Whole Wheat Bagels

Making bagels at home can seem daunting, I know, I’ve been there. It does require some patience but i promise you it is worth your time. This bagel recipe produces wonderful chewy and delicious bagels with the toppings of your choice.

What you will need – (for 12 bagels)
  1. Warm water – 1 1/2 cups (and a little bit more, maybe)
  2. Active dry yeast – 2 1/4 teaspoons
  3. Whole wheat flour – 4 cups
  4. Pure maple syrup/honey – 2 tablespoons
  5. Salt – 2 teaspoons
  6. Sugar – 2 teaspoons
  7. Sesame seeds, poppy seeds or sea salt for topping (Optional)
Method –
  1. To a bowl of lukewarm water, add yeast and allow to dissolve completely. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, honey, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture, use a spoon or your hands to turn it into a shredded/couscous like texture.
    (If using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, mix on low for about 2 mins)
  3. Use a little more water if needed and knead till you get a smooth, stiff, elastic dough
    (For stand mixer, increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for about 8-9 minutes).
  4. Form the dough into a ball, coat with oil and place it in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set it in a warm place for it to rise. This will take about 20 minutes.
  5. You’ll know it’s ready when it gets slightly larger and the dough slowly springs back when you press it with your finger. It won’t double in size!
  6. Preheat your oven to 220°C and place a rack in the middle.
  7. Fill up a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low so that the water is at a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid until you are ready to boil the bagels.
  8. Get a wire rack ready where you can place boiled bagels and allow excess water to drip. Also prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Turn the dough onto a dry surface and divide it evenly into 12 equal pieces. While you work with one of the 12 pieces, keep the rest covered with a damp towel so that it doesn’t get too dry.
  10. Roll each piece of dough into a 9 inch log. Then dampen the ends with a little water, overlap them by about 1 inch and press to join. Make sure the dough is securely joined together before placing the bagel on a plate or baking sheet. Cover the finished bagels with another damp towel and repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough until you have 12 bagels.
  11. Once you have finished forming all of your bagels, boil them 3-4 at a time. Do this by placing them into the simmering water and let them cook on each side for about 30 seconds. They will sink to the bottom of the pot at first and slowly begin to rise in about a minute. Don’t forget to flip them over after 30 seconds!
  12. Remove the bagels with a fine-mesh strainer. Place the boiled bagels onto the wire drying rack and press your desired topping onto the top of the bagels while they are still wet. Continue this process until all of the bagels have been boiled and garnished with optional toppings.
  13. Place the bagels onto the parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 15 minutes. Then rotate the pans and continue baking the bagels until they are golden brown on top, about 10 more minutes.
  14. Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes so that the inside can finish cooking.

Storage notes –

Store in an airtight container for a week or freeze for up to a month

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Coconut Lime Banana Bread

Overripe, squishy, spotty bananas are just banana bread that you haven’t made yet. And since everyone seems to have over ripe bananas at the moment, I thought it’s the perfect time to add a slightly different banana bread recipe.

What you will need –
  1. Bananas – 4 medium, over-ripe
  2. Egg – 1 large
    (For Vegan option – mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed powder with 2.5 tablespoons of water)
  3. Light oil – 2 tablespoons (vegetable/canola)
  4. Light coconut milk – 1/2 cup
    (Sub with any other milk for non-coconut version)
  5. Zest of 1 lime
  6. Lime juice – 3 tablespoons
  7. All purpose flour – 1 cup 
  8. Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup 
  9. Oat flour – 1/2 cup
  10. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  11. Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  12. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  13. Honey – 1/2 cup (Adjust to taste)
Method –
  1. Preheat oven for 160°C.
  2. Mash together the 4 bananas in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk egg, oil, coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and honey (if you like your bread on the sweet side) into the mashed bananas. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Slowly mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients until completely incorporated.
  6. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil/butter. Pour batter into pan. Slice a banana length-wise and top the batter (optional).
  7. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from middle. Let cool on a rack before slicing.

Storage notes –

Once cooled, store in an airtight box in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Date pudding with sticky toffee glaze

Sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert consisting of a date infused cake sponge with a hot toffee sauce poured on top. Even if you don’t like dates, it’s likely you will enjoy this dessert. The dates melt down into a golden sweetness, deepening the flavour of the cake sponge. Add vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to round it off and you’ve got yourself a sensation.

This recipe is my adaptation of the classic. I use salt and lemon to offset and tone down the intense sweetness.

