It goes without saying that sick days are the worst. Whether it's the common cold, a fever that strips you of energy, a bad mental health day, or pollen making allergies act up, there isn't a person alive who doesn't remember the miserable feeling that comes with it. At times like these, we need healthy, nutritious meals that are also tasty enough to tempt us into eating them. Check out our favourite recipes from the Internet and our personal collections!
The most iconic of all "Not a good day" foods, the humble khichdi is a classic for a reason. You can make a really simple one by dumping everything into a pressure cooker, or fancy it up with some extra seasoning or vegetables.
Thoroughly wash 1 cup each of red lentils (masoor dal) and rice, and set aside. In a pressure cooker, add 1 tablespoon of oil or ghee, add 1 teaspoon jeera, 1 bay leaf, and 1 red chilli. Once it sputters, add the lentils and rice, and stir to combine. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (haldi) and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly. Add 6 cups of water, and shut the lid. Let this cook for 2-3 whistles on high flame, and let it cook for 10 more minutes on a low flame. Release the pressure, check for seasoning, and adjust if needed. Add more water if you want the khichdi to be thinner.
Note: If you want to add vegetables, add chopped potatoes, tomatoes, onions, beans, etc to the oil and fry for 5-7 minutes. Add the rice and lentils and continue as above.
Eaten in many Asian countries, congee can be described as a sort of thin rice porridge topped with multiple nutritious elements like sliced chicken, mushrooms, spring onions, and fried onions. The recipe is simple and congee is easy to digest, making it perfect for days you don't feel up to much.
In large saucepan, add 6 cups chicken/vegetable stock, 1 cup rice, salt, and 1 tablespoon sliced ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Stir occasionally to ensure the rice doesn't clump or stick to the bottom. Simmer the congee for about 1 hour or till it's thickened and creamy. Meanwhile, slice some spring onions, and poach 1 chicken breast in chicken stock. Top with slices of the chicken and green onion, and serve hot.
Note: You can fry some sausages and sliced mushrooms as well to top the congee with.
The most common sick-day food item on this list, chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food whether you're nursing a cold or having a bad day.
In a large stock pot, add 1 roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery, and 1kg chicken pieces (it would be best to try and get pieces from the legs and thigh). Add 5-7 large garlic cloves, salt and pepper to taste, and some herbs if you'd like. Fry this for 5-7 minutes till the chicken is slightly browned. Add 10-12 cups of water, cover, and let it simmer for 1 hour, checking at 20-minute intervals to skim off any scum that floats to the top. Check for seasoning, adjust if required. Serve with a bowl of noodles, add chili oil or soy sauce for added flavour.
Note: If you're too sick or tired, skip the browning step. Just add everything into your pot, cover with water, and let it simmer for an hour.
Alison Roman's chickpea stew is an Internet-favourite for many reasons. It's delicious and hearty, and deceptively easy.
A comforting dish of curried noodles popular in Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos, khao soi is one of those dishes that is great whether you're eating the vegetarian or meat-based version. Order the Makery kit, which comes with a range of toppings for your warm noodle bowls.
Do you have any comfort food items that you'd like to share with us?