Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Left-Over recipes...

You always feel what to do with these leftover foods after dinner or specially next day when you go to kitchen for cooking. Your refrigerator is half full with these left over foods and you are biting your nail(i do specially)..hmm here's some recipes to get rid of those and make you happy not throwing foods into dustbin.

Murg Saagwala ::::

I had less time to cook something for my friend's surprise birthday party and found left-over chicken 65 in freezer and spinach packet and within on time I prepared this lip-smacking preparation.It came really good with half an hour time and very little effort. 
Ingredients :::
one cup of left over chicken 65,
3/4 lbs fresh spinach leaves,
one small onion, diced
one fresh tomato, sliced
2 cloves garlic,
3 tsp kashuri methi or dry fenugreek leaves,
salt to tasste,
1 tsp oil.

1. Wash spinach with warm water. Heat oil in pressure cooker and add spinach,tomato, onion, garlic and salt. Let it cook for one whistle or minimum 12 minutes and then take out extra water and blend smoothly.
2. Heat little oil in a wok / kadai, add chicken pieces and fry for 2-3 minutes and then add water you have taken from pressure cooker. Once it boils, add spinach paste and let it cook covered for 10-14 minutes on low-medium flame or until oil separates.
3. Take kashuri methi in your palms and rub it nicely and then sprinkle on curry and mix it lightly. Serve hot with any paratha, naan or roti.
I have used mozzarella cheese for garnishing. You can use little garam masala also. For this preparation, you can prepare chicken pieces and then add to the spinach or any other gravy to save your time.
Click here for Chicken 65 recipe.

Stuffed Capsicum / Bell Pepper:::

I always hate to throw left-over foods and recently got couple of small bell pepper or what we say, capsicum which are very rare in normal markets and thought of preparing this yummy dish. This is a north-Indian popular preparation but nowadays people all over India love this relishing dish which is an eye-catcher for your party as starter or with main meals. Again I got the whole recipe from my lovely neighbor.
Ingredients ::::
one cups of paneer butter masala,
one pinch of red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp garam masala powder,
1 tbsp oil,
salt if needed.

1. Heat little oil in a pan, add paneer butter masala to the pan. Sprinkle water if the curry is totally dry. Cover the pan for 3-4 minutes on low medium flame. Now take out the lid and then smash the paneer pieces with a spatula or flat spoon nicely while stirring occasionally. When all the paneer pieces are totally mashed or crumbled then add red chilli powder, garam masala powder and a pinch of salt and mix everything again nicely and saute for another 2 minutes. Let it cool for 5-8 minutes.
2. Wash and pat dry and cut the capsicum / bell pepper from the top and scoop out the center. 
3. Take one spoonful of paneer masala and fill the capsicum while pressing lightly inside the capsicum. See the above picture. Repeat with all of them.
4. Preheat the oven to 300F and spray or apply oil on the capsicum and place on the aluminum sheet or cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Once done, serve hot.
You can use any left-over curries or dry vegetable fries for stuffing too. You can fry these stuffed capsicum adding little oil in a pan. Check salt while frying paneer or any vegetables and then add salt if needed.  

Baked Malai Cabbage kofta curry :::

Cabbage fry is another favorite dish at my home and with rotis or parathas it goes very well even with my son's lunch too. But soft creamy koftas or fried balls simmered in spicy curry from left-over cabbage fry is more delicious and new favorite at my family. This time I baked koftas to get rid of deep-frying and result is delicious baked koftas without feeling guilty of deep-fried food and less calories, with less cooking time.
Ingredients :::
for koftas or balls...
one cup of left-over any cabbage dry dishes,
5 tbsp finely chopped cashew nuts,raisins,almonds,
1 tbsp mawa / khoya / solidified milk,
2-3 nos. green chillies, finely chopped,
1 tbsp rice flour,
3 tbsp besan / chick peas flour,
salt to taste,
1/3 tsp ginger-garlic paste,optional
for curry...
one big tomato, paste
one small onion, paste
1/4 tsp ginger paste,
1/2 tsp cumin-coriander powder,
1/2 tsp red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
4-5 tsp fresh curd / yogurt,
1/4 tsp cumin seeds,
one bay leaf,
salt to taste,
a pinch of sugar,
3 tsp oil for frying.