What you will need –

For Date Pudding

  1. Soft dates – 150 grams, deseeded
  2. Boiling Water – 150 ml
  3. Butter – 30 grams (sub with 22ml or 1/8th cup oil for vegan option)
  4. All purpose flour – 100 grams 
  5. Brown sugar – 50 grams  
  6. Egg – 1 large (sub with flaxseed egg)
  7. Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon 
  8. Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  9. Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon  
  10. Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

For Toffee Glaze

  1. Muscovado (Khandsari) sugar – 60 grams (sub with brown sugar)
  2. Water – 2 tablespoons
  3. 150 ml fresh cream (sub with coconut milk for vegan option)
  4. Butter – 1 tablespoon (sub with coconut oil for vegan option)
  5. Salt – Generous pinch
  6. Lemon juice – 1/2 tablespoon
Method –
  1. Place the dates in a bowl, add hot water, cover and keep aside for 10 mins.
  2. Meanwhile preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 6″ round baking tin with parchment paper. (For individual servings, use small ramekins or puddings moulds)
  3. Add butter to the bowl of dates. Stir to melt the butter.
  4. Blend the date and butter mix to make a smooth paste
  5. Once cool, add egg and vanilla extract to the date paste. Whisk to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  7. Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Whisk to combine. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
    (If using ramekins or small moulds, bake for only 30 mins)
    Leave the pudding in the pan for 10 minutes to cool.
  9. While the pudding is cooling, prepare the toffee sauce.
    To a saucepan, add sugar and water. Place on medium high heat and whisk continuously.
  10. The sugar will melt and turn into a bubbly liquid in less than 5 mins. When the colour turns a little darker, add butter, salt, lemon juice and whisk continuously.
  11. Add cream or coconut milk, turn the flame to low and simmer for another 5 mins.
  12. When the cake has cooled sufficiently, gently invert it on a serving plate. Poke several holes with a skewer.
  13. Pour half the toffee sauce over the cake. Reserve the remaining to be poured over individual servings.
  14. Add some chopped walnuts on top and serve immediately.
    Add a scoop of ice cream if you’re feeling super indulgent.

Storage notes –

It keeps for days and days in the fridge and once reheated, it’s just like it’s fresh out of the oven.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Lentil and carrot cakes

The only kind of recipes that are my favourite are the ones allowing for tons of room for customisation. I love how creative you can be with these lentil cakes. They’re bursting with savoury flavours, hearty texture, and oodles of plant based protein. They’re also gluten-free and accidentally vegan.

They work for canapés, burger patties, vegan meatballs or as mains, depending on how large you make them. ⁣

What you will need – (for 12 cakes)
  1. Whole/Split Masoor dal (red lentils) – 1 cup, washed
  2. Carrots – 2 cups, finely chopped
  3. Rolled oats – 1 cup, divided
  4. Onion – 1 medium, chopped
  5. Garlic cloves – 3-4
  6. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  7. Smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon (Can also use cayenne pepper)
  8. Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  9. Salt & pepper to taste
  10. Spinach – 1-1.5 cups, chopped
  11. Olive Oil for brushing
  12. Nuts and seeds of choice – 1/3 cup
    (optional but highly recommended)
    I used a mix of sunflower, hemp, pumpkin and flax
Method –
  1. Rinse lentils thoroughly, till the water runs clear. Add to a pot with 2 cups of water and boil till tender. Do not overcook.
  2. In the meantime, steam carrots for about 15-20 mins. They should be tender but not mushy.
  3. To a food processor, add lentils, steamed carrots, onion, garlic, lemon juice, spices and half cup oats. Reserve the other half for later.
  4. Process in short bursts of a few seconds. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and repeat till all ingredients are well incorporated. The mixture should be chunky not doughy.
  5. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining oats, spinach, nuts and seeds. Mix well.
  6. To make patties, use a large spoon or a 1/4th cup measure to scoop out the mix in the palms of your hand. I made them 1 inch thick and about 3 inches wide. But you can roll them bigger or smaller or even make balls.
    (Use slightly wet hands to prevent the mixture from sticking.)
  7. Lightly brush with oil on both sides and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 25-30 minutes. If your patties are smaller or rolling balls, reduce baking time accordingly.

