Lockdown Recipes: 7 Drool-Worthy Dishes That You Can Try At Home

Reading Time: 10 minutes

“People who love to eat are always the best people”! Ever since I’ve read this wisdom-laden quote by celebrated chef Julia Child, I’ve quite conveniently started to believe in it with all my heart. My love for eating has been a trait since childhood. But only when I watched “Julie & Julia” and got hooked on Masterchef Australia, for the very first time I realised that it’s OK to be a foodie! In fact, eating can even be a passion! And that’s when my passion for cooking got evoked and there was no looking back since then!

So, during this lockdown era, almost everyone has tried to do something new, something exciting to keep up the spirits in this difficult time. This whole COVID-19 has literally taught us to try and see silver lining amidst dark clouds. And cooking and experimenting with new recipes have been those silver lines for me (Other than binge-watching movies/web series and scribbling content that pretend to sound important for my blogs!!)

Anyway, enough about me! Let’s talk about food already! So, here are some Lockdown recipes (mostly Indian dishes) that I attempted for the very first time in life and succeeded…well mostly! Dig in!

1. Khasta Kachori or Dal Kachori

Home made dal kachori
The super delicious Dal Kachori!

I’ve attempted Bengali style Peas Kachori before. In fact, our winters aren’t complete without them. But a Dal Kachori or Khasta Kachori was one of the lockdown recipes I tried for the first time. It’s a multi-stage process and takes some good amount of practice to attain that perfect Kachori crisp (which, I’ll be honest I’m yet to achieve!) Here are the steps I learned from different cooking blogs and websites and created my own version of Khasta Kachori:

INGREDIENTS:

  • All-purpose flour (Maida)- 2 cups
  • Yellow Moong Dal- ½ cup
  • Whole Cumin seeds (Jeera)- ½ tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing)- 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste- 1 tsp
  • Green chilli paste- 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder- ½ tsp
  • Cumin powder- ½ tsp
  • Fennel seed coarsely powdered- ½ tsp
  • Mango powder (Amchur)- ½ tsp
  • Garam Masala powder- ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil

QUICK STEPS TO THE RECIPE:

Kachori with Aloo ki Sabji
Enjoy your Kachoris with Aloo ki Sabji or Chutney
  • Mix thoroughly salt and 1 tbsp of refined oil to make the flour crumbly.
  • Add water little by little to knead the flour into a semi-soft dough.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cotton cloth for 30 minutes.
  • Make a coarse paste of yellow moong dal after soaking it for 2-3 hours.
  • Add cumin seeds, Hing to oil in a pan. Once they splutter, add all the other ingredients along with the moong dal paste.
  • Mix them well until the colour is brown.
  • Once this stuffing has cooled down make bowl-shaped patties from the dough and fill them up with moong dal stuffing.
  • Roll the patties into thick circles of about 2 inches radius.
  • Now deep fry them one by one in oil on medium to low flame. Regulate the heat carefully to avoid either burning or under-cooking.
  • Serve hot with Aloo ki sabzi or Tamarind & Coriander chutney!

Pro tip: Take your time while deep frying the kachoris and never rush. That’s how you get the perfect colour and texture!

2. Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar ka halwa dessert
A must-have dessert during red carrot season- Gajar Ka Halwa!

When the lockdown started it was still spring and red carrots were still available in the market. Although this sweet Indian dessert delicacy is something that’s popularly (and justifiably so) relished during the winters, we started a bit late. But as far as desserts go…there is no wrong time to enjoy one. Here’s one of my lockdown sweet recipes that I learned and followed word by word from Chef Ranveer Brar’s cooking video. The result was so overwhelmingly brilliant, that it definitely didn’t feel like a first attempt! I suggest you watch the Youtube video and learn to ace that perfect Gajar Ka Halwa- one of my lockdown dishes!

Learn how to ace the perfect home-style Gajar ka Halwa from Ranveer Brar!

Pro tip: Ranveer didn’t mention this, but I used full cream premium milk and a tbsp of milk powder to get a thicker & richer texture. I suggest you try the same!

3. Leftover Chicken Chops

home made chicken chops
Leftover chicken curry helped me create scrumptious Chicken Chops!

Experimenting with leftover food is my favourite kind of cooking! Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that you can do wonders with leftover food if you have a little imagination! Well, this one didn’t need much imagination though! The super delicious leftover chicken curry did half the work for me! Here is how to do it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Leftover chicken pieces- 3-4
  • 1-2 boiled potatoes (in my case I used the potatoes from my curry)
  • Curry from leftover chicken- 2 tbsp
  • Bread slices- 4
  • Tomato ketchup- 1 tbsp
  • Refined oil

QUICK STEPS TO THE RECIPE:

deep frying chicken chops
Deep fry the balls on medium flame to get golden brown colour.
  • Mash the chicken pieces and boiled potatoes, ketchup, and the curry together.
  • Make sure there are no bones. If you think the mixture is too soft, add a little cornflour or Maida for binding.
  • Make medium-sized balls or oval shapes with the mixture. Take a bread slice and dip it in cold water. After squeezing out the water from the slice, wrap it all around the mixture ball.
  • Deep fry the balls in medium flame until golden brown.
  • Serve with tomato ketchup and Kashundi along with steaming hot tea!

