Leftovers are a common problem that is faced by most homemakers, especially the ones who are new at the game. Most often, the leftovers are thrown away or given away because one doesn’t know what to do with it. A little imagination and creativity combined with a little skill can often work wonders. Most of the food that is leftover can easily be turned into a delicious dish.
Leftover pieces of tomatoes can be made into a puree and used to flavour the curry. Other items like onions; cucumbers, green chillies, radish or carrot can be mixed in a paste of gram flour and fried to give delicious ‘pakoras’. They can also be chopped fine and mixed with curd to make a ‘kuchnumber’.
The leftover raita gets soured very quickly as it contains salt and fermentation takes place in the curd. Delicious ‘kadhi’ can be prepared from the raita. Remove the potatoes that are in the raita. Beat the sour curd; add red chilli powder, coriander powder and some water to it. Besan ‘pakoras’ can be added to the kadhi. The potato pieces, which have been removed from the raita, can be turned into a delicious potato curry.
Leftover ‘dal’ can be used in many ways. It can be used to knead the dough for making tasty ‘parathas’ or ‘puris’. It can be dried up and used as a filling or thinned and made into a soup. Leftover ‘rajmah’ can be dried; seasoning added a fresh salad can be made out of it by adding some onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and tomatoes.
Plain boiled rice can be made into a tasty pulao by frying soe onions, adding spices like coriander powder, jeera powder, green chillies, tomatoes and coriander leaves.
It can also be used to make delicious idlis. Mesh the rice; add lightly roasted semolina and sour curd in equal proportions. Add water to get a batter like mixture. Add a pinch of cooking soda and salt. Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves, broken red chillies and urad dal. Steam and get soft idlis.
Leftover rice can be recycled in another delicious method. Mash the rice; add jeera and asafetida powder, a little salt and some red chilli powder. Now make small ‘papads’ out of it and dry them in the sun. When the ‘papads’ are absolutely dry, store them in an airtight container. They can be fried and served as snacks.
With rare exception of those houses where chapattis are served straight from the tawa, there are always leftovers after every meal and nobody is interested in eating the stale chapatis. But these can be put to innovative uses with a little imagination.
Make a thin paste of beasan. Add chopped onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, ajwain and salt to taste. Coat one side of the chapatti with this paste and fry on hot tawa. Repeat with the other side and you have a fantastic paratha, which will be much in demand from every member of the house.
Break the chapatti into small pieces and deep-fry them. Top with diced boiled potatoes, curd, and tamarind chutney or plain mint chutney. This makes a delicious snack.
Fold the chapatis into rolls and deep fry. Fill the rolls with beans in tomato sauce and you have got fantastic version of Mexican Tortillas.
If you garnish the fried, chapatti pieces with onions and green chillies and sprinkle some ‘chaat masala’ on them along with a squeeze of the lemon, you will come up with a tongue tingling ‘chaat’.
If you are left with rosogollas, that have no takers, try this recipe and you will have a special, fresh sweet dish. Thicken some milk or heat up condensed milk, add sugar, chopped posta, some almonds and cardamom powder. Squeeze the rosogollas to remove excess syrup. Drop them in the thickened milk and you will come up with a tasty dish of rasmalai.
Dried khoya sweets can be crumbled and added to thickened milk and frozen, to make kulfi. Crumble the khoya sweets, roast grated fresh coconut lightly, add a little sugar and stir. Add the crumbed khoya. Remove from flame and cool. Make laddoos out of the mixture.
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