Published: 27th April 2020
Chef Sapna Anand's five easy recipes you can master during the lockdown
Chef Sapna Anand draws out a number of easy recipes that anyone can try a hand at during the lockdown with only the most basic ingredients. Azmia Riaz finds out more
For chef, cooking show host, author and recipe developer Sapna Anand, the post Coronavirus lockdown in Malaysia has made her even more busy than she used to be. She is the lead chef of the restaurant Goa by Sapna Anand, a concern of Ascott Kuala Lampur. Born and raised in Goa, her work has always been about bringing a bringing a variety of cultures and flavours into food.
When the lockdown was announced in Kuala Lampur on March 18, Goa by Sapna Anand decided to shut down completely with the safety of their staff in mind. Sapna says, “Without even takeaways, we needed to find a way to remind people that we exist! So, I started doing live Instagram sessions about food and taking people through recipes and the history of the food we serve.”
Due to the success of her Instagram live, a few other companies approached the chef. The idea was to conduct zoom video calls about how to come up with a quick meal for their employees who had absolutely no idea about cooking. She explains, “These were for people who may not be very well-versed on how to cook. I have another coming up tomorrow where I’ll be presenting meals that won’t take more than 10-15 minutes of your time and the bare essential utensils.”
In addition to this, Sapna has also launched a collaboration with professional chefs from around the world. In her first session with a few chefs in her hometown back in Goa, she works in real time with these chefs who share their greatest interests, secrets and shortcuts when it comes to making the local cuisine. She hopes to extend the segment with food professionals from around the world. For now, we asked her to slow down for a minute and take our readers through a few recipes that would be easy to manage during a nationwide lockdown.
Easy recipes to try out during the lockdown
1. Omelette Ros (Masala omelette with leftover chicken curry)
Leftover chicken curry
For the masala omelette:
2 tbsp milk or water
1 tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 small red onion
½ of small tomato finely chopped
1 chilli padi finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 sprigs of finely chopped fresh coriander
Finely chopped red onions and fresh coriander leaves
Finely chop onions, tomatoes, chilli padi, garlic and coriander leaves. Mix all these ingredients into one bowl. Beat 2 eggs with milk and add the chopped ingredients along with salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and cook the eggs till done. In a serving dish, scoop 2 laddles of chicken curry and place the masala omelette over it, garnish with chopped onions and coriander leaves.
2. Beet carpaccio and feta salad with cumin dressing
1 large beetroot
2 cloves peeled garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt for seasoning
For the salad dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (replace with lime juice)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
2 tsp finely grated ginger
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 small pack of any fresh salad leaves
100 gm fresh feta crumbled (optional)
Cherry tomatoes halved
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Wash clean and dry beet. Peel garlic. Place beet on an aluminum foil along with peeled garlic and olive oil. Cover and secure beet with the foil, ensure it is closed from all sides, place it in a baking tray and bake at 175 degree Celsius for about 40 minutes. Peel off the skin when it cools down, it will peel off easily at this stage. Using a mandolin slicer, gently slice the beet into wafer thin slices. Set aside.
For the dressing: Pour all dressing ingredients into a jar, shake well to combine with the lid tightly on or, alternatively, whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
Assembly: Cut the feta into small cubes. Assemble salad leaves, place sliced beets over salad leaves along and crumbled feta and cherry tomato. Stir the dressing and drizzle over salad. Season with salt and pepper.
Note: Beet can be roasted 2 days in advance, dressing can be made a week in advance and chilled. Beets can also be boiled instead of roasted. Replace other veggies and salad leaves with whatever is available.
3. Pumpkin soup with fresh turmeric and ginger
1 large pumpkin
1 stick celery
1 inch fresh ginger
1 inch fresh turmeric root or 1 tsp turmeric powder
6 pods of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 sprig rosemary or thyme (optional)
Stock or water
Black pepper for seasoning
Peel skin the pumpkin and dice into large cubes. Roughly chop celery stick. Peel skin off ginger and turmeric root and slice. If you are using turmeric powder do not add it while roasting, it can be added later while boiling. Peel garlic.
Line a tray with foil and place all the ingredients, drizzle olive oil and season with salt. Bake at 175 degree Celsius for 40 minutes or until the pumpkins are roasted well and you see the brown edges. Purée the roasted pumpkin to a smooth texture.
In a pot, heat butter, fresh rosemary, add the pumpkin and celery purée, water or stock and mix well. Season with salt, black pepper and butter. Serve warm with drizzle of olive oil and garnish with rosemary leaves.
4. Easy orange cake
250 grams plain flour
10 gram baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg powder or cinnamon powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
175 grams sugar
200 gram butter softened
3 large eggs at room temperature
zest from 2 oranges
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 175 degree Celsius, grease and flour 8-inch round or square cake tin.
Mix the four, baking powder cinnamon/nutmeg powder and salt and set aside. Beat together butter and sugar for about 3 minutes or until butter is slightly pale, do not over beat.
Add the orange zest and juice to the eggs and mix well.
Add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mix and slowly mix, at this point the mixture will look curdled but not to worry it will come together once the rest of the ingredients are added.
Add in the flour mix and gently mix to combine al the ingredients together. At any point of time, do not over mix or over beat the cake mix. Pour into the greased mold and bake at 175 degree Celsius for about 35-40 minutes or till done.
To test if the cake is ready insert a skewer into the cake. If it comes clean without crumbs clinging on to it then you know its ready. Bring it to room temperature before demoulding.
5. No churn pistachio and coconut ice cream
500 ml whipping cream
200 ml sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup dried desiccated coconut
Handful of roughly chopped pistachio
Whip cream to soft peaks.
To the whipped cream, add in the condensed milk, coconut and pistachio and mix to combine.
Pour into a mould and freeze
Alternate ideas if you don’t have these ingredients at home:
Mango and saffron
Blended banana and almond
Rum and raisin
Rose and pistachio
Passion fruit and lime zest
And the list can go on and on...use what’s in your chiller and create your own combos.
Must have utensils during a quarantine
Whisk: If you don’t live under a rock, you must have noticed that the quarantine has brought out a newfound love among social media users to make whipped dishes like Dalgona Coffee and Japanese Omelettes. With more free time comes a few minutes to spare for rigorous whisking and patience! So, keep a whisk handy for when you rediscover dishes like these
Non-stick pan: If the operative words here are 'quick and easy', you’ve already used up two major synonyms for a good non-stick pan. Just imagine yourself, fresh out of bed and hungry for a delicious plate of omelette or a ghee roast? A good non-stick pan can help you do the job mess-free and with most of your food intact
Grater: Forget the lockdown, if you don’t already have a grater at home, set a reminder for one at the earliest because a good grater can never let you down! From your favourite cheese dishes to essential vegetables, a grater is absolutely necessary when it comes to breaking down your food into the tiny little shreds you need them to be
Knives: Nothing can beat a good knife. Although kitchens around the world have grown more sophisticated, none of us can survive without the aid of a trusted knife! As long as you know your safety lessons, being able to masterfully use a knife equips you to improve on your cooking skills and helps with the quality of the food you make
Lemon squeezer: As though catching yourself in the middle of summer isn't bad enough, try being stuck at home without the means to make a nice lemonade! A lemon squeezer can make the most of your lemons a home, especially if you are trying to steer clear of store bought sodas