1. Prepare dough by mixing all the ingredients mentioned above for koftas or balls. Cover with a wet cloth or paper napkin for 15 mins. Make medium size balls from the dough and place on paper towel.
2. Preheat oven at 250F and then place all the kofta on the baking plate or sheet and spray little oil and cook for 10-12 mins. Once done, brush or spray some oil on the koftas and let it cook at 350F for another 10 mins. Make sure koftas are not overcooked or dry. Take out all the koftas and keep aside.
3. Mix cumin-coriander powder, red chilli powder,turmeric powder and yogurt in a bowl adding little warm water and keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a kadai, add sugar and let it caramelize and then add bay leaf and cumin seeds.
5. When cumin seeds splutters, add ginger and onion paste and let it cook for 5 mins. Then add tomato paste and saute for a min.
6. Add spiced mixed yogurt / curd to the pan and cover the pan and let it cook for 5-7 mins. Once done, add one cup of warm water and let it simmer for 6-7 mins on low flame.
7. Add koftas to the curry and let it simmer on low flame. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
While adding water to the gravy at step 6, make sure you are adding enough water as koftas soak water and your gravy will become dry. You can add koftas while serving the dish too and in that case, add koftas to the curry and make it warm. Check the temperature and koftas while baking in oven for the first time too.

Cabbage vada / Badhakopir Bora ::: 
After my son's birthday party, I was feeling bad to throw left-over cabbage fry. I had two times with plain rice and then everything about to throw in dustbin. That day one of my friend gave me excellent suggestion to prepare couple of dishes with the same. I made three new dishes from that cabbage dish. Every time, I had a feeling that I m eating something fresh. These cabbage vada, one of the recipes, was so yummy and the best for evening snack with a cup of hot tea.
one cup of left-over cabbage fry,
one handful of kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves,
one and half cup of besan / gram flour ,
a pinch of amchoor / dry mango powder,
salt as per your taste,
sufficient oil for deep frying.
1. Make a rough paste of cabbage fry with blender or mixer adding a pinch of salt.
2. Take a big bowl and take cabbage paste and mix with all the ingredients except oil.Add little water 
if it is too dry. Mix nicely to avoid any lumps. Make small flatten shape vadas.
3. Heat sufficient oil in a pan and deep fry all the vadas until deep brown in color on medium flame.
4. Keep the vadas on paper napkins to absorb extra oil. Serve with any chutney or simply tomato ketchup.
You need to blend the left-over vegetables to give a better taste . But you can also smash with hand nicely and then mix all the ingredients.You can use store-brought Pakora masala instead of using dry fenugreek leaves and dry mango powder. I generally use MDH pakora masala. While using kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves, take on your palm and rub nicely and then use it. For extra spiciness, you can finely chopped green chillies too. I made little dry dough like to make flatten balls, but you can add more water to make thick consistency batter and put a spoonful of batter to prepare pakora.

Patta Labang Rice :::

Another simple rice preparation I m sharing with you. First time after our marriage, one fine morning my husband asked me to prepare this rice for his lunch box.That's my mother-in-law used to prepare for lunch box for kids. Now whenever there is nothing for lunchbox I prepare as you need only yogurt / curd as side dish or sometimes I give simply this rice dish. This recipe I have submitted to the Event : Quick and Easy recipes too.

Ingredients :::
2 cups cooked rice,
1 small onion,finely chopped or sliced,
4-5 green chillies chopped,
4-5 cloves,
3-4 cinnamon,
3-4 cashew nuts ,optional.
salt as per taste,
oil to fry.

Method :::
1. Heat oil in a pan,add cloves and cinnamon and fry until nice aroma comes out.
2. Add onions and green chillies fry nicely adding salt .
3. Now add cooked rice and mix thoroughly. You can add little ghee here too and Serve hot.

This preparation I tried sometimes with Basmati rice too and then I add a handful of fresh or frozen green peas too.Use a little ghee /  clarified butter while frying to get nice aroma.

Coriander/Cilantro Rice:::::This dish is very delicious and even if you don't tell nobody can understand that you made with last night left-over rice.All you want you have to be careful about this dish is,rice should be cold and better if you cook the rice before 12 hours.You can make this dish very well with Basmati/any flavored rice.But here I used last night's leftover rice.I have seen long back this recipe from some website..I don't remember now and I have made this dish with a little variation. You can serve with raita and salad.

4-5 cups cooked rice,
part I..to paste :
one bunch of coriander/cilantro leaves,
5-6 pudina/mint leaves,
5-6 green chillies,
1/2 grated coconut,
1 piece garlic,
less than half inch ginger,
2-4 cashew nuts,
salt as per taste,
Part II...for seasoning::
1/4tsp mustard seeds,chana dal,urad dal each,
1 whole red chilli,
4-5 curry leaves,
5-6 cashew nuts,
7-8 tsp oil.

1.Make a smooth paste of all the ingredients from part I except the seasoning.If necessary add some water to paste the ingredients. Keep aside.
2.Now take a deep frying pan,heat oil and add all the ingredients from part II for seasoning.here you can add half cup of chopped onions if you wish.and fry nicely for 3 mins.
3.Now add the paste and stir nicely .Add salt as per taste and add some water.and cover with a lid and let it cook for 5-7 mins on medium flame.
4.Open the lid and stir once again. When done ,nice aroma will come out and then you can add cooked rice and mix thoroughly.and serve hot with any gravy dishes or any chutney.

