As the old adage goes, nothing goes waste on Earth. So, before you dump those watermelon rinds, leftover rice, prawn shells or hardened bread into the bin, take a look at what magic you can create with them.
Ingredients: A bowl of cold, refrigerated leftover rice, 2tbsp sugar, 3tbsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2tbsp light soya sauce, 2tbsp tempura flour (you can also use cornflour if you don’t have tempura flour), 1 cucumber - half of it thinly-sliced, the rest in thick slices, 2tbsp roasted sesame seeds
Method: To the rice, add vinegar, sugar, salt and soya sauce. Mix well. Dip the thick cucumber slices in little vinegar and water mixture, and coat with tempura batter. Now deep fry in hot oil until crisp. In a small bamboo mat, sprinkle sesame seeds, place butter paper and make a bed of the rice. Arrange the thin slices of cucumber and fried cucumber slices in a line, down the center of the rice bed. Gently roll the mat over with the ingredients, pressing gently. Now roll it open and gently peel off the butter paper. Cut into blocks with a sharp knife and serve with a bowl of soya sauce.
By food expert Anju Khattar
Bora Bora pickled salad
Ingredients: A bowl of watermelon rind shredded (only the white part, scrape out the green skin), 2tbsp roasted peanuts (crushed), 1tsp chopped garlic, 1 red chilli sliced, 1tsp palm sugar, thinly-sliced tomatoes, juice of 1/2 lime, any flavoured sauce (such as fish sauce or simple soya sauce)
Method: Melt the palm sugar in a pan at low heat, adding little water. In a shallow wooden bowl, take the chillies, garlic and peanuts, and gently bash with a wooden spatula. Add the shredded watermelon rind and toss gently so that the flavours are soaked up adequately in the mixture. Add the molten palm sugar, the sliced tomatoes, lime juice and flavoured sauce. Assemble in a bowl and serve. To improvise you can also add some shrimps to this from your fridge.
By chef Harman Singh, Warehouse Cafe
Ingredients: 1 bowl leftover rice, 2-3 tbsp chopped onion, 1tsp curry powder, a few curry leaves, 2 green chillies, 1tbsp chopped ginger, 1tsp mustard seeds, 50ml vegetable oil, salt to taste Batter for coating: 100gm flour, 150gm bread crumbs
Method: Crackle mustard seeds in hot oil. Add onions, chopped, chillies and sauté for a minute. Now add the curry leaves, sauté and add curry powder. Take off fire, and let it cool. Add this to the leftover rice along with salt, and mix thoroughly. Shape into equal size barrels or cylinders or any desired shape. Make a thin batter using flour and water. Coat the rice cylinders with the batter and roll over bread crumbs.Deep fry to golden colour, and serve hot with any chutney of your choice.
By chef Sandeep Panwar, The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa
Ingredients: A small bowl of prawn shells, 2tsp yellow butter, 1tbsp leek chopped, 1 small onion roughly chopped, a few celery leaves
Method: Wash the prawn shells in running water and sauté with butter. Add about 2 cups of water, salt and pressure cook for five to six whistles. Add to this broth, the leek, celery and onions. Leave it for about an hour for the flavours to soak and then strain. In a blender, make a puree of boiled shells mixture and strain. Add the strained portion to the stock, boil for a minute. Garnish with chopped leeks and serve.
By chef Subroto Goswami, Blu Hotel New Delhi, Paschim Vihar
Ingredients: 6 bread slices, 2 cups milk, 2tbsp butter, a handful of raisins, 4 beaten eggs, a quarter cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, a few drops of vanilla essence
Method: Line the breads into a baking pan and evenly pour the butter over it. Sprinkle the raisins generously over it. In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla, and beat it until well mixed. Pour over the bread and
leave it for about 10 minutes so that the the egg mixture is well soaked up into the bread slices. Now, bake this in a preheated (175°F) oven for 40 minutes. When done, cool it in the fridge for about an hour and savour.
By chef DC Bhatt, Tivoli Garden Chattarpur
Ingredients: 10 stale bread slices, 1 sprig of leek or spring onion leaves, 1tbsp basil, 2-3 bay leaves, 50ml vegetable oil, 5 cloves garlic, salt to taste, 1tsp black pepper, 1 litre milk, 20gm yellow butter
Method: Remove the hard crust from bread slices and soak in milk. Heat oil in a pan and add the roughly chopped white portions of leek. Sauté for minute or two, and add the mashed garlic cloves, bay leaf and black pepper. Sauté for another two minutes or so. Add the remaining portions of the leek leaves, roughly chopped, and the basil. Now add the milk and bread mix, and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Take off fire, and blend in a processor or hand blender to a smooth consistency. Strain, add butter and serve hot.
By chef Sandeep Panwar