Pro tip: You can try the same procedure with leftover Matar Paneer, aloo Gobhi or any of your favourite veg or non-veg dish!

4. Gajar ke Parathe

carrot/ gajar paranthas
Flavourful Carrot Parathas for breakfast will only make your day better!

I hadn’t tasted Gajar ke Parathe only until a year ago. Thanks to my sweet friendly neighbour (with whom I often exchange bowls of homemade goodies), I was introduced with this flavourful Paratha last winter. And I have to thank one of my favourite Indian chefs Tarla Dalal for her recipe that I followed! So, here goes the recipe of one of my lockdown breakfast ideas:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Whole wheat flour- 1 cup
  • Grated red carrots- 1 cup
  • Grated ginger- 1 tsp
  • Green chilli finely chopped- 2
  • Finely chopped onion- 1
  • Coriander leaves finely chopped- ¼ cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee

QUICK STEPS TO THE RECIPE:

Gajar paratha with curd & coriander chutney
Best way to enjoy Gajar paratha is with curd & coriander chutney!
  • Add all the ingredients in a deep bowl and mix them well.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Now start rolling them carefully using dry flour.
  • Cook the parathas on a hot Tawa applying ghee on each side while flipping.
  • Make sure to keep cooking until there are brown spots on each side.
  • Serve them hot with curd and coriander chutney followed by chai!

Pro tip: While rolling you have to be extra careful about the pressure. Use dry flour generously to avoid sticking.

making gajar paratha
Carefully roll the parathas using dry flour generously

5. Bengali Shingara (Samosa)

bengali shingara samosa with chutney and chai
Samosa & her friends- Coriander chutney & Chai!

I’ll be honest with you. For me, Shingara or Samosa is bae. Period. I go weak in the knees by the mere smell of samosa. There has hardly been any trip, where I haven’t tasted a local samosa. But, little did I know, that it would take me three attempts in cooking to finally ace that crisp heart-warming Samosa! Here’s how I nailed one of the most popular vegetarian snacks in India:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Parboiled diced potatoes with skin- 2
  • All-purpose flour (Maida)- 2 cups
  • Ginger-Green chilli paste- 1.5 tsp
  • Dry roasted & coarsely ground Red chillies- 2
  • Dry roasted & coarsely ground Paanch Phoron*- 2 tsp
  • Fried peanuts- a handful
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Refined oil
  • Sugar- 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

*Bengali five-spice mix including Nigella seeds (Kalonji), Fenugreek seeds (Methi), Fennel seeds (Saunf), Radhuni (wild celery or Ajmod) and Cumin seeds (Jeera).

QUICK STEPS TO THE RECIPE:

home made samosa
Because…Samosa is bae!
  • Add salt and 2 tbsp of refined oil to the flour and mix it until a crumbly texture is attained.
  • Add water, little by little, for kneading and achieve a very tight and hard dough.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cotton cloth for 30 minutes.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Once heated add coarsely ground Paanch Phoron and dry red chili.
  • Sauté for two minutes and then add the ginger-green chilli paste. Cook for another minute on low flame.
  • Now add turmeric powder. Stir for 30 seconds and then add the potatoes with salt and sugar.
  • Cook until the spices are fried well. Finally, add the fried peanuts. Let the stuffing cool down first.
  • Divide the dough into equal parts. Start rolling to make one medium size chapati with about 2mm thickness.
  • Cut in half and create a cone using semi-circle by wetting the edges with water. Make sure to seal the corners and edges well.
  • Fill the cone with stuffing and finally seal the opening again using water.
  • Deep fry the Samosa on medium to low flame and keep frying slowly.
  • Serve with Coriander chutney and tomato ketchup.

Pro tip: Add a little baking soda to the dough for the perfect crunch. The secret to attaining crispy Samosas is to use very little water while kneading. The dough should be much harder than that of a Poori or Paratha.

That perfect heart-melting crunch of a Samosa!

6. Kancha Aam Shorshe Mach (Raw Mango-Mustard Fish Curry)

aam shorshe mach/ fish in mango mustard paste
Aam Shorshe Mach is a perfect summer dish for a Sunday lunch!

