Simple meals in complicated times

Now that we’re experiencing this life of ‘social distancing’, we’re trying our best to be as judicious with our food consumption as possible. No extras and no untimely snacks.

With the scarcity of processed food, perishable produce is what most are relying on with no real guarantee of quality. Each trip to the local vendor comes along with fear of “what if this stops too?” and a side of guilt when one knows about the situation of the daily wager.

Our morning meal is a simple potatoes, spinach (which I was lucky to find) and onion raita accompanied with hot rotis. This raita is filling and packed with veg. One can have this raita with pulao too.

It’s a quick and filling fix when we’re running short on time and energy given that chores need to be completed. Some might argue the combination of spinach and yoghurt to be a no go, however I am okay making the one odd exception once in a while.

It’s filling and delicious and one could add anything to it to make it hearty.

Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients for the Raita:

  • Boiled potatoes
  • Blanched spinach (optional)
  • Finely chopped onion
  • Coriander & Mint from our kitchen garden
  • Salt
  • Mustard powder
  • Hing
  • Cumin powder
  • Red chilli powder
  • 2 Pods of fresh garlic or garlic chives (optional)
  • Yoghurt

Method:

  • Cube the potatoes and boil them
  • Chop the spinach and blanch it
  • Chop the herbs and onion super fine
  • Whisk the yoghurt add water if necessarily thinning it down to the desired consistency
  • Add all the ingredients and the masalas to the yoghurt
  • Set it aside the raita to cool

Here’s wishing all a safe and healthy stay at home.

Spinach & Red Lentil Raita

One item that is a ‘must have’ for lunch especially during the summers is Raita and I would love for Trilok to enjoy his as much as we do. Nothing like a wonderful bowl of cold raita to cool your system!

Also, yoghurt is so good for the young developing digestive system. There are times when ‘T’ doesn’t want to eat at all but if he eats a bowl full of yoghurt I am happy to just let him be. Yoghurt is said to be packed with probiotics (good bacteria) that are essential for our gut and is said to help alleviate a variety of intestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

There are all sorts of Raitas one can make, from the traditional cucumber, carrot, pumpkin, onion to even zucchini, but my favourite for this season is spinach and split red lentil. Although ‘T’ loves curd, raita is going to be an acquired taste for his nascent buds. After a couple of spoons he seemed to be more accepting of the idea of vegetables in his favourite food. Having said that I love this combination far too much to not share it. :)

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Ingredients:

  • Blanched and finely chopped spinach
  • Split red lentils
  • Yoghurt
  • Salt
  • Cumin (Jeera) powder to taste

Method:

  • Soak a small handful of split red lentils and keep aside for a couple of hours
  • Once well soaked drain the water and pound the lot with a mortar and pestle
  • Chop finely the blanched spinach and set aside
  • Whisk roughly, yoghurt in a bowl to which add salt and cumin powder to taste
  • Add the pounded lentils with the spinach to the yoghurt and give it a good mix
  • Serve cool