Ghar Ka Khana was a talked-about phrase in 2019, when many restaurants across the country were promoting home chefs and food which tasted homemade. So much so that there was a twitter war with the phrase amongst several food delivery apps. Coming to 2020, ‘Ghar Ka Khana’ was projected as a food trend for the year by many in the food and beverage industry. And then came Covid_19 along with complete lockdown in India. Ghar Ka Khana was the call of the hour and social media is currently bursting with recipes, tips and tricks to master the art of home cooking. While many are struggling to cope with the chores, here are a few pointers for making your Ghar Ka Khana worthwhile.
Most of us have had a full time or part-time job. Most of us have had maids and cooks at home. At a time when we are left to do everything on our own, it is best to keep the meals simple. One pot meals work wonders in such cases. Put together Chicken Legs along with carrots, onions, garlic with some seasoning in a tray, drizzle olive oil and bake. Or maybe, make a light Stew out of different vegetables and have it with bread. Make a one pot meal of rice along with whatever vegetables you have in the pantry and through in some diced chicken or prawns to jazz it up. Khichdis are our very own one pot meals that everyone loves. Go wild in experimenting with khichdi flavours.
Even though the government has ensured that there will not be any food crisis, however, with a shortage of delivery apps and no means to go out, it is best to not waste any food. Cook just as much as is required. And in case you have leftovers, make a thing out of it. Leftover Maggi makes a very good Omelette or Frittata by adding some eggs and onions, tomatoes for a wholesome breakfast or even dinner. Similarly, you can use up any leftover vegetable dish as a stuffing for your sandwiches or parathas. Leftover vegetables can also be mashed together along with some boiled potatoes, rolled out as tikkis and shallow fried for a brilliant evening snack. Use your imagination and you can do wonders with Ghar Ka Khana.
Having a balanced diet in your Ghar Ka Khana is absolutely essential in these times of lockdown. None of us are In our usual space and hence, it is not the time for diets and cutting down on food intake. People with children at home are especially in a tough space since the kids are barely having any physical activity. Hence, so the amount of stress on a balanced diet is enough. Have soups and salads as a part of the diet. Carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, we need everything to boost us up and keep us going in these troubled times.
Doctors and nutritionists worldwide are talking about increasing your immune system. And the one thing which is known to build immunity are antioxidants. Vegetables and fruits, which are bright in colour are generally known to be a rich source of antioxidants are there to make us stronger from within to fight any disease.
This is perhaps the time to learn that skill that your grandma was so good at and you always admired. With Ghar Ka Khana, food cooked from scratch and food cooked with all fresh ingredients make for a better diet. Learn how to knead a dough or roll a roti. Basic things like making a Puri or making your own spice blends are not a rocket science, especially now that you have the time to practice at home. Sauces, dips and masalas made from scratch taste way better than any store bought ones plus they are better for our health as well.
Dry roast the Dalia and the Moong Dal in a wok and then wash them thoroughly under running water. In a pressure cooker, take a tsp of cooking oil and when the oil is hot, add the bay leaf, dry red chili, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Stir around till they start to brown. Add the cumin seeds. Stir and add the chopped ginger and the chopped vegetables (except the coriander leaves). Keep the heat to a medium and stir fry the vegetables for a couple of minutes. Add turmeric powder and salt and continue cooking for another minute. Sprinkle some water if the masala is burning. Add the Dalia and the Moong Dal. Add 6 cups of water. Add the sugar and give it all a nice mix. Break the green chilies into two and add to the Khichdi now if you like heat in your khichdi. Or else leave it till the end. Now close the pressure cooker and cook for five to six minutes till only one whistle.
Once the steam has released, open the pressure cooker and you will notice that the khichdi is quite tight. In that case, take two cups of hot water and add to the khichdi and mix everything. Drizzle some ghee and add more green chilies and salt if required. Also, add the chopped coriander leaves.
Serve the Khichdi hot with some Papad and Achar.
Time taken: 30 minutes
Read more: Navratri Recipes, 5 Best Home-Baked Items to Indulge in during Lockdown in Mumbai
For someone who's run two restaurants, being a baker and cook par excellence comes easily to Madhushree . When she's not eating out, she's organizing her own pop ups or experimenting with regional recipes. Her experiments with food and her recipes are part of Pikturenama , where she's a co founder.