Recipes: Get Creative with Leftover Food

Anyone with a bit of imagination and love for experimenting with food can make wonders out of the overnight leftover food. I learned the art from my mother. Simple daily food leftovers can be  turned into delicious dishes in no time.

Rice, veggies, Rotis (Indian breads or Pita breads), regular bread or pita bread, lentils, chicken and fruits, one can dish out amazing stuff from these things.

Here are some recipes that I use at home. The boys have mastered the art too. They love experimenting, much to my disgust but then I too went through the same stage 🙂

As long as nothing goes waste I am happy.

1. RICE:

Phodnicha bhat ( seasoned rice )


Leftover rice

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped onions

Green chilies (cut small)

Ginger and garlic (cut small)

Green fresh coriander leaves

Curry leaves

Shelled peas

For seasoning:


Fennel seeds

Mustard seeds



Garam Masala

Red chilly powder


Break the leftover rice and add turmeric, salt, garam masala to it. Mix well and keep aside.

In an open pan heat a little oil and add asafetida, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Let them crackle and then add chopped onions.

When the onions become golden brown add peas, green chilly and tomato. Mix it well and cover till the peas are tender.

Add curry leaves along with the rice and mix it so that the seasoning and rice blend well. Cover on slow heat for five minutes and remove.

Serve hot with coriander leaves and lemon.

One can also make tomato rice with the leftover rice.

MASALA BREAD can be made in similar way using leftover bread instead of rice.

Crumbled leftover IDLIS can be used as another ingredient instead of rice and bread.

Rice muffins


1 Cup leftover rice

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2tblspoon sugar

2tspoon baking powder


1/2 cup skim milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 tsp almond extract


Mix flour with sugar and baking powder.

Beat the eggs and add all the other ingredients, rice goes last.

Add the rice mixture to the flour mixture and blend well.

Spoon the mixture into 12 pre-greased muffin cups

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 min.

Serve with tea, coffee.


The leftover lentils can be dried to make a firm base for filling.

Dal parathas (stuffed lentil flat bread)


Any leftover Lentil

Garam Masala


Red chilly powder

Chopped green chilies


Finely chopped onions


Dry the lentil over slow heat till all the liquid evaporates.Remove and cool.

Add all the masalas and chopped onion, green chillies, coriander.

Make dough of whole wheat flour and shape it into a ball. Roll it a little and stuff the lentil into it. Cover it with a similar roll. Make a round even shape with the roller and make a paratha (flat bread) on the girdle.

One can mix the dry cooked lentil mixture directly in the flour and then make the dough.

Serve with butter, pickle or curds.

3. Chicken

Leftover chicken can be used in many ways, in rolls, sandwiches and with rice etc.


Any kind of leftover chicken, kebabs and tikkas can be used to make spicy rolls. Use bone less chicken for the rolls. One can shred it or use in small pieces.

Take a pita bread or Roomali Roti. Spread tomato chilly sauce (optional) on it.

Heat the chicken and if there is any liquid, let it evaporate. Add some spices and a little salt according to taste.

Spoon hot dried chicken in the center of the pita then add some onion rings, fresh coriander, finely sliced tomato, tender cabbage leaves, fine sliced capsicum.

Make neat rolls.

Serve with mint chutney.


Shredded chicken can be mixed with mayonnaise and a dash of Tabasco and tomato ketchup to be used in sandwiches .The sandwiches can be grilled or eaten plain.

Chicken rice

Leftover chicken and rice can make a great meal.

Heat oil and add bay leaf, clove, black pepper, cinnamon stick, big and small cardamom, cumin seeds, chopped tomatoes, onions, green chilies.

Let them blend into fine paste then add the chicken and roast for some time.

Add rice and cover for some time.

Serve fresh n hot with curds or lemon.

4. Leftover meat

To extend a little leftover meat into another meal, combine with cooked rice, macaroni or pasta, a can of creamed soup, half a can of milk or water, a sprinkling of garlic and/or onion powder and place in a greased casserole, sprinkle with shredded cheese and heat uncovered in a 350*F (175*C) oven until hot and cheese is melted and lightly browned.

5. Fruits

Over ripe bananas

Over ripe bananas can be used to make delicious dumplings.

Take some over ripe bananas .mash them into fine paste. Add a little whole wheat flour to make a soft dripping batter. Add sugar to taste and ground big cardamom. Blend to make the batter.

Heat oil and make small dumplings and fry them on slow heat till golden brown. Eat hot.


Wash and peel the apples. Chop them into cubes or long slices.

In a pan place the apple slices /cubes and put enough water to just cover it.

Add a little sugar preferably brown and a pinch of cinnamon n nutmeg.

Add a few cloves and let it simmer on slow heat .keep it covered. Once the apple is tender dry the remaining water.

Take out the stewed apples in a dish and eat it plain or with fresh cream.

6. Pickles

Leftover pickle masalas can be used to make tangy potato vegetable.

Boil the potatoes.

Heat oil. Add cumin seeds.

Once they start to crackle, add chopped potato cubes and roast for some time.
Add the pickle masala and its oil to give it a spicy tangy taste.

7. Cake leftover

Chocolate thick shake


Leftover chocolate cake

3/4 glass chilled milk

Chocolate flakes & cherry for decoration.

Method :

Blend a large piece of leftover chocolate cake with chilled milk with an electric hand blender.

Pour it in a glass.

Decorate with cherry and chocolate flakes.

Serve immediately.

Hope these recipes will be useful to you. Enjoy!!!

8 thoughts on “Recipes: Get Creative with Leftover Food

  1. loved the ideas i make most of them too

    i also make the apples the way u said but just bake them instead with a dash of butter and brown sugar yumm

    but rice muffins very nice never tried them, will try them tmrw

    Do try. They come out well. will be updating this section and will post pix too as and when I make something


  2. I miss my mum 😦
    She has a habit of experimenting with leftovers in the kitchen… “concoctions” we call them! 🙂 And she has a knack for spinning out brilliant stuff time and again. She just says that she gets creative around leftovers. Unfortunately, most of these brilliant performances are “one time only” affairs since according to her you never get the same leftovers in the same ratio again. 🙂
    Suffice to say though, no leftovers are ever wasted in our home! Not, at least, when my sister and I are around…

    would love to meet your mom and share her secrets :). working in the kitchen is fun . glad you liked the post. share these with your ma. 🙂 keep visitng


  3. You are one dedicated cook , just like me.
    I love experimenting in the kitchen and totally agree with you on the motto, “don’t let anything go waste.”

    Wonderful ideas there 😀 😀

    Thank you for visiting my blog and giving me a chance to visit your awesome blog.

    Let’s stay in touch and have fun blogging 🙂


    It was wonderful to visit your blog. I will add it to my blogroll. I will keep sharing recipies now for some days. trying to take the pix too.

    sure I will stay in touch.

    Cheers and best wishes


  4. Nice! I am just setting potatoes to boil. Have a lot of left over mango pickle masala!

    😀 you are a potato lover like me. wai till tomorrow . Potato recipies coming your way . have fun .


  5. Pingback: Recipes: Get Creative with Leftover Food « Spinning a Yarn Of Life |

  6. The post made me think and imagine like a pro 😉 about the stuff I could make with my leftover food.
    Though it would have been wonderful, if you could publish some pics of the delicacies you have talked about


  7. Pingback: The Creamy Beef And Eggplant Curry Recipe

  8. Even though we do most of the things quite naturally, I’ve never cared to write them down. Makes interesting read. I was nodding my head all thru the post !!! 🙂


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