In the initially two months of her four-month solo lockdown past calendar year, British cooking queen Nigella Lawson sought comfort and ease in carbs – bread, rice and pasta – and chocolate.

“Following two weeks, I assumed, ‘this is ridiculous’. So I definitely concentrated on thinking about what I required to take in and cooking myself a charming dinner,” the 61-yr-aged cookbook author tells The Sunday Times by way of Zoom from London.

“I took so substantially enjoyment in the ceremony and ritual, and the deliciousness of eating on your own and cooking for myself.”

She retested a number of recipes and added many others to her cookbook – Prepare dinner, Take in, Repeat. It was published last year in conjunction with her new cooking clearly show – Nigella’s Cook dinner, Eat, Repeat.

The seven-episode series showcases a assortment of recipes from the reserve, focusing on consolation cooking that helps make the most of her favorite ingredients. It premieres on BBC Way of life (StarHub Television Channel 432) tomorrow at 7pm, and streaming assistance BBC Player ( The Xmas unique will air nearer to the celebration.

The exhibit – filmed from mid-August to early October very last calendar year – does not have scenes of the celeb chef hosting persons, a staple in her former exhibits, these kinds of as Nigella: At My Desk (2017).

That gave her extra time and place to regale viewers – in her signature comforting voice – with the tales driving her recipes.

“The pandemic fully dismantled the partnership involving sociability and eating because, normally, taking in is a social affair,” she claims.

So she turned to dishes these types of as her “lockdown everyday living enhancer” of gochujang lamb shanks with pappardelle, some thing she would try to eat usually with her 27-12 months-outdated daughter and 25-calendar year-outdated son.

They are her young children with her late husband John Diamond, who died of cancer in 2001. She divorced her 2nd spouse, businessman Charles Saatchi, in 2013.

“It was a pleasure to make it for myself and have reminiscences of a fuller table when I’m having it,” she adds.

Sweet treats produced all through her solitude include things like creme caramel and mine-all-mine cookie recipes which cater for just 1 person, as she notes that lots of dessert recipes commonly supply for a several folks.

Do not hope “razzle dazzle” dishes in her new display.

Rather, she whips up comfort and ease dishes such as her go-to hen in a pot with lemon and orzo and fried chicken sandwich – full with a do-it-yourself previous-fashioned sandwich loaf (see recipe).

The recipe – adapted from Australian baker Dan Lepard’s – takes advantage of spoilt milk in its place of sour cream, to minimise waste in her cooking. “My milk management is not that great,” she quips.

Likewise, she utilizes bananas in their entirety. The flesh goes into her banana, chocolate and tahini pudding. She saves the peel – leaving it to soak in boiling h2o, turmeric and salt – for a banana pores and skin and cauliflower curry.

She states: “When I was producing banana bread, I retained wondering that I was certain I read somewhere that banana peels are edible. If I utilised them to make something which is really spiced, in a rich and fragrant sauce, possibly it would acquire on some of that flavour. And it was actually a revelation.

“They do not flavor as you would imagine. It is really pleasurable to make a meal of a thing that would go in the bin.”

Familiar condiments seem in the display as nicely, this kind of as crispy chilli in oil and gochujang which are “totally crucial” for introducing flavour instantly to dishes, claims the self-proclaimed condiment queen.

Other staple substances in her cooking involve lemons, anchovies, soya sauce, miso and ginger.

Prior to the lockdown, she admits that the only factors she was concerned about not obtaining in her pantry were tea and flour.

“I needed to consume tea and make bread,” she provides.

Emphasising how essential cooking is to give construction to one’s day, she says: “I know a large amount of folks discover it tricky to cook for them selves and I want to convey to them how pleasurable it can be.

“You have something to target on which feels safe and sound and comforting when the environment is experience very unsafe, chaotic and alarming.”