Serving notes :

These can be served as is with a dip or used as burger patties.
To make the dip, combine 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of tahina, finely chopped coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper with just enough water to achieve a creamy consistency.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Vegan Persian lentil stew

What I love most about Persian cuisine is balance, not just of flavours but also of textures and temperatures. In most dishes you’ll find sweet, salty and sour flavours in perfect harmony. Soft dishes like stews are often paired with crunchy rice, nuts, potatoes or raw vegetables. And each meal is served with an abundance of fresh herbs.

Some of my favourite stews are Khoresh-e Gheymeh, Khoresh-e Bademjoon, khoresh-e fesenjoon and this Khoresh-e Bamiyeh.

As much as I believe that some recipes should be cooked, enjoyed and celebrated just the way they were decades ago, passed down from grandmothers to mothers and to daughters, desperate times call for desperate measures. Here is the vegan adaptation of Khoresh-e Bamiyeh.

What you will need –
  1. Pigeon Pea Lentils – 1 cup (washed till the water runs clear)
  2. Tomato Sauce – 1/2 cup (sub with 4 large fresh tomatoes + 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
  3. Onions – 1 large, chopped
  4. Dried limes (Limoo amani) – 2, crushed (sub with 1.5 tablespoons tamarind paste)
  5. Pomegranate molasses – 1.5 tablespoons (sub with 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar)
  6. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. Coriander powder – 1.5 teaspoon
  8. Ground cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Garlic – 4 large cloves, minced
  10. Bay leaf – 1 large, torn
  11. Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  12. Okra – 250 – 300 gms
  13. Vegetable broth – 3 cups
  14. Salt – a generous pinch

(Substituting dried lime and pomegranate molasses is only recommended in truly desperate times such as this lockdown. Both ingredients are easily available at specialty food stores but are also easy to make at home.)

Method –
  1. Heat a large, heavy bottom pot with a lid, add oil, garlic and onions. Sauté for 7-8 mins, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the diced tomato sauce, bay leaf, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon. Sauté for 5 mins to allow the spices to bloom.
  3. Add washed lentils, broth and dried limes. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover the pot, bring it up to a boil, and then turn it down to a simmer. Let it cook until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add pomegranate molasses and okra. Cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs – coriander/spring onions/ dill/ parsley.

Serving notes :

Best paired with a fresh cucumber – yogurt – pomegranate salad and rice Tahdig but can also be served with plain basmati rice.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Homemade Energy Bars

If you’re a snacker like me, it can be really tempting to reach for a packaged sweet or savoury snack for some mid-meal sustenance. We all crave a little something every now and then but it is often the most overlooked part of meal prepping and planning.

Snacks, most often, are packaged in wasteful plastic. The shiny interiors of your favourite snack bar or potato crisps is made my fusing aluminium and plastic together. This extremely thin fusion is hard to recycle because to separate them increases the cost multifold. When landfilled or incinerated, these bags pollute the environment and pose health risks to humans as well as wildlife. Food packaging is also the main source of the plastic pollution, often washes up on shores, clogs the ocean and is expected to exceed the weight of all fish by 2050 if we maintain the current rates.

Energy bars are extremely simple and easy to make at home. It’s no secret that knowing what goes into your food, especially if you cook it yourself, is a good step towards a balanced, healthy diet. And just because you make them at home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on interesting and fun options.

Fill your bellies, not garbage bins. Who’s with me?

What you will need –
  1. Old fashioned/Rolled oats – 3 cups
  2. Roasted almonds – 2 cups (roughly chopped)
  3. Dates – 1 heaping cup (approx 200 gms, use soft and fleshy varieties like medjool or deglet noor)
  4. Honey – 1/2 cup (sub with maple syrup/liquid jaggery to keep it vegan)
  5. Peanut butter – 1/2 cup (creamy, unsweetened)
  6. Salt – a generous pinch
  7. Seeds of choice – 6 teaspoons (optional)
  8. Dried fruit of choice – 2 tablespoons (optional)

Ideas for customisation –

Chocolate chips, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, apple sauce, any kind of seeds, any kind of dried fruit- raisins, cranberries, apricot, etcetera

Method –
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add nuts and oats to a baking tray and roast until slightly golden brown, about 15-20 mins.
  2. Add dates to a food processor and process till you’re left with a doughy ball. (This should take only a few seconds).
    Do not add any water to the dates. A syrupy consistency will lead to a not-so-great taste. Ask me how I know.
  3. Add all ingredients except the date paste to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add date paste to the mixing bowl a little at a time. Use a spatula to break it up and evenly disperse throughout the mix. Repeat till all date paste is added.
  5. Grease a 12×12-inch baking dish (or any flat bottomed dish) with a little oil. Transfer the mix to baking dish and roughly flatten with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  6. Press down to make it uniformly flat. I like to use a sheet parchment paper and a flat bottomed bowl to really pack the bars, cause nobody likes a crumbly, fall apart energy bar.
  7. Pop the dish in the fridge to firm up for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Remove dish from the fridge and chop into 12 even bars.

