With 9 Guidelines for an Indian Budget Kitchen, Get Unlimited Laughter Free

Don’t you wish salaries were increasing at the same speed at which the ‪Rupee is falling? I bet you are facing the same problem that I am facing, cutting down on the amount we spend in the kitchen every month. If you have been reading my tweets on #MantraAt3 everyday at 3pm then you must have read the tips I’ve been sharing. You’ll be surprised how smart buying, storage & smart cooking can effectively cut cost without pinching your great taste. Don’t get intimidated reading about the price hike in the newspaper everyday. Put on your thinking cap and pull out these Budget Kitchen tricks. It will become a fun game, I promise.

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Now the real big question is, will ‪Rupee jokes take over from ‪Rajnikant and ‪CID jokes? Some of the jokes on twitter are really giving Rajnikant competition take a look.

@papacj: Disneyland is opening a new ride in which you free fall from a great height in just a few seconds. They’re calling the ride ‘The Indian Rupee’!

‪@fakingnews :BREAKING: Prime Minister’s US trip cancelled as there are not enough dollars

‪@coolfunnytshirt: Next episode of Crime Patrol may show How UPA forced ‪#Rupee to commit suicide.

@coolfunnytshirt: Agle janam mohe dollar he kijjo – Rupee

Ramesh Srivats on Twitter: Everyday a new record. Truly the Sergei Bubka of currencies.


Budget Buying

Guideline no. 1 – Choose local

1) Choose local, grown fresh seasonal fruits and veggies in place of bottled preserves for  a ‪BudgetKitchen.

2) Go for Local Brands such as TATA or ITC for food products in the kitchen shelf over foreign brands.

3) Use Sponge Gourd / Taroi in place of expensive veggies like ‪zucchini, with similar flavour & texture it is available at a lower price.

4) Drop that imported ‘Branded’, expensive apple & instead buy organic, local fruits from our orchards. ‪@ShopforChange

5) Go local this season, buy local Apples, Pomegranate, Jamun and Bananas instead of Rambutan n Kiwis from the shelf.

6) Drop that high priced arborio rice packect & cook up barley ‪#risotto instead. Barley is grown in India, easily available & cheaper. ‪#BudgetKitchen ‪#MantraAt3

7) You’ll be surprised how easy it is to replace fancy & expensive ingredients with cheaper substitutes in International Cooking.

8) Pricey polenta in this plate can be replaced with sooji /rawa / Semolina flavoured with herbs.  ‪#BudgetKitchen

Polenta Dish

Polenta Dish

9) No need to sell my kidney to buy Couscous here. Replace it with coarse makke-ka-atta/ cornmeal or even wheat daliya.

10) Basa, competitior of Indian fish & is more expensive than Bekti. It belongs to the same family as Pangashis from ‪#Bengal sold whole, which you can opt for instead of Basa.

11) Indian farmed Basa is also pricey, so why not experiment with the wide variety of Indian fresh water fish like Rohu & other seafood varieties?

Guideline No. 2 – Grow Your Own

12) Plant the stalk with the seeds next time you cut a fresh red bell pepper. Grow it in pots at home or at your windowsill instead of buying it.

13) Freeze in ‪Olive Oil or grow your own but there’s no point wasting that pack of parsley or sage or oregano which you’ve bought & used only once.

Guideline No. 3 – Make Your Own

‪14)  Thai ‪Curry paste or other imported ready pastes are more in price & less in freshness. Make these pastes it over a weekend ‪in the BudgetKitchen.

Green Thai Curry

Green Thai Curry

Here’s ‪#HowtoMake your own ‪Thai Curry paste at home on a weekend ‪https://foodmantras.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/love-green-thai-curry-kaeng-kheiyw-hwan-thiy-making-the-paste-at-home/ …

15) Find your nearest chakki & get that wheat, jowar or bajra freshly ground at a lower cost. This flour is also more fibrous.

16) Drink the ‪whey ‪protein in the liquid after making paneer & save yourself the trouble of buying protein shakes.

17) Make Ricotta cheese at home, instead of buying the expensive pack. I think ‪@caramelwings has a recipe for that.

Guideline No. 4 – Smart Buys

18) Go to the bakery after 9pm. Before closing time most bakeries go on a half off policy. Goods are still fresh, but cheaper.

19) Us women have a third eye for SALE. Pick up only what you need & store in airtight boxes. Plan a menu around those sale items.

20) Go for loose ‪eggs or desi anda over branded. Desi anda is equally good or even better at times & cheaper always.

