The 21-day lockdown imposed in India until April 14, to contain the spread of coronavirus disease, can be quite difficult, especially if you are a foodie, as all restaurants remain closed and you can’t try any novel and unique dishes for a while.

And cooking at home every single day can get rather boring, more so during these challenging times, as only select essential supplies, groceries, fruits and vegetables are available.

However, this social distancing period can be a great opportunity for you to bond with your family and get your children involved in cooking simple meals. Eating a healthy, nourishing meal with all vital nutrients such as proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals, that too prepared with fresh ingredients at home significantly improves metabolism, digestion, heart health and immunity. Also Read: Healthy Snacks To Eat While On Quarantine And Work Smart From Home

And worry not, as cooking traditional desi recipes at home does not really have to be a tedious and elaborate process. Try these quick, easy and tasty one pot recipes of vegetable biriyani and bajra palak khichdi, that can be effortlessly made using just a pressure cooker and some customary, aromatic Indian spices.

Vegetable Biriyani



1 cup basmati rice

1 big onion, chopped finely

1 tomato

1 green chilli

3 tsp ginger-garlic paste

2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas)

A few Mint and coriander leaves

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder

3 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Biriyani masala

Salt as required

1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil

2 Cloves

1 pod of cardamom or elaichi

1 small piece of Cinnamon


Cut all the vegetables into small even pieces.

Heat oil, add cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, saute for a 2-3 seconds, then add onions and sauté till it turns transparent.

Now add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a few more minutes.

Add green chillies, all the vegetables, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, biryani masala, mint and coriander leaves, needed salt and sauté for a few more minutes. Then add 2 cups of boiling water, drained rice and lemon juice.

Transfer all the contents to a pressure cooker and cook on high flame for two whistles.

Mix well, garnish with fried onions and serve the yummy one pot vegetable biriyani hot with raitha.


Onions contain significant amounts of quercetin, an antioxidant that eliminates harmful free radicals from the body, thereby boosting metabolism. Carrots abound in vitamin A for healthy vision. Mint leaves are renowned for their cooling properties and immensely enrich skin texture. Coriander leaves are packed with calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, to fortify bones. Also Read: Coriander Leaves: 5 Excellent Health Benefits Of Adding These Aromatic Leaves To Your Daily Diet

Bajra Palak Khichdi



1 cup bajra

¼ cup moong dal

1 bunch of spinach leaves

2 big potatoes

1 cauliflower

½ cup of tomato and onion paste

½ tbsp ghee

½ tsp jeera or cumin seeds

A pinch of hing

1 tsp red chilli powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp coriander powder

Salt, to taste

A few Coriander leaves


Soak bajra in water for one hour.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add jeera, let it sputter and add hing.

Then add ginger, green chilies, spinach and all the cut vegetables, cook for 3-4 minutes.

Put in the soaked bajra, add salt and other spices and water, mix well and close the lid of the cooker.

Cook on medium heat for around 20 minutes and switch off the heat. Let the pressure release naturally.

Mix well, transfer the khichdi in a serving bowl and put some ghee on top.

Serve the bajra palak khichdi warm, with crispy papad, yogurt and some pickle.


Bajra or pearl millet comprises vast amounts of proteins and dietary fibers, that strengthen muscles, aid in digestion and regulate appetite and body weight. Being naturally rich in iron, spinach confers beneficial properties for synthesis and transport of healthy blood cells, thus preventing anemia and fatigue. Cauliflower is a powerhouse of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, two classes of antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer in the body.