Storage notes :

Put a parchment paper under each bar (yes, reuse the sheet you used before by cutting it into smaller pieces), stack the bars in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month. (But seriously, they’ll be devoured way before that)

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Savoury Crêpes

Though my favourite type of delicate crêpe is piled high with fresh fruit, they are not just for sweet indulgences. They can be filled with the cheesiest and meatiest concoctions of your choice.

The great thing about these crêpes is that you can just throw all of the ingredients into a blender to quickly whip up the batter. I hope you give these oat crêpes a try and enjoy them as much as I do!

What you will need –
  1. Rolled/Old fashioned Oats – 1 cup
  2. Sorghum (jowar) flour – 1/2 cup
    (sub with sweet rice flour for gluten-free and whole wheat/maida for gluten full options)
  3. Light olive oil – 3 tablespoons, plus more for the pan
  4. Large egg or Flaxseed egg – 1
    (For vegan egg, mix 1 tablespoon flaxseed powder mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water)
  5. Milk of choice – 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup, start with lesser amount and add more as needed
  6. Salt – 1/4 teaspoon or to taste

For sweet crêpes add 2 tablespoons of sugar, honey or maple syrup and reduce the salt to just a pinch.

Ideas for filling –

  • Savoury – Sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach, grated cheddar, goat cheese, eggs, ham, bacon, shrimp, bean sprouts, tomato, basil, kale, etcetera.
  • Sweet – sugar and lime, banana and chocolate, strawberries and chocolate, pumpkin, apple cinnamon, cream cheese and berries, caramel, etcetera.
Method –
  1. Place the oats, sorghum flour, oil, egg, salt and 1 1/4 cup milk (and sweetener if you’re making sweet crepes) into the blender jar and blend until creamy. Batter should be runny unlike pancake batter. Add more milk if needed.
  2. Cover and let the batter chill in the fridge while you prep other ingredients.
  3. Heat a 9-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once your pan is hot enough to make water droplets “dance” across the surface, lightly grease it with oil and pour 1/3 or 1/4 cup batter.
  4. Hold the pan with 1 hand and pour the batter in with the other. Swirl the pan in a circular motion while pouring so that the batter covers the pan thinly and evenly. Pour off any excess batter. Try not to leave any holes.
    (After the first few crêpes you will know exactly how much batter your pan will hold)
  5. Cook on medium-high heat until the edges turn brown, about 40 seconds to 1 minute and then carefully flip using a small spatula.
    The second side will not be as evenly browned as the first side.
    (If they break while flipping, they’re either too thin or need to cook a little bit longer.)
  6. Remove crêpe to a cooling rack and continue making them with remaining batter, adjusting the heat as needed. This recipe makes about 6-9 crêpes, depending on how large you make them.

To make the savoury version as shown in the picture above –

Prepare the following items while crêpe batter chills in the fridge:

  • Wilt spinach with a little garlic and olive oil in a pan.
  • Sautée mushrooms with salt, pepper and paprika
  • Grate cheese of your choice
  • Break an egg in a small bowl

Pour crêpe batter in a pan and follow instructions as above. After flipping, quickly add all the filling as desired and carefully drop the egg in the centre. Fold the edges to make a parcel. Lower the heat and let the egg cook for 1-2 mins. Remove and serve immediately.

Storage notes :

Let each crêpe cool to avoid sticking, place in a container and store in the fridge. Crêpes can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for several weeks. Reheat uncovered in a low oven (120°C) for 15 minutes or until warm. Fill with your favourite filling.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture, tag @the_slow_kitchen on Instagram and use #theslowkitchen on your posts!

Hearty Lentil Stew

Lentils are probably that one ingredient almost all of us have in our pantry. They’re not the most attractive looking, but make for a great alternative for meat and are wholesome, nutritious and delicious. 

It’s likely you have all the ingredients on hand for this accidentally vegan recipe. They’re staples in my house – so this hearty stew can be whipped up on a whim. The seasonings here are simple – garlic, herbs, a little cumin and cinnamon, which makes this dish both warm and earthy.