21) Buy in bulk and stock up longer shelf life items like flour, salt for two months.  Draw a weekly budget, plan a menu & shop only what you need, accordingly.

22) Shop small quantity of perishable items often. When it comes to dairy, green leafy etc, you can avoid wastage if you don’t happen to use them.

23) It is ‪oil not ‪diamond honey! Expensive is not always better. Buy the cheaper variety of items like olive oil or canola oil. ‪ Bikaner is now coming up with Indian manufactures Olive Oil which will turn out to be cheaper than imported olive oils.


Budget Cooking

Guideline No. 5 – Avoid Wastage

24) Complete all Mis en place that is pre-prep before you start cooking to save fuel & that extra ‪gas cylinder cost.

25) Use veggies with high yield & low wastage, such as variety of green beans, cabbage, and potatoes.

26) My nutritionist tells me that the green part of cauliflower, which we usually discard, is rich in Vitamin C & dietary fibres. Use it in cooking, either add it to the cauliflower preparation or add mix with mashed potato for a patty.

27) Don’t throw away stale bread instead use it for crumbing & frying. Grind the bread & store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

Guideline No. 6 – Using Leftovers

28) Reduce leftover vegetable curry with spices like bhuna jeera, chili & meat masalas mix it with mashed potato for delicious vegetable Seekh Kebabs.

29) My ex-boss, a ‪#Sindhi couldn’t stop praising the Sel Masala Roti made with leftover chapattis. Have you tried it? Here is a recipe to use leftover roti in a snack.

To make Sel Roti ; Garlic + onion + tomato + rotis + green chili + coriander powder + chili powder + garam masala + salt + coriander leaves + Amchur

To give ‪#Sindhi SelRoti a little twist squeeze lemon juice instead of Amchur & add in crushed papad for crunch.

30) Make lunchbox sandwiches with last night’s leftover salad. Mix the salad with flavoured hung curd to hold it as a filling.

Guideline No. 7 – Cooking Local

31) Ragi cooked in milk, sattu or wheat daliya are few desi breakfast preparations that can replace your packaged cornflakes in a ‪BudgetKitchen.

32) Get creative, use Indian local veggies like brinjals, taroi, corn, along with locally made mozzarella for your pizza in ‪#BudgetKitchen.

33) Go for Mexican/Italian/Spanish cuisines you can make with Indian grocery ingredients over Japanese / Scandanavian.

34) Dedicate ‪Rupee low time to Indian Food. Indian recipes like dal, curry & veggie preparations save cost. Add a creative twist with herbs.

Indian Food

Indian Food

Guideline No. 8 – Cook Smart

35) Guests at home? Go for Dum Aloo instead of Matar Paneer. maida naan over Puris for a good tasting & a low budget meal.

36) Cook for large portions this festive season. Choose cheaper ingredients for bulk like potato, cauliflower then play with masalas. Add flavor with spices, they are used meagerly but lend great taste to the food.

37) Kaam-choriness, thanks to Ready Cut Veggies, Browned Onions available in the market. Let’s not catch rust in front of the TV. Brush-up your skills and do the cutting, chopping at home. This also retains the nutrition in veggies.



Proper Storage

Guideline No. 9 – Store Right, Reduce Spoilage

38) Invest in Air-Tight Containers and zip-lock bags to increase the shelf life of food items.

39) Cling Wrap is God-sent when it comes to preventing food spoilage and wastage. Use cling wrap keep dough soft and the odour of strong smelling foods catching on to other stuff in the fridge.

40) Another Ande ka Funda is to use old ‪eggs for cakes & store new eggs in the fridge to keep them fresh longer.


Useful News: Tehelka ‏‪@Tehelka

10 ways the ‪#Rupee fall affects you | ‪http://bit.ly/15gfALg 



2 thoughts on “With 9 Guidelines for an Indian Budget Kitchen, Get Unlimited Laughter Free

  1. Antypasti says:

    Very useful ones those. Yes the trips to the grocers has started pinching me bad, I mean who buys red bell peppers for 299/- a kilo? Am guilty of the polenta and the couscous and the thai curry paste so yeah reading those made me shift in my chair, lol. Heck the husband did not even like the polenta, he found it very ‘soapy’ so I did tell him next time I’ll just use rawa. Thanks for the perspective, am not sure how many of us remember to do that bcoz I seem to be the only stingy woman who walks across the shelves checking prices and putting things back lol

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