PESHAWAR: The housewives and foodies remain busy in home kitchens at trying varieties of local, traditional and non-local recipes to come up with different tasty, crispy and juicy dishes or beverages to kill the boredom during their stay at home in view of the coronavirus emergency.

Experts believe that housewives and parents in general have a tough time for keeping children indoors, but sharing cooking experience may prove a good recipe to do away with home stress.

Most male epicureans have an opportunity to try their hands at cooking dishes of their own choices and many even love to pull off their sleeves up, wash utensils and brace up for home kitchens to cook food without seeking help from women. Normally, men don’t have time to have an occasional peep into kitchens and to know what hardships housewives go through while cooking food sometime in extreme heat.

As the lockdown hours get longer, the pall of stress and boredom begins falling on the faces of adult and children alike. Kitchen activity provides a relief besides other indoor engagements and it also helps many learn the art of cooking.

Parents and children together spend enough time to keep themselves engaged in fruitful activities and kitchen comes first when it comes to cooking where housewives and foodies have most choices to satisfy urge of the family members and drive away the stress and boredom while staying at home. For most, this is an unusual situation in the wake of a coronavirus pandemic.

Rani Aslam, a housewife in Peshawar’s Hayatabad area says that she has done her master’s in Home Economics from the University of Peshawar and knows many local food recipes. She says she also has engaged her two daughters to try different recipes. She says that duty of the housewives get doubled as children insist on cooking something new even if some time is left for the lunch or dinner.

Yousaf Khan, a epicurean, says that he has been to many countries in connection with his business trips and can cook a variety of dishes. He adds that he loves traditional foods because of their smell, taste and simplicity. “I can cook many foreign dishes, but I cherish local foods,” he maintains.

Rice is one of the favourite dishes among our people. Those living in cities most often walk up to restaurants to taste dishes, but the current situation makes it a challenging task for families.

Riaz Tanveer, an intermediate student, says that rice is his favourite dish and he has learnt cooking it from his mother during the last week after several trials. He says that the recipe is quite simple: good quality rice, sliced cucumber salad, boiled eggs, coriander, potato chips and sprinkle of lemon juice make it all.

“I find cooking the best kitchen activity as it is not only a new experience but also it gives me relief from mental stress,” he observes.

Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2020