Sensible and wholesome recipes that may make cooking simpler amid pandemic


With the pandemic limiting ration and choice, preparing healthy and tasty meals is a huge task every day. That’s why it’s important to cook smart and know the tricks of preparing meals and breakfasts with readily available ingredients.

Slowly treat yourself to something

Who doesn’t feel like a freshly baked chocolate cake or a cheesy pizza? Although Anurudh Khanna, head chef at Westin Gurgaon in New Delhi, advocates healthy eating, he says most people prefer comfort foods to nutritious ones.

“The constant flow of narrative focused on the pandemic has made people fearful,” says Khanna.

“Locked up at home, they seek solace in food and indulge in candy or packaged foods that calm them down for a while only to consume again. This creates a vicious circle. I don’t mind indulging in every now and then as food has the power to improve or break your mood, but not every day, ”he says.

It focuses on the careful selection of ingredients and sends an important message about healthy eating, sustainability and best practices. “We can learn to do a lot more because there are few grocery stores. It’s exciting to involve kids in cooking because it’s like a science experiment with dehydration and fermentation to create different things, ”he says.

COVID pushed most of the people into the kitchen for a variety of reasons. You agree with Vijesh Modi, Senior Sous Chef at The Deltin, Daman, that cooking is an integral part of Indian households. “After the outbreak of the pandemic and the WFH, the number of people in every household who wanted to cook or try new dishes suddenly increased in order to save time, reduce anxiety, feel productive or just eat good food”, says Vijesh Modi, Senior Sous Chef in the Deltin, Daman. “Most of them are not aware of the changes they should bring with them.”

Neha Mathur, founder of WhiskAffair, brings the best of the tried and true recipes and helps people discover food and cooking on @whiskaffair (Instagram) and her website ( and facebook page. “I often see people indulging in ready-to-eat, high-calorie foods without worrying about diet, which would do more harm in the long run. Having a cheating day is fine, but it shouldn’t be overdone, ”advises Mathur.

Hard to break

“Breakfast like a king” doesn’t work for many because the routines have made a throw. For many, the most important meal of the day became a quick tea-and-cookie affair. Chef Modi admits that it has become difficult to keep a set routine these days.

“Most seem to avoid breakfast because of the late dinner and long hours of sleep. Inactivity decreases hunger and boredom and increases sugar and fat cravings. With a WFH model, most people work long hours and don’t have much time to cook. All of this leads to unhealthy snacks. “

Mathur adds that we have become lazy because the routine has disappeared from our lives. “I sometimes feel that there is a lack of planning for meals too. So you struggle with the dilemma of what to cook that is healthy, tasty and fast. Some even skip breakfast and eat lunch straight away, which is wrong. “

Chef Khanna sees breakfast being replaced with tea / coffee and cookies. “Fruits are being replaced by sugary juices or pumpkins. Not only does all of this keep your stomach unfulfilled, but your mind cannot contribute as it should. It is important to note that tea and coffee are drinks to keep you vigilant and not fill you up. “

Have a huge fruity breakfast

Mathur believes in preparing breakfast one day early so that it is tasty, healthy and filling. “On the day when I can’t plan, I look for simple breakfast recipes that come together in less than 30 minutes. With fresh fruits always in season, I also serve a shake for breakfast. Lassi is another fantastic drink that you can make in minutes. You can also try stew recipes that are straightforward. “

Chef Khanna suggests having chopped vegetables ready to make a quick upma or poha. “If you’re not a vegetarian, save some cold cuts to make sandwiches. Make a spread with grated raw vegetables in cottage cheese, seasoned with garlic salt and pepper. It tastes divine on a nicely roasted sourdough and can be easily chilled. Smoothie bowls are a big favorite in summer. The delicious menagerie of frozen fruits, healthy seeds, and nuts is all good health in one bowl. “

Chef Modi recommends a healthy breakfast for high energy levels throughout the day. “Make sure your breakfast has whole grains over refined grains, antioxidants, fruits and vegetables, minimal sweetness, protein, and high fiber. Don’t be afraid of a big breakfast. “Eat healthy and stay healthy.

Food tricks

  • Soak oats or muesli in milk and yogurt with a little honey overnight and take in the morning. Fill it with seasonal fruits and peanut butter or pumpkin seeds, dry and fresh seasonal fruits with a little almond or cashew butter.

  • Familiarize yourself with healthy substitutes or methods.

  • Measuring the food beforehand is better than cooking in large quantities. Store the ration appropriately to avoid wastage and.

  • For garnish, grow herbs around your home for fresh use. Prepare and refrigerate the ingredients used in Indian curries to save preparation time.

  • Use leftover food. Keep them properly for new recipes. That way you won’t have any waste and the ration will last longer.

  • Use the “bought first, used first” method to maximize product shelf life.

Try them out!

Amaranth Bathua duet with turmeric foam