Cooking in times of Quarantine/Covid 19


Before we could balance our feet on the ground we realized we were and will be stuck at home for God only knows how many days, weeks or months. My pantry is always stocked with dry food. I think that's also a very big cultural difference. Back home in India my mom always ordered dry groceries at home and that too between 2-5 kg depending on what it was. For example, lentils were always around 2 kg, sugar 5 kg and rice 10 kg and wheat which happens to be the staple food in the north of India was bought by my Grandfather at the time of the harvest.


He would take a truck with him and buy a truck load full of wheat which was then later distributed among the family of four Grandfathers. I remember as a child, the wheat was kept up in a little wheat mountain to clean and I remember climbing that up! I might have been very small or the amount of wheat very big.

Anyway, that's what grocery shopping was back then. My parents visited us here in Zurich in 2003 and when they saw the little 1 kg sacks of flour, they said, "Wow! what are we going to do, the wheat flour is in very small bags!". I assured her, "Ma, we can buy 10-20 bags together" and that calmed her down. So, I guess I grew accustomed to this, since I always have to have a good stock of dry food at home entailing amongst different types of lentils, rice, and now pelati tomatoes and pasta.

I am writing this post on food as Simone from Global Inspirations Design reached out to me about an article on Vegetarian food in these difficult times. I was more than happy to share my 2 cents with her and with you all. Do check out her page, she is an award winning Interior designer and Blogger.

After realizing the restrictions on food shopping, I made sure that my lentil cabinet was full and so were the spices racks. I avoided fancy food, as these are tough times. But you can be surprised what all you can go with mere lentils. Of course we know a good Daal, daal and rice, daal and naan bread or just plain flat bread.

One of the things which I make in these quarantine times, is baked Daal vedas, known as falafel. Usually, falafel is fried but not this one. This is a little simple treat which you can make on sunny days. You can enjoy them with a lemonde, or a glass of wine. These Vedas are quite versatile as well, as you can freeze them , break them and stuff them in sandwiches, you could also add a few on top of a green salad. So basically, let your imagination work.

So here is what you will need to make a tray of falafel:

Ingredients:

- 200 gm yellow or orange lentils soaked for about 2-3 hours

- 1 red or white onion, chopped

- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped

- handful of finely chopped fresh spinach or one grated Zucchini or take any fresh vegetable either grated or finely chopped

- handful of fresh coriander or parsley, chopped

- salt to taste

- 1 tsp of red chili flakes

- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

- 1 tsp black pepper, pounded

- 1 tbsp of oil and a sheet of Baking paper

Method:

1. Soak the daal drain it in a sieve and let it sit for a while

2. In the meantime prepare all the above ingredients

3. Now puree the daal coarsely with the help of a hand mixer

4. Add all the spices and the fresh vegetable ( in case of using Zucchini make sure to squeeze the water out of it)

5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

6. With hands or with the use of two teaspoons put the little vedas/ nuggets on a baking tray lined with backing paper

7. Bake it in the oven for 25-30 minutes, turn them once half way through

8. Serve them hot with a mint coriander chutney, any dip or salsa

9. You can also serve them on a bed of salad or use them in schwarma or falafel rolls

10. They can be frozen very well. Enjoy!

Let me show you another simple thing for these nice summer spring-like quarantine days. This is a syrup made with fresh lemons and sugar. You can keep it in the fridge for at least two weeks. This can be used to make lemonades, martinis and even some cocktails. I eye-balled all the ingredients, but feel free to experiment.

Make a sugar syrup with half water and half sugar, boil it well. Cut the lemons into slices or if they are too big, half them into slices. Arrange them into clean mason jars and pour the hot syrup over it. Let it cool down and then keep it in the fridge. Use as required. I make two jars, one plain and in the other one I added a few spices like black pepper, salt, black salt and powdered fennel seeds. Take less them 1/4 of the syrup with a wedge of lemon and top it with water and your very fancy drink is ready. Enjoy!

Take care you people and I look forward to hear from you either here or on Instagram. Check my Instagram page for some Quarantine inspiration at home. At the moment I am pursuing my sewing hobby and making some face masks which are also being sold at Fair Customer I am collecting the money from the masks for an NGO in India. Click around the blog and enjoy the sunny days.

There is one last which I would love to share with you guys and this is our everyday staple, Bread. This recipe is so simple that you can cry!