Cooking on a tight budget is tough as it is, not to even speak of the struggle if you are living alone. Add to it the fact that you are in college, and the mounting expenditure of your rent and books alone is probably enough to banish all thoughts of a luxurious meal. In reality, though, it doesn’t take a lot to make an exotic meal. In fact, you don’t even need to go out.
These delicious dishes can be prepared at home and in a budget:
Paella is originally a Spanish one-pot dish with rice and lots of seafish. But one could easily substitute the fish with common vegetables like carrots, beans and cauliflowers, while replacing the fish stock with plain vegetable stock. The saffron can be replaced cleverly by using just a pinch of turmeric powder.
Stuffing green capsicums with mashed cheese and a few spices takes minimal effort. Baking it in the oven for a few minutes provides a healthy, yet delicious, restaurant-quality Continental side dish for your meals.
Technically, it is a humble Middle Eastern dish made with rice, lentils and caramelized onions. Even though it is only a frugal rice dish, it still has the distinction of being Middle Eastern and exotic.
It tastes like meat, but costs much less to make. The texture of the mushrooms combined with cauliflowers, when seasoned correctly, produces an equally mouthwatering patty for your gourmet burger.
There is no simpler and better cost-effective way to utilize those yellowing, overripe, left-over bananas which you cannot eat. In fact, the more spotted your bananas are, the better this dessert tastes. You can replace unhealthy maida with plain whole wheat flour, plus the dish uses a very little amount of sugar as the bananas are already sweet.
So the menu is pretty much set for you. None of the dishes mentioned above take an extraordinary amount of time any more than you would devote normally to the kitchen. You don’t even need excuses to eat out anymore. Just grab that apron and cook a delicious, healthy and exotic meal for yourself.
Author : Deepannita Misra