Kids constantly crave variety in their food and leftover rice can be given a twist to create some fabulous recipes.
By Kejal Sheth
Hot, fragrant rice straight off the stove is delicious, but leftover rice that has been allowed to cool down has its own unique properties. Cooked rice firms up in a way that helps to retain its shape when it comes to reheating it. The texture provides a nice al-dente morsel and keeps it from turning mushy as it certainly would if you tried to use the freshly cooked rice instead.
If you’ve got some leftover rice, with these delicious, creative suggestions you’ll never need to throw it away again. Here are some easy ways to turn it into a fabulous new meal or side dish.
Stuffed tomatoes/ bell pepper
Slice off the top of the tomato or capsicum and scoop out the seeds and fleshy part. Fill with a seasoned rice mixture, drizzle with olive oil, grate some cheese on the top and bake it. It’s that easy!
This is another easy yet innovative way to use up your rice and also include veggies in the meal. Toss leftover rice with your favourite vinaigrette or other salad dressing, some fresh herbs or spices and your favourite diced vegetables to make this low calorie and a nutrient rich meal.
Paratha or Akki roti
Akki roti is a popular Karnataka recipe. If you have rice left over you could make delicious roti for your breakfast.
Take a mixing bowl, add rice flour, cooked rice paste, chopped onions, coriander leaves and grated coconut. Mix well by drizzling little water into soft and spreadable dough. Roll it out into circular discs, place these over the tawa, drizzle some oil. Cook till both the sides turn golden brown and then remove from the tawa. Serve hot.
We can easily prepare this healthy cutlet with available ingredients in home. Add chopped onions, cilantro, grated carrots and beetroots, smashed potato, soaked bread, tomato juice, green chillies, chilli powder, besan flour, corn flour, salt, garam masala and mix well. Divide into small portions and cook it from both sides on the stove.
Rice and bean burrito
Stir in some beans, green leafy veggies and leftover rice and you’ve a quick wholesome meal ready! Add in whatever burrito toppings you happen to have on hand, such as salsa, sour cream, paneer or even some soya chunks.
Rice pudding is a great way to use up lots of leftover rice all at once. It can be savoured by kids, and adults too! You can add some cinnamon, and saffron or some raisins and dried fruit for a breakfast rice pudding.
While you set the milk overnight to turn it into curd, add your left over rice to it and let it set. Next morning, you can use this mixture while adding in some spices, chopped onion and tomatoes and some fresh coriander leaves. Make this into a nice thick batter and pour on a pre-heated pan. Cook lightly on both the sides. Serve hot with mint coriander chutney.
Soup is the ideal dish to use as a meal replacer. Place a pot over medium heat and add some olive oil to it. Add in chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Cook for 10 minutes before adding chicken broth and water. Add leftover rice and shredded chicken. Cook for half an hour before serving the delicious and healthy rice soup.
Arancini (Italian rice balls) with Indian twist
Although many Arancini recipes begin with a risotto base, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip the 20-minute stir time and start with day-old rice.
Combine the rice, Parmesan, yellow corn and some parsley in a medium bowl and use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture. Squeeze in some paneer or cheese in the centre of each ball and, using an appam maker, shallow fry these balls.
To make the batter, add the cooked rice, with some curd and salt into a grinder. Add water as required to form a smooth batter. Heat a pan and gently spread a ladle of batter on it. Cook till the base becomes golden. Serve crisp and hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.
(The writer is a nutritionist, weight management expert and founder of Nutrivity.in)