Quarantine special: From a watermelon cooler to atta halwa, here are four easy recipes with basic ingredients
Are you tired of having regular food but don’t have enough time to make something special? We feel you and so does Mumbai-based Chef Prabjyot Kaur and that’s why she has shared four recipes to satisfy your craving keeping in mind the time and ingredients restrictions you have during this lockdown period.
1. Watermelon and mint chiller
It’s important for everyone to keep themselves hydrated in this season, not only because the summers are here but also because hydration helps in regulating the body temperature and support the absorption and digestion process, informs Chef.
Ingredients (serves 2): 3 cups chilled watermelon (cubed), a handful of mint, juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt
1. Place all the ingredients in a juicer and then blend them until it becomes smooth
2. Strain and pour in glasses.
3. Add in ice cubes if required.
Tip: For a fancier look, coat the glass rim with salt.
2. Atta Halwa
This sweet, made with a few basic ingredients that are bound to be present with everyone, is an inspiration from a halwa that Chef once had at a Gurudwara in Punjab.
Ingredients (serves 4): 6 tbsp ghee, 5-6 cashews, ¼ cup whole wheat flour, ¼ cup sugar and 1 cup boiling hot water
1. Heat ghee in a kadhai.
2. Fry the cashews until they turn golden brown. Once they are done, take them out and keep them aside
3. Now, lower the flame and in the same Kadai, add flour and stir continuously. Cook the mixture for good 10 to 12 minutes or until it becomes aromatic and dark brown in colour.
4. Add in the sugar and give it a quick mix.
5. Pour the boiling hot water and keep stirring until the mixture comes together and leave the sides of the kadhai. Be very careful while pouring the water, as it tends to splutter.
6. Transfer the Halwa into a serving bowl and garnish with fried cashews.
3. Cabbage Wadi
This spin on the traditional Kothimbir Vadi, a dish that is extremely popular in Maharashtra, can be a really good accompaniment to your lunch or dinner, as well as a good snack to have with your evening chai.
Ingredients (serves 2): 2 cups cabbage (shredded), ½ tbsp salt, 1 ½ cups gram flour, 1 green chilli (chopped), ¼ inch ginger (grated), ½ tsp carom seeds, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp red chilli powder, ¾ cup water, oil for shallow frying and 1 tsp chaat masala
1. Pour water in a steamer and allow it to boil.
2. Meanwhile, mix cabbage and salt in a bowl and keep aside for 5 minutes for it to leave out water. Now, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Afterwards, add water and mix again until everything is well combined.
3. Grease oil in a steel plate that can fit into the steamer.
4. Pour the cabbage mix into the plate and level it with the back of the spoon.
5. Place the plate in the steamer making sure it doesn’t touch the water and clock with lid. Steam for 12 to 15 minutes over medium flame.
6. When done, take out the plate and allow the cabbage wadi to cool and then cut into the desired shape.
7. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the wadis from all sides. Place the fried wadis in a plate and sprinkle chaat masala.
8. Serve with coriander mint chutney.
Tip: Temper the wadis with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
4. Apricot and dry fruit chutney
An excellent way of using up any leftover fruits from the fridge. “While I have used dried apricots for this recipe, you could also use fresh fruit such as banana, apples, pear and pineapple for this fruit chutney,” shares Chef.
Ingredients (makes 1 medium jar): 2 tbsp oil, 1 bay leaf, 4-5 black peppercorn, 1 star anise, 1 stick cinnamon, 2 dry red chillies, 2 green chillies, 1 ½ cup apricots (julienned), 2 tbsp almonds, 2 tbsp cashews, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp red chilli powder, ½ cup water
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add whole masalas and give them a quick stir.
2. Add in the green chillies and stir.
3. Add apricots and stir well for 5 to 6 minutes.
4. Add in the almonds and cashews and stir.
5. Now add the sugar and masalas and mix well. Add in the water and stir well.
6. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the water dries up. Transfer into a plate and allow it to cool down.
7. Blend half the mixture in a food processor and add it to the chutney.
8. Store the chutney in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Tip: Use any dry fruits available with you.