the intense spices are encased in crispy potato.
The ongoing situation means that there is an opportunity for quarantine cooking in order to try your hand at some recipes that you would not make in the past.
Cooking while under lockdown can be good for those wanting to learn or are looking to improve their skills.
It gives people a chance to unwind and lets them do something other than sitting in front of the TV.
Thankfully, there are numerous Indian recipes to try your hand at.
Some are savoury classics while others are what you would possibly buy ready-made from the shops.
Either way, these quarantine cooking recipes taste great and will be enjoyed by the whole family.
Here are 10 step-by-step guides to follow.
Aloo tikki is a versatile, yummy and simple snack to make as they can be enjoyed with chutney or in a burger.
It is best served as a snack or as a starter. They are loved by many Desi people as the intense spices are encased in crispy potato.
Aloo tikki is ideal to make during quarantine as any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and enjoyed on another day.
- 4 potatoes
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- ¾ tsp garam masala
- ½ chaat masala
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs (not fresh)
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Coriander, finely chopped
- Boil the potatoes until they are soft enough so that they can be easily mashed.
- Mash them into a mixing bowl then add the coriander and green chillies.
- Add garam masala, chaat masala, ginger paste, red chilli powder and salt. Add flour and breadcrumbs and mix well.
- Make small balls from the aloo tikki mixture. The smaller they are, the crispier they will be. Press them slightly until they are flattened.
- Meanwhile, heat some oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the aloo tikki, frying on both sides until each one is golden brown.
This recipe was inspired by Swasthi’s Recipes.
When it comes to quarantine cooking, an ideal Indian dish to make is tandoori chicken.
It is something which can involve the entire family as children can help make the marinade.
Tandoori chicken has layers of flavour while the meat remains tender and moist.
- 8 chicken thighs, skinless
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp ginger, grated
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp salt
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Use a knife to make slits into the chicken in several places.
- Meanwhile, place the yoghurt into a large bowl. Add all the spices except for the garlic. Mix well until fully combined.
- Add the chicken to the bowl and coat the chicken with the mixture fully. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the bowl and place into a roasting tray.
- Peel and cut the garlic cloves into slices and spread them over the chicken pieces.
- Cover the tray with foil and cook at 220°C for around 45 minutes, turning over until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Spread any remaining marinade over the chicken during the cooking process.
- Once done, remove from the oven and serve with a fresh salad.
Paneer Fried Rice
Being in lockdown means that cooking enthusiasts can experiment with their creations and this includes paneer fried rice.
Paneer fried rice is an Indo-Chinese dish which is simple to make.
This dish offers a range of textures, from the fluffy rice and soft paneer to the slight crunch of the vegetables. Complete with a mixture of spices, this recipe provides a filling and wonderful meal.
- 2 cups rice, cooked
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup spring onion, chopped
- ¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup carrot, chopped
- ¾ cup paneer, cubed
- 1 Green chilli, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, finely minced
- 2 tsp garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp chilli sauce
- ½ tsp vinegar
- Black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Red chilli flakes to taste
- In a pan, heat some oil on medium heat then add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Fry until the raw smell goes away then add the onion and spring onion and fry for two minutes.
- Add the chopped vegetables and cook until they have softened.
- Stir in the soy sauce, chilli sauce and vinegar. Mix until everything has fully combined.
- Add the paneer and cook for one minute. Add the rice, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Mix well and cook for three minutes or until everything has heated through.
- Spoon into bowls and serve.
This recipe was inspired by Spice up the Curry.
Lamb Curry cooked on the Bone
Quarantine cooking means that you can take your time with meal preparations. One dish that would be ideal is lamb curry cooked on the bone.
Cooking meat on the bone can add a tremendous amount of flavour. There is something about cooking curries on the bone which adds to their traditional authenticity.
Take your time to ensure that it is cooked right. The meat should be moist enough that it simply comes off the bone.
Once you have cooked the main part of the dish, you then need to let it slow cook for the flavour to really flourish.
- 1 kg lamb, cut into medium-sized pieces on the bone
- 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped (keep a little aside to garnish later)
- 1 Green chilli, slit lengthwise
- 3 tbsps vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
- 3 Onions, finely chopped
- 5 Tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp of a curry powder or masala paste of your choice
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp dried Fenugreek
- 1 cup of cold water
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel Seeds
- 1 Bayleaf
- 1-inch cinnamon Stick
- 3-4 Cardamom pods
- 3-4 Cloves
- Add turmeric to the lamb and rub it all over. Set aside in a large dish.
- Heat oil in a large lidded pan and saute the fennel seeds, bayleaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves for a minute.
- Add the onions, green chilli, garlic and ginger and stir for a few minutes until the onions start to go brown.
