Cooking is an inherent talent that all humans possess. The need for survival gave birth to the need for hunting and search for food and consequently cooking. Cooking is both a science and an art; Science for its complexities and combinations of right ingredient in the right proportion and an art for being an intuitive and creative pursuit. While for some cooking is an under-appreciated everyday activity, others have a full fledged profession dedicated to and around it.
For culinary experts it might be about the right flavors and right ingredients but for a home cook its all about the right match and availability of the ingredients. The exact quantity of food to be prepared is a complex algorithm in itself which often leads to left overs from dinner or lunch at home. Throwing away the leftovers is an emotional and economical wastage and hence came the concept of dishes which can use the already prepared food as their prime ingredient for flavor and texture.
We have enumerated ten such quick dishes which you can prepare using left overs at home. Easy and quick to make, you can relish these at anytime of the day. Here’s the list of 10 dishes prepared with leftover food.
1. Masala Rice
If you made mixed vegetables or curry for dinner and those are still sitting in the fridge then you can make that into a masala fried rice.
Heat some oil or butter in pan. Add the curry or cooked vegetables. Then add cooked rice to it and give it a quick toss. Add some salt and crushed pepper. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves or grated cheese and serve hot.
2. Roti upma
Left over rotis are a pain and when reheated don’t taste good anyways. They can be easily made into roti upma.
All you need is to chop some onions. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds until they splutter. Add chopped onion and cook for around a minute. Tear the cooked rotis and crush them finely.Add curry leaves and green chillies to the pan and mix. Add green peas, chopped carrots, some beans and mix well. Add crushed rotis and toss to mix. Add salt, little water and mix well. Add peanuts, toss to mix and cook for a minute. Cook for a while. Serve hot an amazing dishes prepared with leftover food.
3. Roti Churi
Another idea where leftover rotis can be remade into a tasty dish is Roti Churi. All you need is some peanuts, chopped onions and green chillies. Chop the ingredients finely. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and cook for a while. Grate some ginger and add to the pan and sauté. Add green chillies onions and peanuts and mix well. Tear the leftover rotis into small pieces. Add turmeric powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Cook for sometime. Add leftover roti pieces and toss lightly. Cover and cook on low heat till the rotis turn crunchy. Serve hot.
4. Rice kachri
If there is some left over rice then you can turn it easily into some crispies.
Take a pan. Heat some oil and add Nigella seeds or Kalonji.Add some water in the left over rice and let it cook. Add a little salt and cook until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Let it cool for sometime.
Take a plate and grease it with some oil and pour the mixture in desired shapes. Put it in the sun to dry . Once dried, you can deep fry and savor the crispies. It can be stored in air tight containers and eaten when desired. It is an all time snacks dishes prepared with leftover food.
5. Dal Paratha
Dal paratha is another quick and tasty recipe which can be made with left over dal.
Use the dal to knead the dough instead of water. Add some oil while doughing to make it soft. Then as usual take a small portion of the dough. Make small balls and roll them into a flat circular shape. Put it on a flat frying pan. Add some oil or ghee and cook until brown on both sides.
6. Turkey and Chicken Sandwich
If you have some cooked turkey left or some chicken from chicken tikka or tandoori then you can turn that into a sumptuous sandwich. Take bread slices, spread some mayonnaise on it. Slice some tomatoes and lettuce leaves. Shred the leftover turkey or chicken pieces and reheat them to room temperature. Place the shredded meat, tomato and lettuce on the bread slice. You can grill it or have it as it is. Instead of the turkey or chicken, you can use paneer or any other left over meat too to prepare a finger licking dishes prepared with leftover food.
7. Idli Manchurian
With left over idlis, you can create a whole new dish with a Chinese touch to it. Mix some cornflour , plain flour, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder and water to form a paste.
Cut the idlis into small squares , dip it into the batter and fry. In another pan heat some oil and add spring onions, chopped garlic and ginger and give it a toss. Add capsicum and soya sauce and cook for a while. Add tomato sauce and salt and chilli powder as per taste.Bring the mixture to a boil. Then add the fried idlis and mix well. Garnish with some chopped spring onions. You can eat this alone or team it up with some fried rice. It looks so original in concept that no one would believe that its dishes prepared with leftover food.
8. Bread pudding
If bread at your place is about to get stale and you don’t want to consume it as it is then you can make a tasty dessert out of it. Make small pieces of the bread and mix it with eggs, milk, sugar, a pinch of salt, cinnamon powder and some vanilla essence. Pour the contents into a greased baking dish. Bake for over 45 minutes. Serve with some whipped cream. You can refrigerate the dish and eat it as a cold dessert too.
9. Vegetable Cutlet
If you cooked chickpeas or Rajmas and have them standing in the fridge wondering what to do with them, then you can check out this dish and prepare a healthy snack.
Mash the cooked Rajmas or chickpeas . Add cornflour or gram flour to it which would work as a binding agent. Make flat thick rounded balls with the mixture . Coat it with some bread crumbs and fry it. Garnish it with chopped onions, green chillies and coriander leaves. Serve with some coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.
10. Banana Halwa
Ripe bananas can be used to make this delectable dishes prepared with leftover food.Peel the bananas and slice them. Saute them in a pan with some ghee until the bananas are fully mashed. Now add sugar as per taste and water. Let the mixture cook until it thickens. Garnish with chopped dry fruits and some cardamom powder.