Delicious Indian Food to Make Using your Leftovers

Having food while being under lockdown does not have to be boring. Here are some recipes on using your leftovers to create delicious Indian food.

It is a dish which packs flavour and can be cooked in minutes.

It is probably the best time to use your leftovers to make innovative Indian dishes.

The Coronavirus has led to lockdowns across the world and while many people have stockpiled food, others are finding ways to make it last.

Food can last for several days before going bad, meaning that you have a few good meals.

However, the problem is that eating the same thing over and over again can become tedious.

Thankfully, you can create exciting and wonderful dishes using the leftovers and they provide a delicious meal for any time of the day.

Here are some Indian dishes to make using your leftover meals.

Lemon Rice

Delicious Indian Food to Make Using your Leftovers - rice

For those who want to enjoy an alternative rice option, try making lemon rice.

While it can be made with basmati rice, it also tastes great when using leftover rice. It is a dish which packs flavour and can be cooked in minutes.

It has a distinct yellow colour and the finished dish is soft rice with subtle flavours of lemon and the various spices. It may be simple but it is very popular.


  • 3-4 cups of cooked rice
  • 2½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp urad daal, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
  • ½ tsp chana daal, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 14 Curry leaves
  • 1 Green chilli, sliced
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a bowl, add the lemon juice, salt and rice then mix well until fully combined.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan. Once hot, add the peanuts and cook until roasted. When they turn golden, remove them onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. In the same pan, add the mustard seeds and let them pop.
  4. Add both daals to the pan and fry until golden brown. Add the curry leaves and chilli and cook for a few seconds. Mix in the turmeric and asafoetida.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and transfer the spices over to the rice along with the roasted peanuts. Mix well then serve with pickle.

This recipe was adapted from Cook with Manali.

Daal Paratha

Delicious Indian Food to Make Using your Leftovers - paratha

Making daal paratha is a great way of making your leftover daal stretch for longer.

The great thing about it is that this snack can be made using a variety of daals.

When making this dish, ensure that your leftover daal has quite a dry consistency. This will make it easier to work with.

This paratha tastes delicious on its own but tastes even better dipped in a sweet mango chutney.


  • 150g whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For the Filling

  • 200g cooked yellow moong daal
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp coriander-cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil


  1. In a bowl, add the flour, oil and salt and knead into a soft dough using enough water. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, heat the oil then add the cumin seeds.
  3. When they sizzle, add the asafoetida, cooked daal, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder and salt. Cook on medium heat for two minutes.
  4. Once done, remove the mixture from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Meanwhile, divide the dough into equal portions.
  5. Roll the dough until it is approximately 100 millimetres in diameter then place some of the filling in the centre.
  6. Fold it in, seal and roll out.
  7. Heat a griddle pan with some oil and cook the paratha until it is golden brown on both sides.

Lamb Keema Samosas

Delicious Indian Food to Make Using your Leftovers - samosa

Keema tends to be a hearty Indian dish so when it comes to leftovers, the meal can be used to create delicious samosas.

The savoury filling is stuffed into pasty and deep-fried.

Once done, the exterior is light and crispy but when you take a bite, a plethora of intense flavours come from the keema.

This snack is filling enough to replace a meal, meaning that you enjoy them for days.


  • Cooked lamb mince
  • Oil, for frying
  • 6 Mint leaves, finely chopped

For the Pastry

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Water


  1. In a food processor, add the flour, ghee, salt and carom seeds. Allow it to mix while adding water, a little at a time until the mixture becomes firm yet smooth.
  2. Once done, divide into equal portions then cover and set aside.
  3. Place the cooked lamb into a bowl and stir in the mint leaves. Set aside.
  4. To make the samosas, fill a small cup with water and set aside. Meanwhile, on a floured surface, roll each pastry portion into a 6-inch diameter circle. Cut each circle in half.
  5. Lightly spread the water along the edge of the semicircle. Fold each one into cones and seal the sides.
  6. Pick the cone up and fill with two tablespoons of the keema filling. Gently press down then close the top into a triangle shape, pinching the edge until it is completely sealed.
  7. In a wok, heat the oil on medium heat. Once hot, place the samosas in and fry until they start to rise. Flip over and continue frying until golden.
  8. Once done, remove from the wok and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Serve with chutney.

This recipe was adapted from Archana’s Kitchen.

Junglee Pulao

Delicious Indian Food to Make Using your Leftovers - pulao

A rich meat curry can last for days but it can become tedious if you are eating it all the time.

Use the leftovers to create junglee pulao. The dish is a mixture of all sorts of ingredients, hence the name, which means wild.

Not only does it use leftover meat curry, but it can also include your leftover vegetables.

It is believed that the dish originated during one mealtime when a family was trying to be creative.


  • 250g leftover meat curry
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 Green chillies, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables
  • 2½ cups hot water
  • 3 tbsp oil


  1. Wash the rice then leave to soak in water for around 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep pan, add the onions and fry until golden. Add the garlic and ginger paste and fry until the raw smell goes away.
  3. Add all the powdered spices, tomatoes and chillies. Fry until the oil starts to separate from the masala.
  4. Drain the water from the rice then place it into the pot along with the meat curry, vegetables and water. Add salt and mix well. Bring the rice to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the water evaporates. If the rice is still a little undercooked, add half a cup of water.
  5. Once done, serve with fresh yoghurt and a pickle of your choice.

This recipe was inspired by The Spruce Eats.

Curry Omelette

Delicious Indian Food to Make Using your Leftovers - omelette

A curry may taste great a day later but for those who want an appealing meal for any time of the day, you can use the leftovers to make a curry omelette.

Whether it is using leftover curry that you made or a leftover takeaway, this omelette dish is perfect for any meal of the day.

A mixture of mild and spicy curries will provide a great taste as there are layers of flavour in every mouthful.


  • 4 Eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • Leftover curry
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp butter


  1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, chop up any large pieces of meat and vegetables in the curry then stir into the eggs.
  3. Heat a pan then add the butter. Pour the curry mixture into the pan. Gently move it around the pan until it starts to firm up.
  4. Heat the grill. When it firms up, put the omelette under the grill and cook for eight minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately with mango chutney or enjoy on its own.

This recipe was inspired by Sew White.

Leftovers may seem difficult when thinking about what to do with them but the reality is that they are versatile and can be used to make whatever you like.

The great thing about using leftovers is that the job is already half done.

So use these step-by-step guides to create some delicious Indian dishes and to brighten up mealtimes during this lockdown period.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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