Don’t know, how I managed to stay put at home for two whole weeks without setting a foot out of the main door.
For a person like me, who is usually on her toes the whole day, managing myriads of things, be it working out or taking care of kids, work, home, socializing, cooking, cleaning till the fag end of the day to the point of complete exhaustion, staying at home 24 × 7 was unimaginable to begin with, but so was Covid-19 pandemic and its global fallout.
Early last month, I and my girls came back to Bahrain after a travel. Once our flight landed, all passengers were taken in a bus to a temporary medical facility far from the main terminal for covid19 test.
Most of the passengers of our flight were in mask and many even with some kind of weird suit, again some were also with those special gaugles and gloves….. kind of scary. Once we reached the medical tent, I see every single human there wearing the protective suit looking like astronauts on earth!
Honestly, to me, it looked like some scene from a Netflix series. But scary of course! I could sense the tension and anxiety amongst people who were asked to be seated a metre apart.
Finally, the test was done after 3 long hours of wait and we were allowed to leave with mutually signed / stamped instruction document mentioning self quarantine for 2 weeks.
Once back home, the real rigor of quarantine set in. Following the instructions of self isolation, social distancing, no cooking, talking to my husband with mask on from a distance and so on. At times we used to laugh a lot at this behaviour of us.
As I wasn’t cooking, another big challenge was to come up with ideas of easy recipes that was doable for my husband who rarely used to cook before. Moreover, it had to be something, that is easy to manage along with working from home.
Giving instructions from far was hilarious at many time.
But, all that is now past, nevertheless, quite an experience to remember and memories to cherish forever.
Well, two weeks of staying indoors wasn’t that difficult either, but, every new thing seems easy enough in hindsight. However, Netflix saved the day to a great extent.
It’s been nearly 3 weeks now and I am back to the routine, back to my stage.
Another challenge, that I am sure most of us are facing now is to cook with whatever available ingredients, either because of lack of availability of food items in abundance or restricted visits to supermarkets and grocery stores.
The day I started cooking, I had just spinach leaves, fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves and a small eggplant in the fridge. Decide to make my version of vegetarian Persian inspired herb stew.
Sabzi Ghormeh, a refreshing and aromatic Persian herb stew.
Commonly fresh herb like parsley, cilantro and dried fenugreek are used along with cubes lamb, kidney beans, black lemon and slowly cooked until a thick stew and meat is soft and tender.
My vegetarian version has spinach, parsley, cilantro, canned kidney beans, soya chunks and black lemon.
This was such a quick thing to make. Just stir fried roughly chopped leafy veggies along with onion and garlic, seasoned it with salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and turmeric powder. Cooked it in some vegetable stock and blended into a slightly rough puree. Lastly, added the soft soya chunks and canned beans and black lemon, and left to simmer over low heat for around 15 minutes.
I enjoyed mine with some simple stem rice and a dollop of butter. Yumlicious!
2 bunch of baby spinach
1 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 bunch fresh fenugreek leaves
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 pods of garlic chopped
2 pods of thinly sliced garlic for garnish.
1 canned kidney beans drained out
1 cup soya chunks cooked and drained out
1 tsp cumin powder
1tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper for seasoning
2 black lemon or 1 tsp tamarind paste.
1 cup of vegetable stock ( optional)
2 tbsp olive oil or any cooking oil
Heat oil in a deep bottom saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Now, add the chopped leafy veggies and herbs, saute for 2-3 minutes and add the stock with a little more water. Cover and let it cook for around 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and remove from heat and leave to slightly cool down. Now blend the mixture into a rough puree form. Putting the saucepan back over medium heat, add the kidney beans and soya chunks . Now, add the turmeric, spices, seasonings and black lemon or tamarind paste. Add more water if needed. Close the lid and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Transfer the stew into a serving dish and keep it aside.
In a small pan heat 2 tsp oil over high heat and fry the sliced garlic until light brown and fragrant. Finally, pour this over the stew and serve hot with a plate of steaming white rice or saffron rice and a dollop of butter.