In these uncertain times, many people are turning to cooking. Partly out of necessity – we’re all trying to feed our families using pantry ingredients. But we also know you’ve been baking. (Our articles explaining the difference between baking powder, cream of tartar and bicarb, and caster sugar vs other sugars – are getting lots of traffic.) Plus, our Instagram feeds have been taken over by images of your banana bread and bread exploits! Why is this? Baking is a wonderful methodical, step-by-step process and, when all around you uncertainty reigns, following a recipe is almost meditative, and having control over one thing is deeply comforting. Plus, at the end, the reward is carbs – and it’s hard to find a more comforting food group! Want to join in the fun? These are the recipes that have been getting the most clicks on our site since the start of lockdown:
This is one of our perennially popular recipes, but since lockdown began, it has surged in popularity even more. Why’s that? We suspect it’s because the ingredients are all likely to be in your pantry. Also, even if we say so ourselves, this is a really excellent flapjack recipe: super light and fluffy!
2. Pull-apart caramel bread
One look at Instagram shows that people are baking bread like demons! Add the words “pull-apart” and “caramel” and we totally get why you’re all baking this gem.
3. Butter-chicken-flavoured chickpea curry with home-made busted rotis
Using that favourite pantry staple, canned chickpeas, this curry is a lockdown winner. The reason you’ve all been searching for this recipe might be because you’re all making your own rotis. This is a great simple explanation that will help if you’ve never made them before.
4. Slow-cooked cowboy beans
Baked beans have been flying off the shelves at grocery stores, but if you want the gourmet version, this big-batch recipe is a stellar choice.
To be honest, this recipe is ALWAYS popular, but we get why you might be needing a comforting chunk of steamed bread more than ever! If you haven’t made it before, now might be the time to try. It really is easy and so beautiful and fluffy!
6. Banana loaf
Banana loaf is so ubiquitous right now on Instagram, some are calling it #lockdownbread. This easy recipe doesn’t call for anything fancy, and has a wonderful soft crumb.
7. Easy chicken traybake
This is a great way to use up any frozen chicken pieces lurking in your freezer – minimal ingredients and perfect served with any veg you have to hand.
If you’ve got a well-stocked spice cabinet, this delicious dhal is a no-brainer. Serve with a side of dombolo.
9. Pumpkin fritters
Is there anything more nostalgic and comforting than hot pumpkin fritters? Whole pumpkins keep well, and this easy recipe uses easily accessible pantry ingredients.
10. Cape Malay-style pickled fish
This Easter classic can be made with frozen fish and keeps well in the fridge.
11. Potato-crusted hake with smashed peas
Another great way to use frozen fish – plus frozen peas – this easy combo might become a new family favourite.
12. Tuna bean salad
If you’re tiring of canned tuna, this is an excellent way to reinvigorate it for weekday, work-from-home lunches.
13. Stiff pap
When anxiety is high, carbs help, and it’s no wonder this easy staple is in high demand. Here’s a foolproof recipe for anyone whose pap game is not particularly strong!
14. Classic chocolate-chip cookies
This quick recipe has only a handful of ingredients that you’re likely to have in your pantry. Swap chocolate chips for any chopped chocolate.
15. Tomato bredie with chicken
If you invested heavily in canned tomatoes, here’s a way to use them up. Simply sub the 2 kg of ripe tomatoes for canned ones, and you’ll have a comforting bredie in no time.