Got any leftover rice? A raw mango? Some coconut? There’s your lunch in a jiffy. Absolutely effortless and utterly delicious this rice dish is. Years ago, a colleague in Bangalore brought this box full of raw mango rice his mother had made using leftover rice. I hadn’t had anything like that before. And being a sucker for anything sour, I loved it. Having no recipe in hand and with no intention of looking up one either, I tried making some myself. This time around I added freshly grated coconut. This is a new favourite. It takes just about 10 mins to put it together. It took me longer to grate the damn mango actually. I paired this with Udupi style curry leaves thambuli and a cheat mango gojju.
Got stock? Make soup.
In my previous post about mutton roast I mentioned how I saved the stock to use it in another dish. That’s how this soup came about. This soup can also double as a stew. With a very few ingredients, you can whip this up in under 15 minutes. No chopping, cutting or any big prep work needed here. But the stock is a must. If you don’t have chicken or meat stock, use a stock cube with water. Won’t match the real deal, but close enough.
When you’re in no mood to cook but have enough material to whip up something for dinner in just a few minutes and about two steps, it’s time for makeovers for leftovers. Remember my kori sukka from a few days ago? In that post I mentioned I was saving the curry for something else. Here it is. One lazy night I turned it into an egg gassi. I could have made it easier by just cracking open the eggs into the curry but I hard boiled a few eggs and dunked them in the gassi.
This should ideally be named cleaned-out-my-fridge-salad. It consists of leftovers from my chilli basil chicken stir-fry and my sweet chilli pineapple sauce. I had some old broccoli, sweet corn and basil. Throw in an apple and lettuce, and you have a great lunch. That’s the great thing about leftovers, just a couple of tweaks and bring it all together with a dressing and you’ve recycled your pantry stock quite well.
Soba noodles are made with buckwheat and whole wheat. Definitely healthier than regular noodles. I came across Nigella Lawson’s recipe that called for soba noodles on my Twitter feed and figured I must try something out with soba noodles. Luckily, the grocer near home stocks all kinds of imported products and he had soba and udon noodles as well. You can also find it on Amazon. There’s no real distinct taste these noodles have, but I can say they’re less starchy and don’t feel heavy on the tummy.
Some nights are salad night. As easy as salads look, they do take a while to bring all the ingredients together. Or maybe my salads do. It’s probably because I don’t like all raw vegetables and a salad dressing for a meal. I prefer cooked vegetables with some meat along with greens. This time I roasted pumpkin (originally for a soup but I changed my mind) and some boneless chicken, tossed them on some greens and crumbled some feta on it. Now that’s the kind of salad that works for me. For dressing, it was a balsamic, mustard and honey.
Since it has been a while I did a post on ‘makeover for leftovers’. Since I had to use some of the carrots and spinach sitting in my fridge, I thought I might as well give it a makeover with some cooked rice and mustard oil. The best thing about Indian cooking is that you can go with the flow and make any recipe your own. Like instead of these veggies, you could use beets, potatoes, cauliflower, capsicum, so on. It takes hardly any effort to make a meal out of what we already have in our fridge and pantry. In the pictures you see a glass of red. No, it isn’t wine. It’s the juice from rhododendron flower concentrate I brought back from the hills of Saattal. Tasted almost like kokum juice to my surprise and delight.
This is a quick and short post because it happened this morning. There was feta, Greek yoghurt, cherry tomatoes and basil in the fridge. I wanted a quick breakfast before I headed off for work. All I did was whisk feta and the yoghurt, spread it on toast and top it with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. I tossed the cherry tomatoes on a hot pan for 2-3 minutes so they’re blistered. I like them that way. A crack of black pepper on it and breakfast was done. Took me less than 10 minutes. This is SO much better than boring old cereal and takes almost no time and effort to put together.
This beetroot salad is yet another ‘makeover for leftovers’ meal. Leftovers are paneer from the night before and the other ingredients like beetroot had to be used before it went bad. I added a pear to it and made a quick dressing to go with the salad. I like beets roasted or cooked. The only way I can have them raw is when they’re in a juice. Coming back to this salad, I roasted beetroot slices in the oven for just 15 mins, sliced up a pear, crumbled paneer on top and drenched it all with the dressing. Easy peasy!
This hot and sweet curry noodle bowl is the result of yet another “makeover for leftovers”. Leftovers are great to work with because most of the work has already been done. In this case, I already had cooked chicken and the chilli honey paste in my fridge. All I had to do was cook some noodles (which takes just about 5-7 mins), make a curry style broth and assemble it all together.
This one turned out to be a lot more delicious than it looks, trust me. It truly validates my faith in simple cooking. And don’t worry about what you have or don’t have. If you don’t have noodles, make this with rice. If you don’t have chicken use leftover cooked veggies or even just a potato will do.
Yield: 2 servings
Prep + cooking time: 15-20 mins
Leftover cooked chicken (or meat or veggies) – 1 cup shredded
Cooked noodles – enough for 2 portions (I had Ching’s hakka noodles in the pantry and used one packet of it)
Garlic – 3-4 cloves crushed
Chilli honey paste – 1 tbsp or more (recipe here)
Any herbs like basil or lemongrass – handful crushed/torn
Chicken/veggie stock cube – 1 (omit it if you don’t have it or don’t like it, but it adds a lot of flavour to the broth)
Oil – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – handful chopped
Fried egg – 1 for each bowl
Water – 3 cups
Heat oil in a pan and add garlic with the chilli honey paste and cook till it turns aromatic.
Add chicken and saute for a minute. Now add water along with the stock cube, herbs, some salt and let it come to a simmer.
Turn of the heat and keep it aside.
Place noodles in the bowl and pour the broth over. Top with fried egg and lots of coriander leaves.