Foods I'm loving in Quarantine! Beginner-friendly, No Meat and Dairy


I can't cook, but I am stuck at home and not being able to eat outside at all. So I'm trying to make food for myself at home that hardly requires any skill, needs very simple ingredients that are easily available, but it satisfies my savory and spicy cravings. These few recipes are my top favorite. They are also all vegetarian.

Tomato Egg Drop Soup

I love tomato, I love eggs, and almost everyone knows how well they combine. I love combining tomato and egg in other recipes as well, but this soup is so good I've made it several times since I first had it, and I always need more than one serving.

This is where I got the recipe, but I have replaced or skipped some ingredients from this soup before and it still tastes pretty darn good, I like that the ingredients are so interchangeable except the tomatoes and egg. I really like the clean flavor in this, I like it better than many restaurant soups that I had before. But even when I have all the ingredients available, I personally add some chopped bird's eye chili to the soup.

Gram Flour Toast (Vegan)

Gram flour, or chickpea flour, is a staple in all Bangladeshi households just like the rest of the Subcontinent, and it is more widely known as Besan here. It's especially popular for making batter to deep-fry, and it tastes amazing. But this recipe is not that unhealthy, especially if you use whole wheat bread for the toast, but it still tastes amazing.

For this recipe, you need:

> Bread. Ordinary white bread is just fine, but if you want to make it healthier use whole wheat bread.

> Gram flour, diluted with water to make a batter that's runny but not soupy.

> Vegetables, alliums and herbs of choice, chopped into very small pieces. I like to use tomato, carrot, onion, scallion, cilantro, spinach, bird's eye chili pepper and bell pepper/capsicum, depending on what's available at home. They need to be chopped into small pieces or else it will be difficult to cook.

> Seasonings. I use salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. You don't have to use all of them, and use other spices that you have, but I would say that cumin adds a really good flavor.

> Optional: cracking an egg or two into the batter. It's still good without the eggs though.

> Oil for frying.

Just mix all the ingredients and let the batter sit for 10 minutes. Then coat the slices of bread with the batter on all sides and shallow-fry them on medium to medium-high flame until they are nicely browned. Raw gram flour batter is not pleasant, so please cook well.

If you have some batter remaining, you can use them for another delicious recipe.

Besan Chapti

It has different names in different regions so don't worry too much about that, but it's like a crepe made out of the gram flour batter. You need exactly the same ingredients minus the bread, and a little more water to make the batter very thin. It has to be a thin batter so that the chapti can be made as thin as possible. Spread the batter on a pan over medium-low heat as thinly as possible, flip when you see the edges crisping up and some bubbles showing up on top. It's amazing with some yogurt, but it's good on its own too.

Here's a recipe, the voiceover is in Bengali but the video has ingredient names in English.

Easy Egg Sandwich

Boil some eggs, grate them and combine with mayonnaise, salt, pepper and a bit of grated cucumbers, and it makes an amazing sandwich spread (I'd sneak in a bit of chili powder or chopped bird's eye chili for my love of spice though). Easier version of this is just grating some boiled eggs, spreading some mayo on two pieces of bread and adding the egg in-between.

Spicy Ramen

Foods Im loving in Quarantine! Beginner-friendly, No Meat and Dairy

This recipe is to spice up any instant ramen you have at home. I love ramen and I love spicy food, so this is a total win-win, and my guilty pleasure. You can literally add whatever the hell you want to it, but this is usually how I prepare it at home.

I saute some chopped onions and bird's eye chili, and add minced garlic after some time (not together with the onions and chili because garlic burns easily). Then I add chopped vegetables of choice (mainly carrot and spinach, but I skip it when I'm too lazy), and when they are softened down I add water as needed for the brand of ramen I'm using. I add a bit of soy sauce, chili powder and chili sauce or ketchup to the water (you can add oyster sauce if you want it to be sweet) and when it starts to simmer I add the ramen cake and seasonings. Sometimes I crack an egg and remain careful to not break the yolk so it gets poached. When the ramen is almost done I add some black pepper. Be careful to not break the poached egg when transferring into a bowl!

I would love to add some spring onion to it if I could, but sadly it's not readily available in my place.

Bangladeshi Style Savory French Toast/Bombay Toast

Foods Im loving in Quarantine! Beginner-friendly, No Meat and Dairy

This is how we make french toast in Bangladesh. I don't think we can even call it a french toast anymore, but who cares? It's delicious.

You need eggs, salt, pepper, and chopped onions, chili and cilantro, that's it. When pan-frying them, take some extra pieces of the onions, cilantro and chili from the egg mixture using a fork (or your hand), and spread them on top of the soaked bread while the other side is cooking, because they don't stick to the bread by themselves.

It wasn't until I wrote them all down that I realized all these recipes have eggs even though it's optional in two of them. I also mentioned chili a lot, but I really add them to pretty much everything.

I'd love to know everyone's easy Quarantine recipes so please share them if you have any. Stay home, stay healthy and eat well from what you have! Thanks for reading :)

Foods I'm loving in Quarantine! Beginner-friendly, No Meat and Dairy
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