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23rd Oct, 2021

Lockdown dishes fast turning into a real community cookbook

SOMETHING’S cooking in Redditch – and it’s proving a tasty treat for local residents.

‘Upto 7 Ingredients Recipes’ is a Facebook creation of Dr Nayab Patel, who leapt in to action after seeing the supermarket shelves stripped bare during the panic buying phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I thought to myself, if we have hardly any ingredients left, what are people going to eat? What alternatives ways of preparing food can there be?” said Nayab, a teacher at HMP Hewell.

“There was no pasta, no flour, even canned food seemed to vanish, yet there was an awful lot of fresh, healthy food left, so here was a chance to help people.”

And it’s become so successful – with nearly 100 people joining – that there’s the potential to turn it into a community cookbook.

“I didn’t set out with that intention at all, but we now have around 40 recipes contributed by local people, so the potential is there,” she said.

“All of the recipes are homemade – you won’t find them on YouTube and there are lots of tips too, for instance on how to freeze and store items and that’s what it is all about, the community sharing information – and it’s all thanks to the lockdown,” added Nayab a mum of two.

The original idea had been to use just five ingredients, but Nayab felt this was too restrictive, so uses up to seven, although some recipes have far fewer.

“Flour is still in short supply, but you can bake cakes with semolina, baking powder and yoghurt.

“There are recipes for all meals including a really nice banana porridge while my onion bajis are very popular too.”

She added: “I’m really pleased that the members in the group have been posting recipes on a regular basis and would like to thank them for their support.

“It’s slowly turning into a community cookbook. I would also like to invite residents to join the group, participate and try the recipes at home.”

If you would like to join the group look for Upto 7 Ingredients Recipes on Facebook.

Try these:

Cheesecake/Yoghurty vibe, by Rebecca Hyder.

Method:

Whisk 500g plain full fat yogurt together with a 397g tin of condensed milk.

Pour the mix into ramekins or little jars and put them into a baking tin.

Pour water into the tin so it is about 2/3 the way up the pots. Bake for 20-25 mins.

You can either bake them plain and serve with fresh fruit, coulis or a dollop of jam or spice them up Indian style by adding something like cardamom to the mix.

Crispy Onion Bhaji by Nayab Patel

Ingredients:

1 large onion sliced, 1tbsp salt, 1 chopped green chilly (you can add as per taste), 1 egg, 1 cup gram flour, 8 tbsps of oil (add more if you run out)

Method: In a bowl add onion, salt, green chilly, gram flour and egg and mix well.

In a deep frying pan pre-heat oil, using a spoon put the bhaji mixture and fry on high until golden brown.

Turn the bhaji over and fry until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Serve hot with mint chutney or ketchup.

Banana and seed porridge – by Claire Davies

Ingredients:

Half cup of porridge oats

1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup of milk

One banana Ground seeds

Method:

Add oats, water and milk in saucepan and slowly cook until it is bubbling like a volcanic mud pool. Mash banana in bottom of cereal bowl, add porridge, mix up and sprinkle with ground seeds (or whole seeds if you prefer)

Yellow rice by Sharon Harvey.

Ingredients:

1tsp turmeric powder.

1cup rice

Few garlic

Vegetables of your choice

1 or 2 Stock cube

Method:

Fry some garlic and turmeric. Add uncooked rice and stir round in the oil for a minute. Add water and stock cube. (Twice as much water as rice as a general guide, so 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water.) Add whatever vegetable is handy. I’ve used broccoli with frozen peas and sweet corn. Bring to boil and then simmer until water is absorbed and rice is cooked. You might need to add a little more water. Stir regularly. You can add a few chilli flakes if you like it spicy. It works on its own or as a side dish. You can add chicken or prawns if you like.

Easy Tomato Soup by Angela Drane

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons butter

Half a large onion quartered

One Tin Tomatoes chopped whole whatever you have

One can water

This will serve two generously. Throw everything into a pan bring to the boil and simmer for an hour

Whizz up and serve. If you add one pickled onion this will taste like Heinz! This also makes a fab pasta sauce too I add meat balls to it. Freezes well.

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