New Delhi, Oct 23: Indian kitchens have always been the epicentres of ingenious culinary creations, where the art of making something out of nothing reigns supreme. In fact, each state, region, and community boasts its unique leftover-based recipes, nearly all of which are born from resourcefulness. However, as urbanisation leads to more and more people moving away from their homes and into cities, these culinary gems often fade away, especially for those living alone and relying heavily on takeout.
But the tides seem to be turning, there has been an increasing interest in cooking at home with the rising popularity of recipe and food content both online and on TV. Technology, like smart cooking devices powered by AI, is playing a pivotal role in this transformation. These appliances have breathed new life into leftovers, generating step-by-step recipes, and allowing owners to craft gourmet-worthy dishes from the remnants in their fridges.
According to upliance.ai food trends report, which has findings from an extensive dataset of 3000 households and more than 15,000+ cooking sessions on the delishUp across 11 cities, the resurgence of crafting meals from leftovers, is an unmistakable trend. Additionally, the survey also found that people are using AI to create innovative dishes like Pepsi Chicken and finding new ways to eat their old favourites like Tambuli. Overall, the kitchen has just become a safer place for culinary experimentation.
Rotli Nu Shak: "Rotli Nu Shaak" is a delightful Gujarati dish that ingeniously transforms leftover roti into a flavourful curry or stir-fry. The dish typically involves tearing the roti into bite-sized pieces and cooking it with spices, vegetables, and dal.
Fried Rice: Made from leftover rice is a popular and versatile dish in many Asian cuisines. It involves stir-frying cooked rice with various ingredients such as vegetables, meat, seafood, and seasonings. The key is using precooked, preferrably day-old, rice, which has had a chance to dry out slightly. Asian-style fried rice can be made easily with a smart cooking assistant -- mincing ginger and garlic with only a tap and turning on Wok mode to toss and fry the vegetables and rice.
Idli Upma: South Indian cuisines include several recipes to use up leftover rice, dals and even vegetables. For this recipe, crumbled or diced idlis are tossed with a simple tadka. The key is to get the tempering right for the whole spices like mustard and cumin and not burn the chillies and onions. Smart cooking assistants offer presets for most complex cooking instructions and ensure that meals are cooked consistently well.
Kheer: This is another classic Indian dessert that can be made from leftover rice. It involves simmering cooked rice in sweetened milk and adding flavourings like cardamom, saffron, and garnishes such as nuts and raisins. Traditionally, this recipe requires constant monitoring and stirring to get the consistency right. But today, people rely on their cooking appliances to do the tedious steps while they carry on with their day.
Households across India are eager to experiment with a wider variety of dishes right in their own kitchens. This shift is significantly influenced by the convenience offered by AI-powered devices and smart cooking assistants. It's not just about saving food; it's a transformative shift in the way people approach home cooking in India. With technology as their culinary companion, the future of Indian home kitchens is brighter and more inventive than ever.
(Mahek Mody is the Co-founder and CEO of upliance.ai)