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Students Abroad: Simple Indian Recipes

By Rediff Get Ahead
September 16, 2022 18:11 IST
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Thousands of Indian students left India and their homes in late August to study abroad.

Ghar ka khanna addicts would have most certainly reserved at least one roomy suitcase for food and the paraphernalia for cooking Indian khana --- dal, rice, instant noodles, elaichi-laung-dalcheeni, masalas, kadhais, pressure cookers, belan-chakla, besan laddoos, barfi, digestives like Hajmola, theplas, khakras, aachars, namkeen, mathri, coffee powder and tea leaves. The list must be endless!

Armed in a dorm room with oodles of food, the real challenge is to cook it up, especially for those unpracticed students who have always relied on their maa ke haath ka khanna.

While many of you may fall back on the basic dal-chawal combo that can be eaten with homemade pickle, there are several rather interesting simple recipes you can try.

Treat yourself to a simple meal of Green Gram Khichdi, Egg Rice, Tamarind Rice, Spinach Rice or Lemon Rice which can be had by itself or with a side of rasam, pickle and papad.

Piping hot Rasam can be your go-to solution for a cold, cough, fever or headache as well.

Swap the humble dal for Dal Fry.

If you are bored of chapattis/rotis, make Neer Dosa with a coconut-based Egg Curry.

You can cook a simple but delicious South Indian Ghee Chicken Curry that can be eaten any day of the week with steamed rice or rotis if kept safely in individual portions in the freezer. Learn how to freeze, guys!

Photograph: Deepa Mehrotra and Ashish Mehrotra

The Gourmet Dal-Rice, pictured above, is an easy job and offers a fresh presentation, worthy of your new friends, to the humble meal of dal and rice.

Beginners, who are struggling with their chapatti-making skills, this (video) is meant for you.

The mildly-spiced Sambar is full of flavor, and if you don't have sambar powder, you can always use rasam powder.

You may not find all the veggies you require to make a perfect sambar, but worry not, you can always replace the missing veggies with something locally available -- use canned pumpkin instead of the fresh variety.

Aloo Tamatar Ki Sabzi is simple and made without onions and garlic. If you have some left, have it the next day for breakfast with bread.

Sauteed Butter Garlic Mushrooms can be had by itself or with rotis.

If you have a pack of chickpeas, and take time out to soak them overnight, your Chatpate Chole Masala should be ready in under 30 minutes.

Making Chicken Kheema Pulav, Peas Pulav, Aloo Palak and Tadka Rice won't take up much of your busy days as you struggle to find work-life balance.

Feeling too lazy? Go for Paneer Bhurji, which can be eaten with store-bought rotis.

Over the weekend, rustle up Masala Kheema, Pav Bhaji, Mutton Biryani, below, or Egg Biryani.

Vegetarians can try the Vegetable Pot Biryani and Soya Pulav.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Nadiya Sarguroh

University life can be challenging, so plan in advance and make a batch of Methi Theplas over a long weekend. If refrigerated and wrapped well, it will last you for a few months.

You can avoid the hassle of preparing a potato stuffing with this Aloo Paratha recipe, where the boiled potatoes are kneaded with the dough.

Poha is a simple breakfast option, so is Aval Upma and Bread Upma.

Sevai Upma is a delicious, healthy alternative to Maggi.

Sweet Potato Khichdi draws inspiration from the famous Maharashtrian Sabudana Khichdi.

If you are craving for refreshing, aromatic tea with the goodness of Indian spices, make Masala Chai and enjoy it with crispy Onion Pakoras or a Potato Snack.

Whip up a batch of savory super-speedy Besan Idli in half an hour, or Sweet Pumpkin Idlis, or Quinoa Idlis, if white quinoa is easily available. 

For starters, attempt makin Prawn Pakoras or Rawa Fried Fish with local fish.

Vegetable Pasta is a simple, quick, Indian-style dish served with tomato ketchup and grated cheese.

Vegetarians who complain that they have limited options when it comes to pizza, can try their hand at homemade Vegetarian Pizza that combines walnuts with pizza sauce.

Desirous of something sweet that's Indian? There's always Chawal Ki Kheer, Oatmeal Laddoos, Gajar Ka Halwa and Green Peas Halwa.

Have fun, folks, reinventing yourselves as master chefs!

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