How to turn leftovers into party food

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Leftovers are something we all have to deal with. Check out these recipes that turn humble leftover food into party worthy delights. Read on to find out how you can use up that extra bowl of dal from last night’s dinner and turn left over rice into a delicious firangi snack.

Dhamakedar Tadka Roti

Roti’s leftover from lunch can be perfect to satiate evening hunger pangs. Tear them roughly or grind them to a coarse texture and toss in a masaledar tadka of jeera, mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida, onions and red chilli powder. Finish off with a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander and a zingy squeeze of lemon juice. You could also make a classic Sindhi snack called seyal dabal using bread instead of roti’s in this very same recipe.

Midnight chicken curry pulao

It’s no secret that chicken curry tastes better the next day with all the delicious flavours getting that extra bit of time to blend in together. Turn it into a piping hot delicious pulao by just mixing it with sautéed green chillies, ginger and yogurt, then throw in some cooked rice (probably also leftover), fresh mint, coriander and a magical sprinkle of garam masala. Lightly toss, cover and cook for just a couple of minutes till some steam is built and enjoy with some achar and papad. This one is the big daddy of comfort food.

Protein parantha 

This recipe is so good that you will actually make some extra dal for dinner so you can enjoy these protein rich paranthas for breakfast next day. Add the leftover thick dal to whole wheat flour dough along with onions, green chillies and fresh coriander and knead as you normally would to prepare roti’s. Cook on a tawa along with some ghee and start your day with a delicious protein boost.

Leftover khichdi = desi aranchini

This recipe will make you look at the humble khichdi in brand new light. Take leftover khichdi right out of the fridge and mix up with breadcrumbs and onions then shape them into balls and stuff with a cube of mozzarella cheese each, dip in a refined flour batter, roll in breadcrumbs and deep fry. Did you ever think khichdi can turn into this beautiful desi version of aranchini.

Tikki for rajma lovers

Things as delicious as rajma masala get wiped out in minutes, but on the rare occasions that you have leftovers here is what you should do with it. Mix it up with white bread, mashed potatoes, mint leaves and chopped onions, shape into tikki’s and shallow fry. Serve them hot with tangy mint chutney or use these babies as burger patties topped with lettuce, capsicum strips, onion rings and tomatoes for a real transformed version of a traditional rajma masala.

Instant Dahi wade

Dahi wadas are not something you can prepare at the spur of a moment because the dal needs to be soaked for hours before being ground to a paste. This recipe lets you enjoy the awesomeness of a dahi wada as long as you have some leftover rice and yogurt. Leftover rice turned into crisp vadas / pakoda’s and topped with chilled sweet yogurt, tantalizing chutneys and crispy fried curd chillies – this one is chaat at its best.

Have your cookie and eat it too

Give stale cookies a new life by turning them into soft, fluffy pillows of heaven that we all relish as muffins. Refined flour, baking powder, eggs, castor sugar, butter and delicious cookie crumbs mixed together and filled in muffin moulds – baked for just fifteen minutes to give you a batch of light and fluffy muffins that get eaten faster than they get baked – so get your game face on.

Check out some more innovative recipes made with leftover food on

website of the year 2013
website of the year 2014
website of the year 2016
MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.