Lemon Rice / Pulihora :::

The first thing comes to my mind whenever I see left-over rice in my kitchen is Lemon Rice or commonly called in South India as Pulihora. This dish is very common in Southern part of India, specially in Temples  and everyday cooking too. Puli means sour taste. Pulihora can also be referred as sour rice.Very easy to make and tasty dish.Most of the south Indian families love to make this dish with leftover rice.Nowadays, other parts of India people loves this dish a lot. I learned from my mother-in-law. Every family has their own way to prepare the recipe. But here I am sharing my recipe. 

1/4 mustard seeds, chana daal, urad daal each
2 whole red chilli,
a pinch of hing  /Asafoetida powder,
4-5 nos. fresh curry leaves,
1/4 tsp finely chopped or grated ginger,
1/5 tsp turmeric powder,
5-6 nos. lengthwise cut green chillies,
10-12 nos. peanuts or cashew nuts (you can use both),
5 cups cooked rice, preferably small grain rice
1 medium size lemon.
salt as per taste,
1/3 tsp oil for frying.

1. Take a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, chana daal, urad daal. When mustard seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves, hing, peanuts/cashew nuts,chopped ginger,green chillies and fry nicely for 2-4 mins on slow flame.
2. Add turmeric powder and salt.Stir continuously to avoid burning.
3. Now add cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Now switch off the flame. Rice should be cold and totally out of water.
4. Squeeze the lemon in a cup / bowl and add half of it to rice and mix thoroughly. You can use your hand but i like to do with a spatula. Taste it , if you feel to pour little bit more than mix rest of lemon juice and mix very thoroughly. Cover it and keep aside.while serving just warm it and serve.

Now, some people after frying the ingredients,take off the pan and mix the cooked rice and then add lemon juice and mix cooked rice and serve cool.and some places,then mix lemon juice to cooked rice and then add to the seasoning. It is your wish how you feel comfortable mixing. You can cook rice immediately make it cool and them make this dish. But if the rice is little hot too,lumps will come and doesn't taste good.

Pulihora / Tamarind Rice ::::

Pulihora or Puliyodhara is another very common dish in Southern parts of India. You will find this preparation in most of the temples of South India as Prasadam. I prepare once in week for lunch box  or sometimes when leftover rice is there. The ready mix wet or dry packet is available in Indian grocery store but I love to prepare from scratch. Try this recipe and tell me how is it next time.

Ingredients :::
2 cup cooked rice ,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp chana daal,
1/2 tsp split black gram /urad daal,
5-6 curry leaves,
2 whole dry red chillies,
a pinch of asafoetida powder,
1/3 tsp of turmeric powder,
1/4 cup of fresh scrapped coconut / dry coconut powder,
a medium size tamarind balls (available in Indian grocery),
a small piece of jaggery,
a pinch of red chilli powder,
7-8 no. peanuts,
salt as per taste,
oil to fry .

For masala ::: 
a pinch of asafoetida,
2-3 red chilli whole,
1 or 2 tsp mustard seeds,
1.5 tsp of sesame seeds,
1 tsp chana daal,
a handful of peanuts,
1.5 tsp coriander seeds.

Method :::

1. In a bowl, soak tamarind with warm water for 1-2 hrs or until you can mash with hands to take out pulp.
2. For masala, heat wok or kadai, heat 2-3 drops of oil and add hing and then the rest of ingredients and saute nicely and then cool and grind to a coarse powder.Keep aside. You can store this ground masala and use it again.
3. Heat oil in the same wok or kadai, add mustard seeds,asafoetida,chana daal,urad daal,red chillies,curry leaves and peanuts and stir fry nicely.
4. Now take tamarind pulp and jaggery and let it boil until jaggery melts. If needed add half of cup of warm water.Cover it on medium flame.
5. Now add rice and mix thoroughly and then sprinkle ground masala and salt and mix it nicely again.
6. Add scrapped coconut or dry coconut powder and drizzle little water and cover it for 5 mins on very slow flame.After that toss slightly and serve hot.
I used to prepare this dish with ready-made paste but after getting the original recipe from one of my husband's aunt I stopped using store-brought ones. Always be careful to prepare on low medium flame to avoid burning. This dish is always more tasty if you prepare and let it set for 4-5 hours then all the spices including tamarind get infused inside rice and that gives more flavor and taste to the dish..


  1. Kaberi my dear friend im so very proud that ur my frnd...love u frm the core of my heart..all the receipes are yum.. infact my daughter is a gre8 fan of ur cooking.. since i have told her that some of the receipes i have learnt frm Kaberi mashi...love u muuuaahhhhh

  2. First time in your blog.. loved your blog very much as I can see variety of bengali dishes here..

  3. Hi Kaberi,

    We have been Orkut & FB friends for long. Today for the first time i visited your blog and instantly in love with it. Thanks for creating such an wonderful blog.....