Food options during coronavirus lockdown

Pradeep Chamaria

We all love to go out and eat delicious food at restaurants. We also indulge in street foods during lunch hours and when we are returning home from work. Unfortunately today, everyone is stuck inside their homes and Food, a basic pleasure has suddenly become burdened.

Contingency plans to stop spreading the Coronavirus and remote working with the objective to increase the social distancing among people has already been put in action. This has, almost overnight locked us down and forced us to invent plans for the most elemental parts of our daily lives: food.

So what are the options? A lot, yes, there are a lot of options. We can still get our loved food dishes through food delivery options, but delivery is not safe and is expensive. Also it’s not readily available everywhere. So, what next?

It’s a super-strange time, but at the same time, it’s the time to be self sustained and creative by try out some Coronavirus quarantine recipes. It’s the time to get back in the kitchen as this is the best time to re-try your cooking skills and become a competent cook.

It’s the time to re-visit your school days elementary math’s lessons by measuring spoons and cups, counting out numbers of ingredients, keeping stock of kitchen items, or planning the time it will take to prepare, cook, eat, and clean up after a meal. It’s the time to reconnect with the family, eat together at the table or have an in-house picnic.

It’s the time to think nutrition; making your meals healthy with whole grains, nuts, oats, pulses, chickpeas, vegetables, and fruits in larger amounts, keeping meat portions smaller, and skipping alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

In India, our elderly female folks at home have a habit of super stocking food stuff and this comes very handy during these days of social distancing.  And it’s time now to stock up on nutrition-packed foods that will stay fresh for a week or longer. So re-consult your grandmas, moms and other elderly females at home.

 But what about the cravings for tasty stuff! The exotic white-tablecloth restaurants, lounges and pubs are all closed. Fast food outlets are closed. Pizzerias are closed. Down the corner GolGappe walah, Tikki walah, every outlet is shut.

But people still posting images of Paneer Tikkas, Tandoori Chicken, Biryanis and freshening drinks on social media. The mouth starts salivating, Right?

And why not, eating is a cultural ritual which we indulge in three times a day.

At this point, various home chefs, cooking teachers and chefs come handy as they offer tips on social media for cooking from easy-to-find ingredients available in every house hold to make delicious dishes. We can also take help from our better-halfs, sisters and friends.

Our food team checked up and came up with a list of simple, easy to cook yet delicious food that will definitely make your family members love you more. I present list of my favourites here (you can easily find the recipes online)

  • Curried Noodles – Cup of Noodles – readily available in super markets. You can make your own with boiled noodles, lots of veggies in a soupy form.
  • Bread Pizzas – or Roti pizzas
  • Thai-style curries – easy to make from ready to cook packed cans
  • Pasta – you can experiment with pasta by turning it into spaghetti with lots of cheese, fried eggs or veggies.
  • Maggi – simplest to cook and experiment with.
  • Toasts with tomato and sweet onion or grilled cheese. You can experiment by using fruits too in your sandwiches.
  • Soups – plenty of options available in ready-to cook packs. You can give them personal touch with extra veggies, bread chunks etc.

 It’s up to you to be the creative best to garnish your dishes with coriander, salad slices and come up with exotic names of your dishes.

Today lots of ready-made Indian as well as Italian and continental dishes are available in the frozen sections of grocery stores which you just need to put in boiling water and eat.

You can also try some new recipes, try roasting a whole chicken in the microwave, or Tikkas of Paneer, Chicken etc. from scratch; this certainly is a good time to try. You can play around and experiment by altering with a number of dishes by adding lots of vegetables as you like, use sweet potatoes.

Besides these plenty of channels on TV and internet are currently giving step by step cooking instructions and you certainly can try the ones which will need only a few ingredients and you can make them without creating much fuss in the kitchen.

Still, in such a situation when we haven’t been able to prepare a perfect dish, let’s not get carried away and start eating the wrong kinds of food during corona. We can still eat healthy foods like nuts, popcorn, and other snack items and practice healthy food habits during WFH.

And Don’t Worry, Everything will be all right, it’s just that God has given you a time-out to be at your creative best and spend some love times with your near and dear ones.

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