- Add in the tomatoes, coriander powder, curry powder (or masala paste) and salt, and cook for five minutes until the tomatoes soften.
- Add the lamb and stir for a few minutes.
- Pour in the cup of water. Mix it in and then put the lid on.
- Reduce the heat and let the dish cook slowly for about 45-60 minutes, or longer. Stir occasionally and cook until the meat is tender.
- Add a little more water if the sauce becomes too thick.
- Stir in garam masala, dried fenugreek and ghee and simmer for another five minutes.
- Check and adjust seasoning. Once cooked, discard any large whole spices (optional).
- Let the dish rest for 15 minutes before serving with roti, naan or rice.
This recipe was adapted from My Food Story.
A prawn biryani adds a twist on the classic Indian dish in terms of taste and texture from the prawns.
This recipe is piled with layers of rice, spices and prawns. Each mouthful brings a depth of flavour which makes it a biryani which must be made.
The prawns provide a nice change from chicken or lamb as there is a slight bite to the prawns as opposed to the tender meat.
On paper, it looks like it will take several hours to prepare but it actually takes less than an hour and is relatively simple to make.
- 500g large prawns, shelled, deveined and washed
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 20g butter
- ½ Lemon, juiced
- Salt, to taste
For the Sauce
- 3 Onions, finely chopped
- 2 Tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp powdered fennel seeds
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- 12 Curry leaves
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Chopped coriander
- Mint leaves, chopped
For the Rice
- 2 Onions, finely sliced
- 400g basmati rice, washed and soaked
- 750ml water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2.5cm cinnamon stick
- 10 Black peppercorns
- 6 Cloves
- 8 Curry leaves
- 6 Green cardamom pods
- 8 Curry leaves
- Marinate the prawns in turmeric powder, salt, black pepper and chilli powder. Mix well then set aside.
- Heat oil and ghee in a large, lidded saucepan and add the whole spices. Cook for 30 seconds then add the onions and half a teaspoon of salt. Cook until soft.
- Increase the heat and cook until golden. Drain the rice and add to the saucepan. Mix well to coat the rice and to dry off excess water. Cook for three minutes.
- Add the water and season well. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice and slightly tear the curry leaves before adding them to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Leave to cook for eight minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Spoon the rice onto open plates to prevent overcooking and leave to one side.
- For the prawns, heat oil in a saucepan. Add the prawns and cook for a minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same saucepan, heat ghee before adding the onions. Cook until golden and soft.
- Stir in the curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste. Cook for one minute then add the spices and tomatoes. Allow it to cook for a few minutes then season.
- Pour in a splash of water and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes become soft and darker in colour.
- Add the prawns into the pan along with two teaspoons of lemon juice, herbs and a little water. Cook for three minutes, then remove from the heat.
- To assemble, place small chunks of half the butter on the rice pot base. Layer half of the rice and sprinkle the remaining garam masala and herbs. Spoon over all the prawn mixture and top with the remaining rice and butter.
- Cover with a tea towel and lid. Place in a 150°C oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it rest for 20 minutes before serving.
This recipe was inspired by Anjum Anand.
It might have the word ‘keema’ in its name but this dish is completely meat-free, meaning that it is ideal for vegetarians during this quarantine period.
This dish consists of cauliflower which has been minced and peas.
When combined with the array of spices, the result is a hearty meal that the whole family can enjoy.
- 1 Cauliflower
- 2 Onions, grated
- 3 Tomatoes, pureed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 Cloves
- 5 Peppercorns
- 1 Black cardamom
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ cup peas
- 1 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 Green chillies, sliced
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- Use a large grater to grate the cauliflower.
- Meanwhile, heat some oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the cumin. When they sizzle, add the whole spices and fry for two minutes.
- Add the onions and fry until golden brown.
- Add tomato puree and cook for a further five minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
- Add the turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt and mix well. Add the cauliflower, a little water and cook for around 10 minutes.
- Stir in the peas and cook for three minutes.
- Serve with roti.
This recipe was inspired by Sin-a-Mon Tales.
One of the benefits of quarantine cooking is that you have the chance to make things that you would not have previously done.
This includes naan bread. One of the most popular variations is garlic naan and it follows a similar process to how a plain one is made but there is the addition of garlic.
It adds a stronger and spicier flavour to the naan and it gives off wonderful aromas.
- 420g + 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup lukewarm milk
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 2 Garlic cloves, grated
- Nigella seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp oil
For the Garlic Butter
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- In a bowl, whisk together 420g all-purpose flour and the salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add the water, sugar and yeast. Mix until it becomes frothy on top. Once done, add to milk, yoghurt and oil. Add in the flour mixture and garlic and mix well.
