Leftovers get a new (and improved) lease of life with these simple tips and recipes from our celebrity chefs.
While scrolling through your news feed there is a high probability that the latest food trends make a frequent appearence. Alongside organic food and the introduction of global cuisines, food sustainability is a trend that has garnered a strong following, especially among millennials. This promotes cooking and eating with minimum food wastage and a calculated use of all that an ingredient has to offer.
Even though the thought is noble, how often do you find yourself staring at leftover food till it has become unedible. Let’s face it, while it might have been fun cooking chicken curry with hot chappatis, more often than not we end up with a handful of the latter while the guests wipe the bowl of chicken curry clean. At your end, you might have made every effort of reducing wastage while cooking, yet you end up throwing out the cold and dry leftover chappatis.
What if we told you that these cold carbohydrates in your fridge can transform into a quick dessert? Worried about that extra bowl of rice sitting in your fridge? It can take on the form of sumptuous cheesy fritters in no time. Sustainable and smart cooking hacks by celebrity chefs will change your perspective about leftovers. Of course, it has the added advantage of surprising your friends with delicious creations made out of boring leftovers thus planting the Masterchef cap firmly on your head.
Use left over chanas (chickpea) — To make hummus with an Indian twist, Just add some roasted sesame seeds (til), garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to chanas and grind in a mixer. Use as a spread for sandwiches or dip with freshly cut veggies crudités of cucumber and carrot.
Left over fresh mint leaves — Place them on a paper towel and dry in a microwave for two minutes. Store in a bottle and use in lassis or Indian dishes like tawa paneer. Tastes delicious
Left over rice — Make risotto balls by adding some cheese and sautéed vegetable. Add some pizza sauce for that extra taste.
Left over boiled rice — Heat some ghee and add one tablespoon biryani masala. Mix this lightly with the rice. Layer with some leftover masala vegetable to get a delicious biryani.
Left over rajma (kidney beans) — Make a Tex-Mex wrap. Sauté onion and bell pepper briefly and mix some rajma without curry. Place this on a roti, top it with lettuce and cheese. Roll it up. Awesome!
Home-made feta for salads and pizzas — Crumble paneer, add salt and lemon juice. Mix well. Lightly mix in two tablespoon cream. Put blobs on salad and mix or spread over pizza.
Storage Hacks for Breads and Loafs — Store burger buns, garlic loaf or pizza base in freezer for 15-20 days. You don’t have to run the market when you feel like making these.
Jazz up your Drink — Use chia seeds in lassi or milk shakes
Minimum Wastage — Use broccoli stems to make broccoli cole slaw by peeling stem and cutting into juliennes. Mix some carrot juliennes. Use in salads or sandwiches.
Sambhar with a twist — Peel and cut broccoli stem into round slices, use them in Sambhar/Thai curry.
Basi Roti ki Meethi Churi
Tawa parathas/rotis (leftover or fresh) – 4
Pure ghee 2 tbsp
Mixed nuts, like cashew and almonds, chopped finely
Sugar 2 tbsp
First crumble the paranthas/rotis into small pieces, using your hands. If they are hard then you can cut/chop it finely.
Now in a kadhai or pan, heat some ghee and roast the dry fruits for about two minutes till they are fragrant and nutty. Take it out and set it aside.
Add the crumbled roti to the leftover ghee and sauté for couple of minutes on medium flame. Then add lightly roasted nuts and sauté for another minute.
Remove the pan from heat and add the sugar. Toss it all together for a couple of minutes till it mixes well. You can increase/decrease the quantity of sugar as per your taste.
Turn off the heat, transfer into a bowl, garnish with sautéed nuts and serve hot.
Dosa Chicken Roll
Dosa batter 4 cups
Leftover chicken 2 cups
Onion 1 cup
Green chutney ½ cup
Tomato ketchup ½ cup
Salt to taste
Oil for basting
Mix the green chutney and tomato ketchup and set the mix aside. Crack the eggs, add a little salt and beat them lightly. Set this aside.
Heat a non-stick tawa/pan. Put two ladles of dosa batter, spread it and make a slightly thick dosa. Apply one beaten egg on it and spread evenly and let it cook for sometime till the time the egg sets. Make sure that the flame is on low and then apply a little oil and flip it over. Let it cook for couple of minutes, flip it over and remove from heat and place it on a plate or chopping board.
Spread the chutney ketchup mix on the dosa and place half a cup of hot cooked flavoured chicken on its side. Spread some sliced onions on top of the chicken and fold in the shape of a roll. Cut it into half and serve hot.
Chef’s advice: You can use any leftover dry veggies or meat of your choice. Just make sure that it has less moisture otherwise the roll will become soggy.
Sabz Chawal Kebab
Leftover dry vegetable curry like potato and peas or any other veggie – 1 cup
Boiled/steamed leftover rice 1 cup
Boiled potatoes (optional) – 1-2
Yoghurt (whipped) – 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves (finely mashed) – 4-5 cloves
Onions, large (finely chopped) – 1
Green chilies, finely chopped – 2
Coriander leaves, finely chopped ¼ cup
Corn flour ¼ cup
Roasted Gram flour (besan) ½ cup
Red chili powder ½ tsp
Garam masala powder ¼ tsp
Black pepper powder ¼ tsp
Chopped nuts like cashews, raisins etc. ¼ cup
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying
In a large mixing bowl take the left over dry vegetable curry and mash slightly with the help of fork or fingers. Add one large or two medium boiled potatoes if the cooked vegetable curry does not have them. Add leftover boiled/steamed rice, mashed garlic, chopped onion, green chili, coriander, curd, all dry masalas, nuts, adjust salt and mix well.
Now add roasted gram flour, corn flour and mix properly. It should be of dough consistency. Increase the quantity of roasted gram flour if there is excess moisture in mixture.
Divide the mixture in the equal sized small balls and press each in between your palms to make flat round discs like a small kebab. Repeat the process for the remaining mixture and keep in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat a little oil in a grill pan/griddle and shallow fry these kebabs on medium flame until crispy golden brown on the outside. Serve hot with the chutney or sauce of your choice and a steaming cup of tea.
Chef’s advice: You can replace the leftover vegetables with leftover chicken or mutton. Just remove the bones, crumble and use. Adjust the quantity of spices according to taste and existing flavours as we are using cooked item.