• 500g solid white bread flour, as well as additional for dusting

• 7g quickly-motion dried yeast

• 2 tsp (8g) caster sugar

• 2 tsp (12g) wonderful sea salt

• 125ml spoilt milk (or sour cream), straight from the fridge

• 150ml cold water

• 100ml sizzling water from a just-boiled kettle

• 45g smooth unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing tin) omit if applying bitter cream

• Vegetable oil, for kneading 


1. Blend the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a huge bowl.

2. Pour the spoilt milk (or bitter cream) into a measuring jug, insert chilly water, followed by boiling water. Stir the delicate butter into the jug. It will not soften solely.

3. Pour the jug of damp ingredients into the bowl of dry substances, stirring together with a picket spoon or Danish dough whisk or your hands. Stir till all the flour is absorbed into the dough. Sort into a rough ball, protect the bowl with meals wrap or a shower cap and leave for 10 minutes.

4. Pour a very little oil onto the kitchen counter and spread it with your hand to an area significant more than enough to knead on. Take the dough out of its bowl and knead for 10 seconds. Form the dough back again into a ball, return it to its bowl, go over it all over again and go away for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure 2 times and, soon after the third knead, type the dough into a ball once again, place it again in the bowl, protect and go away for an hour to evidence.

5. Line the bottom of a 900g loaf tin and grease the sides with butter extremely evenly.

6. Just take the risen dough out of its bowl and pat it out on your oiled surface until it is about 2cm thick, with a single edge about 4cm shorter than the length of your tin. Starting up with this edge and, applying both of those fingers, tightly roll the dough into a Swiss roll and spot it seam side down in the tin. You might have to push the small sides carefully to healthy it in. Depart to increase for just one to 1 1/2 several hours, until eventually it is peeking out just above the prime of the tin.

7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 deg C (180 deg C enthusiast). Dust the major of the risen dough with flour and bake for 45 minutes, by which time the bread will be risen with a rounded and deep biscuity golden prime.

8. Get the bread out of the tin and location it on a wire rack to cool before slicing it. To keep the loaf fresh new, store in a bread bin or wrap it in a tea towel.

Helps make one particular loaf 



• 50g basic flour (or gluten-free basic flour)

• 10g cocoa powder

• 1 /8 tsp baking powder

• 1 /8 tsp bicarbonate of soda

• 1 /8 tsp high-quality sea salt

• 50g comfortable unsalted butter

• 25g caster sugar

• 15g comfortable dim brown sugar

• 1 /4 tsp vanilla extract

• 25g dark chocolate chips

• 1 /4 tsp sea salt flakes 


1. Heat the oven to 180 deg C (160 deg C admirer) and get out a non-adhere baking sheet or line it with a sheet of parchment paper.

2. Stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and fantastic sea salt collectively in a compact bowl to merge them.

3. In a slightly much larger bowl, vigorously conquer the butter, the two the sugars and the vanilla extract with a tiny wooden spoon until you have a creamy combination.

4. Include a generous spoonful of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar and beat it in gently with your wood spoon. Then, beat in the relaxation of your dry ingredients, in about three batches. As soon as the dry ingredients are absorbed, conquer vigorously right until you have a sticky, rich-brown dough that clumps together, at which point you can stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Weigh the combination and halve it equally. Squidge every half in your fingers to variety two body fat patties about 7cm in diameter and place them on your baking sheet at least 10cm aside, as they unfold although cooking.

6. Sprinkle 1 /8 tsp of sea salt flakes above every single cookie, and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes, till the prime of each individual cookie is riven with cracks.

7. When the floor is cracked – in the last two minutes of baking – and the cookies have distribute, they are all set. They will experience extremely soft to the contact. Take the baking sheet out and leave to rest for five minutes.

8. Slide a metallic spatula below the cookies and gently transfer them to a wire rack. For optimal ingesting pleasure, leave for another 10 minutes prior to biting into one.

Tends to make two significant cookies

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•Nigella’s Prepare dinner, Consume, Repeat premieres tomorrow at 7pm on BBC Lifestyle (StarHub Tv set Channel 432) and BBC Player (