It is a fact, no one likes leftovers! Almost always leftovers are packed and kept in the refrigerator, and very often forgotten until the next fight for space in the fridge! And more often than not, the leftovers end up in the bin. This unfortunately is a thoughtless waste of precious food.
The best way to go about this is to first prepare only as much as one expects to consume. Or if there are any unexpected changes in the plan and food gets leftover, it must always be consumed the following day at the most. Otherwise, the nutritive value of food deteriorates and it almost serves no purpose.
For some reason, if you end up having leftovers, we know no one likes to eat them as it is, but if these food items are reused creatively, you end up getting a brand new dish that is tasty to eat and prepared easily since a lot of the preps are already available.
All you need is some unique ideas and you can prevent food wastage and save time prepping your next meal too! Here are some ideas that can be used to upscale leftovers to create great dishes.
Leftover Chicken Curry Biryani
Who does not love a good chicken biryani? And if this means making use of leftover chicken curry, it is a win-win situation!
Transforming that chicken curry into biryani is a surefire way to enjoy it even more! Simply use it to prepare biryani and enjoy it!
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-5 servings
- 1 bowl of leftover chicken curry
- 1 cup soaked basmati rice
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 8-10 fresh mint leaves
- 4-5 tsp chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons oil for cooking
- 2 tsp Biryani masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 green cardamom
- 3-4 black peppercorns
- Take a large pot, add water to it, and bring it to a roaring boil, now add the whole spices and salt and then add the basmati rice and allow it to cook. Cook it only until they are about 70% done. Drain the water and allow the rice to cool down.
- Now take a kadhai, add oil to it, fry the thinly sliced onions and fry them until they are golden brown. Remove half the quantity of fried onions for later use. In the remaining onions, add tomatoes and salt and cook until they are nice and mushy. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smell disappears.
- Add the pieces of chicken from the curry and add the remaining few spoonfuls of the chicken curry (no more than a few spoons) Add some chopped mint leaves and biryani masala and cook until the biryani gravy comes together.
- Now for the layering, take a flat bottom pot, and line it with oil, then add half the quantity of the biryani gravy and spread it evenly across the bottom. Now add half the quantity of cooked rice and spread it evenly across the gravy. Top this with a small quantity of fried onions saved from earlier, some mint leaves and a little chopped coriander. Repeat the layering. And finally top it with fried onions, mint leaves and fresh coriander. Cover the pot tightly using a lid. Place a heavy item over the lid so the steam does not come out.
- Place this pot on a medium to low flame and steam the biryani for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the flame and enjoy steaming hot with chilled raita.
Leftover Pizza Casserole
In a rare occurrence where you have leftover pizza, try this recipe instead of chewing on soggy cold pizza. It’s a delicious breakfast dish without a sign of anything leftover.
Total Time: 1 hour
- 3-4 slices of leftover pizza
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2-3 cooked sausages (optional)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- Salt to taste
- Pizza seasoning
- 1 tsp butter
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 300’C and continue with other preparations. Brush some butter over a baking dish.
- Chop the pizza slices such that they properly cover the baking dish. Now in a mixing bowl, crack and whisk the eggs.
- In the eggs add the salt, onions, garlic, milk, pizza seasoning and sausages etc. Gently pour the contents of the bowl over the pizza in the baking dish.
- Cover the contents with mozzarella cheese and allow it to bake for around 45 minutes or until the eggs are perfectly baked and the mozzarella has turned golden.
- You can top it up with some fresh basil leaves and enjoy it as a breakfast or carry it in your tiffin.
Leftover Rice Pakodas
There are tons of options to reuse rice to make other forms of rice. But if you don’t feel like eating rice again, but want to use the leftover rice, simply fry it into crisp pakodas and it’s a sure hit!
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 15-20 pcs
- 1 bowl of leftover rice
- ½ cup finely chopped onions
- 3 tsp fresh coriander
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- ¾ cup besan
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- Oil to fry
- 1 pinch chat masala
- Add some oil to a kadhai and set it to heat on a low flame. Next, take a bowl and transfer the rice to it, using your fingers (or a fork) gently mash the rice so that it becomes soft and slightly mushy.
- To this add the onions, fresh coriander, red chilli powder and salt. Roughly rub the coriander seeds between your palms, so that they crush slightly, add that to the rice mixture.
- Now without adding any additional water, slowly add besan, little by little. Stop adding when you feel the besan is enough for the rice. Mix very well, so that it forms a uniform and sticky mixture.
- Take a small spoonful of the batter and add to the oil, repeat until enough pakoras as added to the oil. Fry on medium flame until golden and crispy.
- Remove from oil and place on an absorbent paper. Sprinkle some chat masala over it and enjoy it hot with mint coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.
Egg Yolk Lemon Cake
So many adults prefer consuming just egg whites, ever wondered what to do with the yolk? Instead of discarding them, you simply make cake from them! Serve these zesty citrusy cakes to kids in their tiffin or dessert. You will upscale the leftover yolk, while they love the cake!
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8-10 slices
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups maida
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Zest of 1 whole lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons of icing sugar for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 250’c beforehand. Brush some butter or oil on your baking mould and keep aside. Sieve together all the dry ingredients like maida, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they form a uniform mixture. Now add in the lemon zest, oil, and lemon juice and milk (make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.)
- Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Try to maintain the folding in one direction instead of stirring rapidly. Fold in until the batter is lump-free and smooth. Attempt to get a ribbon-like texture.
- Slowly pour the cake batter into the greased mould. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick when pierced in the cake comes out dry.
- Allow it to cool and then de-mould it. Sieve in some icing sugar as a garnish and serve during tea time.