5 Easy Cooks That You Can Do Without Gas.

The gas crisis in Sri Lanka has worsened over the weeks, mainly due to the shortage of US Dollars in the country. This means that while looking for gas, we also have to look into alternative methods to get our food cooked. The dara lipa (local wood-fired stove) is an obvious choice, but it's not quite an option for those of us who live in apartments/ annexes. 

So today, I’m going to share 5 of the no-stove recipes and methods that we’ve tried and tested. Most of them require just some simple ingredients in your pantry, and absolutely no gas. 

Sausage Pasta Bake 

Image source: insidetherustickitchen.com

What’s the best thing about homemade pasta bake, you ask? Oodles and oodles of cheese, of course! When you bake pasta at home, there’s no limit to the amount of cheese you can put in it. And this Sausages Pasta Bake has lots and lots of it. 

In this recipe, all you need is some dry pasta shells, your favourite sausages (cut into pieces), crushed Italian tomato puree (or diced tomatoes with the juice), mozzarella, finely chopped garlic (or garlic powder), salt and pepper. First up, you need to pre-heat your oven to 200 C. Next up, take out your casserole pan, and start assorting the ingredients. 

Place your pasta on the bottom of the pan, and drizzle some olive oil on it. Then add the sausages and tomato, followed by garlic, salt and pepper. Mix everything well together and add a layer of mozzarella on top. You can keep some more mozzarella for later. If you got some oregano at home, this is a good time to sprinkle some of that as well.

Cover the pan with two layers of aluminium foil and let it bake for about 50 minutes. Afterwards, take it out of the oven, remove the foil and add another layer of mozzarella to it. Pop it in the oven again, and let it bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts. It’s important to keep it uncovered during the second bake.  

Let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving as it helps to thicken up the sauce. 

Rice Cooker Biriyani

Image source: Salt & Pepper Kitchen

Biriyani needs no curry to eat it with, which makes it a great lunch/dinner option to make in times like these. And this Biriyani recipe can be made using just a rice cooker. True, it involves some early preparation, but let me assure you, it’s all worth it.

Firstly, you need to marinate the chicken. Simply use an ensemble of curd, ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, oil, and a splash of lime juice to marinate the chicken. Let it rest overnight in the fridge, and take it out 1 hour before you start making the dish.

Start by switching on the rice cooker. It should be in Cook mode. Heat some ghee on it and add a finely chopped onion and let it soften. Then add chopped tomato and green chillies, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Afterwards, it’s time to add in the chicken. Layer them on the bottom of the vessel, add a splash of ghee, cover and cook for about 15 minutes while occasionally stirring. Cook it until the water evaporates.

Once the water is evaporated, add in the rice, along with the appropriate amount of water in the Keep Warm mode. Make sure to soak the rice for about 20 – 30 minutes before cooking, and get the water from the same bowl that you marinated the chicken. You can use normal water too, but this way, you get spicy water which would enhance the flavour of the biriyani. Taste the water and see whether it has enough salt to taste.

Toss in a few sticks of cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom pods and mix them all with the rice. Put the rice cooker back to Cook mode, and let everything cook for about 20 – 30 minutes (depends on the rice cooker). Afterwards, add some chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves, mix everything up, and let the whole thing rest in the Keep Warm mode for about 5 – 15 minutes. 

Bread Pizza

Image source: indianhealthyrecipes.com

Looking for some easy peasy savoury tea time snack? Bread Pizza is your best bet. This recipe requires some sliced bread, sausages, mozzarella and pizza sauce. 

Apply some pizza sauce on the bread slices and top them off with sausages and mozzarella. You can even toss in some veggies to it or cured meats if you have any. Put it in the oven and bake at 160 C for 5 – 8 minutes until the cheese is all gooey.

Cheesy Instant Noodles

Image source: super-easy-recipes.web.app

If you like cheesy noodles as I do, this recipe goes right up your alley. Plus, it involves just a few simple steps.

Take a packet of instant noodles and place it in a microwavable bowl. Add the tastemaker, or a mix of spices of your choice (I usually use salt, pepper and red chilli powder) and 1/2 cup of water. Microwave it for 1 minute, take it out, break up the noodles with a fork, and return it to the microwave for another 1 minute. Take it out again, add a layer of mozzarella, and microwave for another 20 seconds until the cheese melts.

Mug Cake

Here's a recipe to satiate your sweet tooth with some chocolaty goodness. 

In a mug, add 4 tbsp flour, 5 tbsp sugar, and 3 tbsp cocoa powder. Mix everything well, and add 3 tbsp melted butter, 3 tbsp milk, a handful of chopped cooking chocolate, a tsp of vanilla and an egg. Combine everything to form a fine mixture, and microwave it for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Serve while hot, and make sure to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the extra flavour. You can watch this recipe in video form by clicking here

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