Your journeys today bring in a peep through the window, a skip into your balcony, the coveted chore of watering the plants in the garden or a jaunt till the kitchen via the living room. Homing in has its prized advantages and rebooting your culinary skills comes easy, with the remarkable access these days to the tons of videos jockeying for attention on the Insta handles of celebrated chefs.
These are the days of limited ingredient availability and some of us aren’t the baking whiz or cooking expert, leaving a whiff of garam masala in our wake. This is where a slash of hand-held expertise hits the bullseye.
Food show host, author and chef, Rakhee Vaswani, tells us, “If you have an air fryer at home, bring in plenty of kebabs and grills. In vegetarian fares, you can whip up crispy bhindi aloo, even lasuni palak, doing away with the oily preparations (that demand a fair level of cleaning up later, too).”
The trend is on the rise, of sourcing, and eating, locally available ingredients. Celebrating the simplicity of fresh, low fuss life at the table. “The easiest way to replicate this is by bringing in one-pot meals. Whether it is preparing butter chicken (with tomato puree added in case on unavailable fresh tomatoes), or a tasty stew that cooks on the slow flame with whatever vegetables are lying in the refrigerator, or a wholesome rajma or chhole-chawal,” adds Rakhee.
Chef Amninder Sandhu but merely laughs. “I had taken after my mother serving her famous mutton curry on the table, served up hot in the pressure cooker. Now with cooking and cleaning to be done by their own selves at home, everyone is bringing the cooking pots and pans directly to the table. A warm return to our roots,” he adds with a chuckle.
With the entire family at home, the evening snack becomes a full-fledged exercise in itself. Make a potato dill soup, or toss-up a sprouts’ bhel with boiled potatoes, dahi and imli chutney thrown in for a spicy, tangy crunch.
Nothing, however, is as satiating as a multitude of seasonal fruits. “Try freezing ripe bananas and mangoes, peeling, blitzing in the mixer and then refreezing for a gelato-consistency, sweet treat post-meals,” suggests budding home cook, Gayatri Sharma