An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of the total food produced globally gets lost or wasted at different stages of food production and consumption annually.
At the household level a third of consumable products are wasted out of which half of the `throw away food` could easily be made edible with proper storage and reusing the leftovers.
According to a report, per capita food wasted by at the consumers end in Europe and North-America amounts to 95-115 kg/year, while this figure in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia is 6-11 kg/year.
Thinking twice before eating could not only ease your own financial woes but will also help feed the hungry and reduce carbon emission thus lessening the burden on the warming environment.
Here are a few simple ways to change your boring leftovers into interesting delicacies.
Mix it with a few drops of lemon or add some spices or just chop and mix it with a few seasonal vegetables– there are numerous ways to make your leftover rice taste a way better.
1) LEMON RICE
Heat some oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, mustard seeds, finely chopped green chillies and curry leaves. When the spluttering stops add chopped ginger and roasted peanuts. Add turmeric powder, fry for a minute and then put the leftover rice into the pan. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Mix well. Serve it hot with a nice pickle and papad.
2) VEGETABLE FRIED RICE
Heat oil in preheated wok. Add minced fresh ginger, diced onion and stir-fry for a minute. Add vegetables depending on your taste- try using vegetables that add colour to your dish. Add the leftover rice when the vegetables are done. Stir in soy sauce, pepper and salt. Add seasoning and serve hot.
3) RICE KHEER (PUDDING):
This is for those who like it sweet. Mix together the leftover rice and milk in a broad non-stick pan and simmer on a flame, stirring continuously, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, cardamom powder and ghee and mix well. Make it more nutritious by adding nuts and raisins. Serve hot.
CHAPPATI/ROTI (INDIAN FLAT BREAD)
1) ROTI UPAMA
Break the leftover roti into small pieces. In a pan, heat some oil; add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves and sauté. Add finely chopped ginger, green chillies and onions, sauté till golden brown. Add the pieces of roti, half a tps of turmeric, red chilli powder (optional), and salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
2) INDIAN-STYLE ROTI QUESADILLAS
This dish uses almost everything from the roti, to the vegetables or meat that was left over after the last heavy meals.
To make the quesadilla the Indian way first put the leftover roti on a clean surface. Then place any leftover vegetable or meat (depending on what you prefer), add shredded cheese and any chutney or sauce to go with the taste. Fold in half and cook it for a minute or till the cheese melts in a microwave.
3) ROTI PAKODAS
Mix besan, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, ajwain (Carom seeds) and salt in a bowl. Add water and make a thick batter. Cut the leftover roti into four pieces; dip each piece into the mixture and deep fry in oil.
This innovation of the otherwise plain Indian breadi is great served with chutney or sauce as an evening snack.
1) DAAL PARTHA
Take the leftover daal and heat it on a low flame so that the extra liquid dries up. Take the whole wheat flour, mix it with the daal and knead till you get a smooth, medium-soft dough. Make small balls and roll out as many parthas as you want. A great breakfast option, serve the parthas with pickle or youghurt.
2) DAL TIKKI
Dry-up the daal on a medium flame. Add chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt. You can add slices of bread (brown side removed) in case the mixture is too soft. Make small balls, flatten them slightly and shape into tikkis. Shallow fry in oil. Serve with a hot cup of tea.
3) DAL KACHORI
In a bowl mix maida (Plain flour), salt, ajwain (Carom seeds) and pinch of baking soda. Mix water and two tablespoon of oil into the mixture and knead the dough till soft. Make round balls and then flatten it using your palm and fingers. Use the leftover daal as the filling. Make sure that the daal doesn’t have liquid content. Fill the daal into the maida balls and deep fry till crisp and golden brown. Serve with tamarind or mint chutney.
1) VEG CUTLETS
Mash the left over mixed vegetable and mix with mashed potatoes. Add dried red chillies and salt to taste. Make small patties and shallow fry in a pan till crisp and golden on both sides. Serve it with sauce and a cup of tea.
2) BREAD SANDWICH
Take the leftover vegetables and place it between two slices of bread. Put it into a sandwich maker or place it in a pan greased with butter. Cook it on a medium flame (if pan cooked) on both sides till golden brown.
Leftover vegetables can easy be used as a filling in chappatis to make rolls. Roasted vegetables can be mixed with pasta or rice to give it a new texture and taste.