms. Next comes the maggi masala with red chilli powder and garam masala. Pour in some water and bring to a boil. Break the noodle cake and cook until done. Don’t forget to sprinkle some chat masala on top.
12. Bread Upma
If you are stocked up on bread then here is something yummy you can make. Break the bread into tiny pieces. Heat oil in a pan and put cumin seeds (jeera) in. Add curry leaves (kadipatta), hing, ginger, green chillies, onion and peanuts. Sauté for a minute or two. Add tomatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Toss in the bread pieces, stir for 2 minutes. Serve with coriander on top and a lemon wedge.
13. Olive Cheese Dip
If you have a ton of chips in your pantry, this recipe is perfect for you. Alternatively, you can bake chapati and make your own chips at home. Just mix together green olives, cheese, black olives, mayonnaise and chilli flakes. Microwave until the cheese melts.
14. Tea Time Puri
Working from home during the lockdown guarantees one thing, hunger pangs! This simple tea time puri recipe is the perfect afternoon snack. Prepare a dough with atta, maida, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, ajwain, salt, water and oil. Roll it out and cut into desired shapes. Cook them in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.
15. Lentil Stew
This recipe is hearty and tasty, It’s a great way to use up any fresh produce that’s on the cusp of going bad. It is warm, comfy and homey. In a pot, heat olive oil and toss in carrots, onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes and stir in vinegar, paprika, cumin powder and lentils of your choice (masoor, arhar, moong). Pour in some vegetable stock and add salt and pepper. Cover and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes.
16. Akki Roti
The akki roti is prepared with rice flour and choice of vegetables and tapped into tawa. Combine rice flour, carrot, onion, coriander, green chillies, ginger, cumin seeds and salt. Add water to make a soft dough. Roll small dough balls, flatten it and poke some holes. Heat some oil on a tawa and cook the roti on both sides.
17. Indian Style Macaroni
See some macaroni pasta in your pantry but out of Italian ingredients? You can try this Indian style macaroni recipe. Cook the macaroni, el dente, as usual. Heat oil in a pan and add jeera, onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, tomatoes, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, capsicum and salt. Cook this and toss in the boiled macaroni.
18. Ragi Soup
Make the summer special ragi soul known as nachni ambil in Maharashtra. It’s easy, quick and extremely nutritious. Crush cumin seeds, garlic cloves and green chilli together. In a bowl, mix ragi flour with water, salt, hing and the crushed mixture. Make sure there are no lumps and cook in a pan while stirring constantly. After it cools down, add buttermilk and serve.
19. Microwave Eggless Cake
In search of something sweet and comforting? Then this is just the recipe for you. Combine maida, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a microwave-safe mug. Add condensed milk, milk and vanilla essence. Mix and put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. This tastes better when it is warm.
20. Peanut Ladoo
Peanut ladoos are quick and simple yet taste delicious. Begin by roasting raw peanuts in a wide pan for 5-6 minutes. Once they cool down, peel the shells. Blend the peanuts to a coarse consistency. Mix this with powdered sugar, cardamom (elaichi) and melted ghee. Divide into portions and roll them into little balls. Store them in an airtight container and enjoy.
21. Dry Figs & Banana Smoothie
This is a filling snack that also helps you keep your weight in check. Just combine milk, banana, sugar, dried figs (anjeer) and curd. Blend until smooth and serve chilled. Make sure you consume it immediately.
Try these easy and healthy recipes you can enjoy during the lockdown. Take up this extra time as an opportunity to further hone your culinary skills. Get your family involved or video call a friend and cook together. Cooking can also be one of the fun activities for kids where you involve them by assigning some simple tasks. Make the most of it!