The way we eat has changed in the last few weeks. Many of us are used to having a cook to manage our kitchens, or if nothing else, we could rely on delivery. But that’s not much of an option now, with no cooks, fewer delivery options, and worries about hygiene in the cooking process. So now, we have to fend ourselves, pick up a frying pan, and learn how to cook for ourselves.

But cooking isn’t always as easy as those YouTube videos make it look — there’s actually a lot that goes into it. And Indian cooking often feels especially difficult. First you’ve got to find simple recipes with ingredients that you can get easily while most shops are out of stock. You may spend hours down a Google rabbit hole looking for just one recipe you can make, and before you know it, you’ve made ten new bookmarks, watched six cake decorating videos, and still haven’t found a decent sabzi recipe. “It started out with a click, how did it end up like this?” you wonder to yourself. And all this is before you even put a pan to the flame. It gets to the point where, even if you do actually make something (instead of giving up and pouring hot water on cup noodles), you’re way too frustrated to enjoy it — and it certainly doesn’t taste like what mom used to make.

But cooking, especially Indian cooking doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. In fact it can be really simple if you know what you’re doing. Because at the core, Indian cooking is just about mixing and matching flavors until you get the right taste — really any number of ingredients can be mixed together for yummy results. Chef Jason Desouza, knows this, and he’s shared a simple framework for healthy and delicious cooking that we’re going to share with you so you can make delicious, nutritious meals in record time.

Here are the basics of any good dish:

1. Good Fat: Whether you’re making sabji or sambar or chicken curry, you’re probably going to need a little oil. But you don’t want to hurt your body in the long run, so you need to use good fats that are low in saturated and trans fats. Examples include:

  • Cold pressed sunflower oil
  • Cold pressed coconut oil
  • Cold pressed mustard oil
  • Ghee

2. Whole Spice: Spices are a staple of Indian cooking. They add that distinctive flavor and mouth watering aroma we all love. Whole spices are preferable over ground ones because they have a stronger flavor and last a longer in your pantry. These days, the fewer times you need to stock up the better. Some common whole spices you can use are:

  • Dry red chilli
  • Jeera
  • Dhaniya seeds
  • Methi seeds
  • Sesame seeds

3. Onions and Tomatoes: These make up the base of pretty much every curry or sabji. Slice them, dice them, or chop them up fine and throw them into the oil and spice mixture.

4. Triple G: Ginger, garlic, and green chillies to add a burst of spice and flavor

5. The Main Component: Your dish needs substance. Figure out what you’re making, what’s the main ingredient? throw in hearty, healthy ingredients like

  • Single vegetable
  • Two vegetables
  • Lentils
  • Chicken
  • Paneer/Tofu

Pretty simple right? If you just follow this framework in this order, and try experimenting with flavors and quantities, you’ll be able to make simple Indian dishes without consulting the internet every two minutes.

But say you’re not comfortable with that. Some of us need a concrete recipe to follow, there’s no shame in that. Well, we’ve got you covered. Here are some easy recipes you can try at home. Try your hand at:

The quick lunch or breakfast fix

Get the recipe here.

High protein dinner on your mind?

Get the recipe here.

Everyone’s favourite.

Get the recipe here.

No one can go wrong with this one.

Get the recipe here.

When you’re in the mood for some comforting Dal Chawal…

Get the recipe here.

For keeping up with the trend!

Get the recipe here.

There are more recipes you can try with the simple formula Chef Jason recommends. So don’t let the lockdown get you down, and don’t be intimidated by your kitchen. Who knows, you may come to love cooking for yourself! You can check our more recipes on the app.

Apr 13, 2020
Healthy Eating

More from 

Healthy Eating


View All
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.