I like to serve it with a slice of sourdough (because I can eat literally anything with sourdough), but you can serve it with rice if you prefer.  And I garnish this hot mess with a generous sprinkle of parmesan or grana padano.

What you will need – (4 large servings)
  1. Red lentils (masoor) – 1 cup (par boiled, 1 whistle in the pressure cooker)
  2. Onion – 1 large (finely chopped)
  3. Carrots – 1 cup, cut into large chunks
  4. Potatoes – 1 cup (cut into large chunks)
  5. Tomato sauce – 1/2 cup (sub with 4 large diced tomatoes)
  6. Garlic – 5-6 cloves (finely chopped)
  7. Veggies – 1 cup
    (add any veg of your choice – mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, broccoli; I had frozen peppers and peas on hand. )
  8. Thyme – few sprigs
    (sub with dried thyme, oregano, rosemary or marjoram; perfect opportunity to use up those pizza seasoning packets you’ve been hoarding)
  9. Smoked Paprika – 2 tsp (sub with 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp cumin powder)
  10. Cinnamon – 1 tsp (can also use 1 inch stick of whole cinnamon)
  11. Pepper – 1 tsp
  12. Salt – to taste
  13. Olive oil/ghee – 2 tbsp 
  14. Vegetable stock – 3 cups (sub with chicken stock or filtered water)
  15. Red pepper flakes – for garnish (optional)
  16. Parmesan or other hard cheese – 1/4 cup for garnish (optional)
Method –
  1. Par boil or pressure cook lentils with 2 cups water for 1 whistle.
  2. Meanwhile, chop and prep your veggies.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions. Sauté till onions are translucent.
  4. Stir in carrots, potatoes, tomato sauce, salt and spices. Sauté for 2 mins.
    (If you are using fresh tomatoes, add tomatoes, salt and spices before the carrots and potatoes and let them reduce a little bit, about 5-6 mins)
  5. Add partly cooked lentils to the skillet and add vegetable stock and herbs. (In the absence of stock, add leftover water from boiled lentils and/or plain drinking water)
  6. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and let it cook covered for 30-40 mins, stirring every once in a while.
  7. Add veggies and cook for another 7 mins. (I like my veggies to have a little bite. If you prefer them fully cooked, add them a little earlier.)
  8. Adjust seasoning if required. Garnish with fresh herbs, a little drizzle of coconut milk or grated parmesan.
  9. Serve as is or with a side of toasted bread/rice/quinoa.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture and tag it #theslowkitchen on Instagram so I can see!

Vegan Chocolate chip muffins

Baking is my therapeutic answer to all boredom and anxiety related troubles. If this lockdown is making your kids restless, this is a great activity to get them involved in. This simple recipe requires only a few ingredients and is ready in under 30 mins.

These are made with oat flour and are gluten-free. Peanut butter is the only fat in this recipe and is easily replaceable with coconut or sunflower oil. These delicious muffins are great for breakfast or for an afternoon snack.

What you will need –
  1. Ripe bananas – 3 (or 4 if they’re small)
  2. Vegan egg (1 tbsp flaxseed powder mixed with 2.5 tbsp water)
  3. Coconut/brown sugar – 1/2 cup 
  4. Peanut butter – 1/2 cup
  5. Plant milk (almond or oat) – 1/4 cup
  6. Vanilla extract – 1 tsp 
  7. Oat flour – 1 3/4 cups
  8. Baking soda – 1 tsp 
  9. Baking powder – 1 tsp 
  10. Salt – 1/4 tsp 
  11. 1 cup dark/semi-sweet chocolate chips
Method –
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Make vegan egg by mixing ground flaxseed and water. Set aside to thicken for 5 mins.
  • Meanwhile, mash bananas in a large bowl.
  • Add peanut butter, flax-egg, sugar, plant milk and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  • Sieve oat flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl.
  • Add dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients a little at a time. Whisk till fully incorporated.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips. (or try dried cranberries/raisins/fresh blueberries for a fun variation)
  • Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, divide and add batter to each and bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

If you make this recipe, you know the drill: Let me know!

Take a picture and tag it #theslowkitchen on Instagram so I can see!

