My sister and I are usually the ones in the kitchen. The other day, we tried a really nice pasta: it was super easy. I used butter as the base, some garlic, some chilli flakes, hazelnuts (you can use any nuts you have at home). I also used fresh sage, but if you don’t have any fresh herbs, you can use any dried herbs, or basil. We just tossed them all together in a pan and added the pre-cooked pasta, and just a sprinkle of Parmesan on top. It all came together in 10 minutes.
We have also been trying a number of Goan dishes, mainly from my grandmother’s traditional recipes. I had made a chicken cafreal from her recipes, and also a vindaloo – it’s too hot for a vindaloo now. The dish is very spicy, and we are trying to eat as light as possible because it is so hot even with all the ACs on.
I also made a mango parfait recently; it is another very easy recipe. It took five minutes to make. It is like a cheese dessert, you know: you can use crushed Marie biscuits or digestive biscuits as the base. For the filling, we just used some cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla and sugar. I whipped it all together, put it on top of the crust, and put some fresh mangoes on top; you can put whatever fruit you have lying around.
No-bake peanut butter banana chocolate chip granola bars
- Ingredients: 1 cup pitted whole dates; 1 cup ripe banana; 1/2 cup oats; 2 tsp flaxseeds; 1/2 cup sliced almonds; 1/2 cup peanut butter; 4 tablespoons honey; 2 tablespoons maple syrup; 1 teaspoon vanilla essence; 1 cup rice krispies; 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips; 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (more if desired); pinch of salt
- Method: Line an 8×8 dish with parchment paper and set aside. In a food processor add dates and banana. Blend until the mixture is broken up and looks mealy. Add in the rolled oats, almonds and flaxseeds and process for a few seconds just to help break up the oats. In a large bowl stir together peanut butter, honey, maple syrup and vanilla essence. Add the date/oat mixture to the bowl along with the puffed rice cereal, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. Once the mixture is stirred together it should be sticky enough to stick together when pressed. If the mixture is not sticky enough, add a little more honey. Add the mixture to the prepared dish and firmly press down into the pan. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for about an hour before cutting, just to help firm up the granola bars. They can be eaten right away but will be a bit soft.
- Recipe by Rachel Goenka
We make granola at home, too – I like homemade granola. My sister and I make some every three or four days, because it gets over very fast. I also made a strawberry parfait earlier, with yoghurt, honey and the granola. One day, we also made some Brazilian cheesy bread.
Usually, I eat only three meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t normally snack in between. But nowadays, I usually end up having something during tea-time. It is mainly traditional stuff, like poha or sheera, or semaiya (vermicelli) sheera. I have been making quite a few tea cakes as well.
And we have been doing a lot of work calls lately, during which I have been drinking a lot more tea or coffee than I usually do. Most of my day goes into work: when my husband and I wake up, we spend about an hour with our son, and then we are on call with the team till about lunchtime. Then after lunch, we are back on the phone.
Right now, everyone is in strategy mode: trying to figure out how to maximise deliveries, what we need to open up, what needs to stay closed, especially in Pune. Pune is a lot stricter in terms of rules, so we are trying to figure that out. Everyone is struggling, try to figure out salaries and other things. So there are a lot of calls, not just with our team but other people in the industry as well.
This series, some of India’s popular chefs and restauteurs will be sharing their lockdown cooking habits and recipes with us.