- Gradually add the remaining flour if the mixture is too sticky. Knead until the dough becomes smooth then transfer to a greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place into a warm place for at least one hour.
- Lightly punch the dough to release the air.
- Oil your hands and divide the dough into eight parts. Cover and let them rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter, add the garlic and coriander.
- Heat a pan on high heat. Take a dough ball, apply a little oil and roll into an oval shape.
- Sprinkle some nigella seeds onto each naan then transfer onto the pan. Cook until bubbles start to appear then brush with some of the garlic butter.
- Use a tong to remove the naan from the skillet, flip and place directly on the flame. Cook for 20 seconds until both sides are golden.
- Remove from the heat and brush with more garlic butter.
This recipe was inspired by Cook with Manali.
A great recipe to try during quarantine is keema pasty. Not only will the whole family enjoy it but they can be stored away to enjoy on another day.
This pasty recipe is similar to the traditional Cornish pasty but it is made with lamb mince instead of pieces of beef.
Along with the array of spices, potatoes and carrots are added, making it much more filling.
- 500g plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 125g cold butter, diced
- 125g cold lard, diced
- 150ml chilled water
For the Filling
- 320g lamb mince
- 1 Carrot, finely diced
- 150g peas
- 1 Potato, peeled and finely diced
- 2 Onions, finely chopped
- 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
- 80g butter
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Egg, beaten
- In a large frying pan, heat some oil and add the cumin seeds. When sizzling, add the onion and chillies. Cook until the onion starts to change colour.
- Increase the heat and add the lamb. Cook until browned then add the vegetables and spices. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a bowl then rub in the butter and lard using your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Gradually add the water until the dough comes together. Place the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a bowl. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Roll out the pastry until it is around 5 mm thick. Cut out four circles using a 20 cm round plate.
- Place some of the filling on one half of each circle and brush the edges with a little water. Top the fillings with a tablespoon of butter. Fold each circle in half and seal well.
- Brush the pasties with a beaten egg. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and into the oven for 45 minutes.
This recipe was inspired by SBS.
It is not just savoury dishes which can form a part of your quarantine cooking. Sweet options like this rainbow cake will certainly make cooking enjoyable.
A rainbow cake stands out and lives up to expectations in terms of taste.
Timing and measurements are key in order to get even layers of each colour. This particular recipe is eggless, meaning that those with dietary requirements can enjoy them.
The frosting in between each layer makes each mouthful taste rich and buttery.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups milk
- 1½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup butter, melted
- Food colouring as needed
For the Icing
- 3 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and ideally line six eight-inch cake pans with baking paper. It is okay if you do not have six cake pans.
- In a bowl, add the dry ingredients and make a well. Add the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Divide the mixture into six equal parts and add a few drops of one food colour into each bowl and mix well.
- Place each mixture into separate cake pans. If you do not have six cake pans, bake the cakes in batches.
- Bake each cake for 12 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and remove from the cake pan onto a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely.
- Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar and butter in a bowl. Stir in vanilla and one tablespoon of milk. Beat in enough milk to make the icing smooth.
- Assemble the cake by placing the icing in between each layer and stacking them on top of each other. Spread the icing on the outside of the cake until it is fully covered.
- If you like, top with sprinkles and edible silver beads.
This recipe was adapted from Eggless Cooking.
Gulab Jamun Cheesecake
Another quarantine recipe to try out is gulab jamun cheesecake. Two popular desserts from opposite sides of the world come together to create a heavenly dessert.
The light cream cheese mixed with the sweet flavour of the gulab jamun is a combination to enjoy.
This cheesecake has a Desi twist while keeping the traditional biscuit base.
- 10 Digestive biscuits
- 3 tbsp melted butter
For the Filling
- 15 Gulab jamun
- 2 pouches gelatine
- ¼ cup of warm water
- 2 cups Greek yoghurt
- 3 cups grated paneer
- ½ cup condensed milk
- Rose petals and pistachios for decoration (optional)
- In a food processor or with a rolling pin, crush the digestive biscuits and add in the melted butter.
- Evenly spread the biscuit mixture inside a cake tin and set aside.
- Combine the warm water with the gelatine and let rest for a couple of minutes.
- In a blender mix the grated paneer, Greek yoghurt and condensed milk. Add the gelatine to the mixture.
- Lay the gulab jamun out evenly on the biscuit base, pour over the mixture and set in the fridge.
- Sprinkle the rose petals and pistachios over the cheesecake once it has set.
This recipe was inspired by Mix and Stir.
These 10 quarantine cooking recipes require a range of skills that will certainly improve your culinary skills.
They also show that lockdown does not have to be boring. The dishes all offer something different, whether it is flavour or texture.
With these recipes, you can enjoy homemade dishes during this difficult time.