A guide to calculated and mindful stocking for lockdown

The constantly unfolding COVID-19 situation is unchartered territory for all of us. Self isolation and social distancing is imperative to flatten the curve. We’re all facing a mindset shift from living to survival as we all have an ingrained self-preservation mechanism. Yes, keeping our mind and bodies healthy and strong is required but mindless stockpiling and hoarding is not the answer.

Calculated and mindful stocking (based on your as well as others’ needs) is what we all need to do. This is a guide to help you and your families stay nourished during these trying times.

But first, remember :

  • Shops dealing with food, groceries, dairy, meat, fruits and veggies will stay open and many, if not all, will offer home delivery.
  • Assess the current situation of your pantry and shop accordingly.
  • Account for consumption increase because of boredom-eating or decline resulting from decreased physical activity.
  • Don’t buy items you wouldn’t usually buy.
  • Support local business, don’t order everything off amazon.
  • DO NOT HOARD, there is no need to prep for doomsday.
  • Order fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and other short-term perishables weekly.
  • Stay calm, this too shall pass.

I’ve grouped food items by shelf life. Pick items from each of these lists based on what you can and will cook.

List A : Non-Perishables

1. Rice & grains – basmati rice, brown rice, quinoa, oats, finger millet (ragi), amaranth, pearl millet (bajra), barley (jau), sorghum (jowar).

2. Flour & Meals – whole wheat flour, refined flour, oat-flour, ragi flour, besan/chickpea flour, corn flour.

3. Beans & Legumes (Dried or Canned) – chickpeas, red kidney beans, broad/butter beans, black-eyed beans (Chawli), horse gram (kulthi), Yellow/pigeon pea (toor), Red lentils (masoor), green gram (moong), black gram (urad), dew gram (moth).

4. Fats  – olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, peanut/sunflower oil.

5. Pasta & Noodles – spaghetti, penne, macaroni, lasagna sheets, soba noodles, rice noodles, egg noodles, rice paper.

6. Long lasting Milks – oat, soy, almond or coconut milk.

7. Nuts & seeds – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, pinenuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds.

8. Sauces & Pastes – pasta sauces, curry pastes, ginger-garlic paste, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, chilli sauce, sriracha, apple cider or other vinegars.

9. Butters & Sweeteners – peanut butter, almond butter, sesame butter, honey, maple syrup, jaggery, stevia.

10. Dried Spices & Herbs – turmeric, chilli, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, garlic powder, garam masala, ginger powder, thyme, rosemary, oregano, dried mushrooms.

11. Others – coffee, tea, snacks, candies, chocolate, salt, pet food, wine or alcohol.

List B : Long term perishables

1. Eggs
2. Cheese/Tofu/Paneer
3. Canned fruits and vegetables
4. Canned fish
5. Cold cut meats
6. Fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut)
7. Fruit juice

List C : Short term perishables

1. Fresh fruits and vegetables
2. Yogurt
3. Meat/seafood
4. Yogurt

How to sensibly stock food

To ensure you do not hoard or panic buy and create chaos at the supermarket, first check what you already have, then split everything you need into two types of orders listed below.

Big order list

(For week 1 & 2 and once in 20 days from week 3 onwards)

Step 1 – Pick 10-15 items from List A as well as List B as per your needs and preferences. Choose items you cook with regularly and cannot do without.

Example :
From List A – Rice, yellow and red lentils, chickpeas, red beans, oat flour, one bag of spaghetti, few spices, nut butter, honey, curry paste, almonds, dried mushroom.
From List B – eggs, 2 cartons of milk, few cans of sardines, a jar of gherkins, a jar of beetroot and fruit juice.

Step 2 – Pick 3-5 items from List B and LIST C. Choose quantities to last you a week or so. Choose items you use everyday/several times a week.

Example :
From List B – 500 gms of paneer/tofu, a bag of frozen peas, cheese.
From List C – one tub of yogurt, 3 fresh fruits, 3 fresh vegetables.

At a time, order only what you will need for 2 weeks. Reduce the number of items from this big order list and order again the following week.

From week 3 onwards, order limited number of items to add to your stockpile. This way, you will always have excess but won’t be wiping the supermarket clean.

Small order list (Once a week)

Items you need for the week from List B and C .

Don’t forget to ask your elderly neighbours if they need anything and add them to your order. Try not to waste food and try feeding the stray animals in your area. They largely depend on restaurants for food and now they need your help.

We will get through this.

Stay tuned while I put together a series of easy, delicious and nourishing recipes using staple ingredients.

In the meantime, you can fine some easy recipes here.