Q for Quarantine or Quinoa Croquettes: Life is what you make of it

Once done, serve them hot with any of your favourite dips.

Yesterday, I came across a forward that kept me thinking, on the three zones we live in while we are all locked down — the fear, learning and growth zones. The first will make you hoard groceries, stock toilet paper rolls, watch covid 19 statistics every hour and spread the fear further through scary messages.

The learning zone allows you to identify your emotions, making you aware about the little joys that you could unfold. By policing your own actions like binge eating, too much screen time or negative news, here you get a chance to give up things you can’t control and keep calm. The growth zone, meanwhile, is where the beauty of this entire scenario lies. No matter how tough it gets, there are people who their talent available for everyone, maintaining a happy emotional state by being grateful and practicing things they always wished to.

Bathroom singers are now balcony singers. Kids are the sous chefs of 2020. Many moms have taken up their long-lost hobbies and husbands are the new home managers. One invisible virus has brought families together like never before.

And now, if you ask me, I am crazily busier than before. With back to back online cooking classes and the 21-day live cooking campaign on my Instagram handle, which is connecting people from across the world. Every day, no-fuss recipes, which use minimum ingredients in the time of lockdown are shared. We call them quarantine recipes.

Today’s recipe was an impromptu attempt with whatever was left in my refrigerator. For an Instagram live, I teamed up with Shivali from Gurugram (one of my favourite participants). While she made zero oil blondies, caramalised onions and some baked crackers, I churned out these quinoa sesame croquettes for my dinner.

I tried them for the first time and it added a new recipe to my portfolio. Yes, you can say I qualified to live in the growth zone that day.

Read more for its step by step recipe and numerous health benefits.


Ingredients: (makes 9 croquettes)

· 1 Cup Quinoa (soaked and boiled)

· 1 tbsp Bread Crumbs (or crushed rusks, broken cookie pieces)

· 1 tsp finely crushed roasted Peanuts

· ½ Cup Steamed veggies (potato, carrots, beetroot, etc)

· 1 tbsp pre-roasted Sesame Seeds

· 1 Cube Cheese (or cottage cheese)

· ½ tsp Pizza Seasoning

· Rock Salt to taste

· Oil to grease


quarantine recipe, quarantine food, healthy eating, healthy recipe, shalini rajani recipe, healthy food, indian express, indian express news Today’s recipe was an impromptu attempt with whatever was left in my refrigerator, says Rajani. (Photo by Shalini Rajani)

1. Thoroughly wash and soak quinoa for minimum two hours. Drain and boil it with double the amount of water and a little bit of salt.

2. Spread the boiled quinoa on a flat plate and allow it to dry.

3. For the stuffing, in a separate bowl, take steamed veggies (I steamed one small beetroot, one carrot and one medium potato. Mash or grate them together.

4. In the stuffing, now add grated cheese cube, pre-roasted sesame seeds, pizza seasoning and salt to taste. Mix the ingredients well.

5. Now divide the boiled quinoa and stuffing in 9 parts.

6. To form a croquette, spread some boiled quinoa onto your palm and place one portion of the stuffing mixture. Wrap the stuffing with quinoa and close it to form a patty.

7. Now in a separate platter, mix finely crushed peanuts and bread crumbs. Please note if you don’t have bread crumbs, you can use crushed rusks or cookies. Add some pizza seasoning and salt here too.

8. Roll your croquette nicely in the dry peanut-crumb mixture and coat it evenly from all sides.

9. Preheat oven on grill mode at 200 C.

10. Grease your baking tray with minimum and spread these croquettes.

11. Grill for 15-20 minutes with regular flipping, greasing and checking.

12. Once done, serve them hot with any of your favourite dips.

Health benefits of Quinoa and Steamed vegetables

Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fibre, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

Steaming helps in conserving the fibre, colour, texture and flavour of vegetables. It also helps in preserving the water soluble B & C vitamins, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Steaming sustains 90 per cent of the antioxidants present in fresh vegetables.