Quarantine Cooks with Pepper: April Edition

Quarantine has forced us to be more creative and resourceful in the kitchen. We make do with what we have, and we don’t waste a thing. Here are some recipes that the team has developed this month!

Pancakes From Scratch

Sure, the boxed stuff are great; no complaints. But there’s a joy in making your own pancakes from scratch.

Serves: 3-4 people | Time: 30 mins


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 tbsp yogurt (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar.
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter (and yogurt, if using); mix until smooth.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
  4. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  5. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Adlai Champorado

If you’ve recently gone on the adlai train, we understand how difficult it is to find recipes online. Truthfully, you can do so much with the heirloom grain; just replace it with other grains listed in recipes. Anyway, our editor tried it with her morning champorado.

Serves: 4 people | Time: 45 mins


  • 1 1/2 cup adlai, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablets tablea
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar


  1. Rinse adlai, and soak in water overnight. Drain before cooking.
  2. In a large pot, place water, milk, and adlai. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in tablea and sugar, and mix until melted and dissolved.
  4. Cover pot and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens (10-15mins). (You can add more sugar, if you want it sweeter).
  5. Serve.

Chickpea Stew

This chickpea stew only needs a trip to the pantry to complete. Canned goods, for the win!

Serves: 4-6 people | Time: 1 hr


  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs, for serving (optional)
  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add your chopped garlic, onion and ginger. Season the base with salt and pepper, and cook, until onion is translucent.
  2. Add turmeric, red-pepper flakes, cumin, chili, and the chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook so that the chickpeas fry in the spices and oil, until they’re toasted and brown. Remove about a cup of chickpeas; you will use them to top the stew later.
  3. Add tomato paste to chickpeas and cook to coat them.
  4. Crush some of the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starch to thicken the stew; leave some whole for texture. Add coconut milk and stock, and season again with salt and pepper to your liking.
  5. Bring to a simmer, and make sure to scrape the bottom for any onions or chickpeas that may have gotten stuck during the frying process. Cook until the stew has thickened, 30 to 35 minutes, but you can take it off earlier or later, depending on how thick you want your stew to be.
  6. Remove from heat. Top with whatever fresh herbs you might have, and a spoonful of yogurt.
  7. Top with the crispy chickpeas and add some more olive oil, chili, or salt if you like.

Orange Chocolate Truffles

This three-ingredient dessert can be made with just two if you skip the orange zest. It’s still good without the citrus! Tip: the cocoa powder is the main flavor here, so make sure you use a good kind.

Serves: 4 people | Time: 30 mins + 1 hr


  • 1/3 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder + more for dusting
  • Zest of half an orange


  1. Put condensed milk in a microwaveable bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Sift cocoa powder into the warm condensed milk and mix. (Do it in batches!)
  3. Knead the dough with a spatula; or wear gloves (the cocoa powder stains) and use your hands.
  4. Flatten the dough and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Dust a work surface with cocoa powder, and place flattened dough.
  6. Cut dough into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces, and shape these into balls.
  7. Toss the balls in the cocoa powder. Set aside.
  8. Zest half an orange into a bowl.
  9. Toss the balls in the zest.
  10. Serve.

Veggie Roti Pizza

This quick veggie roti pizza comes with a bonus hummus recipe and garlic yogurt recipe!

Serves: 1 person | Time: 20 mins



  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Water


  • 1-2 tbsp hummus
  • 1/8 cup eggplant, chopped
  • 1/8 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/8 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp. garlic yogurt*
  • 1 pc roti
  • olive oil, for frying
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge

Garlic Yogurt

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • lemon juice
  • Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To make the hummus, combine ingredients in a blender, and blend. Set aside.
  2. To make the pizza, lightly season eggplants with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the eggplant in a pan with some olive oil. Once soft, remove from pan.
  4. Cook tomato in the same pan. Once soft, remove from pan.
  5. Place olive oil in the same pan to grease. Once hot, place roti in the center of the pan. Let this go for 1 minute or until roti looks like it’s puffing up from the top.
  6. Spread hummus on the roti, making sure to still leave a crust at the end with no hummus.
  7. Top with the cooked eggplant, cooked tomato, and red onions.
  8. Place the lid on and let the roti continue cooking through, about 1-2 mins.
  9. Remove from pan and top with garlic yogurt* and squeeze a little lemon juice over before serving. (*To make garlic yogurt, combine all ingredients, and let sit in the fridge for 30mins.)

Microwave Ube Cheese Bread Pudding

We’ve secretly been on Tiktok, and we’ve been seeing people make bread pudding in the microwave. So we tried it out ourselves. The verdict: a solid 8/10.

Serves: 1 person | Time: 15 mins


  • 1 cup of bread pieces (around 2-3 slices of bread)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ube extract
  • 1 tbsp cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 tbsp evaporated milk


  1. Mix milk, egg, sugar, salt, and ube extract until fully combined.
  2. Put bread pieces and mix-ins (if any) into a microwave safe bowl and pour the milk mixture over. Mix to combine.
  3. Microwave for 1 minute. If it is still not cooked all the way through, microwave at 30 second intervals until cooked.
  4. Top with powdered milk, evaporated milk, and cheese.

Chickpea Sandwich

This sandwich is an easy snack (or light lunch) that you can make with just a can of chickpeas, sour cream, and a couple of spices.

Serves: 2-4 | Time: 30 mins


  • 1 can chickpeas (about 250g)
  • 5 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Toast


  1. Add chickpeas to a bowl, and mash roughly.
  2. Mix in sour cream, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Shape the mixture into patties.
  4. In a pan, add oil.
  5. Fry patties until golden brown. Set aside.
  6. Toast 2 pieces of bread.
  7. Assemble. (Our suggestion: toast, sour cream, 3 patties, another drizzle of sour cream, paprika, then toast.)



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