I’ve cooked “Aam Dal” (Tangy Dal) and I’ve cooked Mustard fish. Summers are better because of raw mangoes. And like every other Bengali foodie, mustard fish curry simply makes my heart melt! So, here I go, getting these two beautiful ingredients married, only to result in one of the most lip-smacking lunch ideas during lockdown:

INGREDIENTS:

raw mango ingredient for home cooking
Raw mangoes will add the perfect amount of tanginess to the mustard curry
  • Rohu or Katla fish- 6 curry cut pieces
  • Raw mango peeled – 10-12 slices
  • Black mustard seeds- 1.5 tbsp
  • Poppy seeds- 2 tsp
  • Nigella seeds (Kalonji)- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 2 tsp
  • Green chillies- 2-3
  • Mustard oil-
  • Salt to taste

QUICK STEPS TO THE RECIPE::

marinated katla fish
Fresh Katla fish pieces marinated with salt & turmeric powder
  • Rub salt and turmeric powder thoroughly on the fish and keep it for 15 minutes.
  • Slice the raw mangoes vertically.
  • Make a smooth paste of mustard and poppy seeds.
  • Heat oil in a Kadai and shallow fry the fish until golden.
  • Remove the fish from oil and simmer down. Now add nigella seeds and slit green chillies in the oil.
  • After a few seconds, add salt and turmeric powder and stir until the raw aroma is gone.
  • Add the mango slices and mix. Add a little water and cover for 3 minutes.
  • Once the mangoes are soft, add the mustard-poppy paste. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the fish and little water. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with slit green chilli and serve with steamed rice!

Pro-tip: If you love the heat of mustard, add a few drops of mustard oil on the top. And while tasting if you feel the heat is too much, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice for balance.

7. Dalgona Coffee

dalgona coffee
The rich Dalgona Coffee is perfect drink for summers

Yeah yeah, I admit! I got struck by FOMO syndrome and couldn’t stop myself from trying this “lockdown celebrity recipe”! And why not? Anything that has the word “coffee” in it is good enough for me! So, I watched enough videos to successfully make my very first Dalgona coffee:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Instant coffee powder- 4 tbsp
  • Sugar- 3 tbsp
  • Warm water- 3 tbsp
  • Chilled milk- 1 cup

QUICK STEPS TO THE RECIPE:

  • Add the coffee, sugar, and warm water into a jar and start whisking using a hand blender.
  • Keep whisking until the coffee and sugar become a thick gooey off-white consistency.
  • Pour chilled milk in glasses and add the coffee blend on top of it.
  • Garnish with coffee powder or dark chocolate powder.

Pro-tip: You could also use an egg-beater to whisk. But that will take a toll on your hands and you wouldn’t get the desired texture. Add a small shot of whiskey on your Dalgona to give it an “Irish” twist!

dalgona coffee with bourbon whiskey
Add a few drops of Bourboun whiskey to give your Dalgona an Irish twist!

I understand, for many of you, cooking is more of a liability than a pleasure. I understand sometimes all you want, is to eat something for the sake of it and get on with your work. Times are tough. But we need to stay strong. Stay positive. And cooking does have stress-relieving powers. Try something new over the weekend. Watch videos or read the recipes. With a little positivity, I promise you will have fun…even if your dish doesn’t turn out to be perfect!

Got any lockdown recipes that made you feel like a star chef? Share them with us!

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
19 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sonai
Sonai
1 year ago

Mouth-watering indeed… Have been thinking of trying street food at home, thought it will be tough to bring the same taste. Will try with your recipe and tips!! Thanks.

Sud
Sud
1 year ago

Indeed , a droolworthy article . Will definitely try some of these recipes .

Arijit Ganguly
Arijit Ganguly
1 year ago

The raw mango mustard prep looks stellar. Wondering if this will go with other types of fish too?

Shikari Shambu
Shikari Shambu
1 year ago

This one takes you directly to a food tour, with 7 stops, and you wish the it goes on in a loop..
The writing style is super and lip smacking.
Suggestion: Something dish where egg is a prime component can be added.

Alakananda Bhattacharya
Alakananda Bhattacharya
1 year ago

Ar ki, khawai toh jeebon!! Anek anek Thanks!!! Bon Apetit! 🙂

Dipika
Dipika
1 year ago

Nicezzzzzz…… loved all the recipes….:)

Sukanya Saha
Sukanya Saha
1 year ago

Wonderful…..will try these recipes.

Apratim
1 year ago

There is also dheroser khichuri. As strange as it sounds, it is quite delicious!

trackback

[…] On one of such occasions, my sis-in-law prepared Nepali pork curry (one of her recently mastered lockdown recipes) that was so magnificent, that we naturally ended up gobbling up more than we could […]

trackback

[…] new lockdown recipes– Check! Posting singing and dancing videos on social media- Check! Joining online guitar […]

trackback

[…] host prepares a list of food prompts. For example, food from different countries, homemade snacks, or food with cheese as an ingredient. The players have 30 seconds to write as many food items as […]