Food Wastage is Avoidable

Being in the food industry for over a decade I hate food going to waste. I feel every one who has an access to a decent meal a day is a very fortunate being. Chefs are surrounded by food all the time and hence are more responsible for saving food nit to just show profits for the restaurant but as a moral duty and a bigger responsibility for all those who are chefs at home. Food wasted should be treated as bad as a crime. Being a chef I know where to save food and the same can be practiced at home or in a professional kitchen.

Have a standard measure – When at home count the number of heads who will eat. Have a standard measure ready like a cup, ladle or a spoon in the kitchen handy and accordingly measure and cook. Trust me food somehow tastes better when it is just enough.

Teach kids how to cook – A home that has kids often sees a lot of wastage. Best way to teach kids to respect food is to involve them in cooking in the early stage of their life. Start with something simple as helping around the kitchen, to kneading a dough and then moving to make a salad.

FIFO – FIFO stands for first in first out. This means what ever you have purchased first try and consume it first. This applies mostly to perishable items. Eg. Cream, meat, dairy, eggs, milk etc. Highly perishable ingredients turn and faster and need to be consumed or cooked first.

Buy on a daily basis – One good thing that hotels have taught me is to buy your fresh ingredients daily. I know it is a bit of a challenge when both couples are working but there is always a store offering a free delivery. When you buy daily fresh it has a longer shelf life and you make tasty dishes. Vegetables or fruits kept longer in the refrigerator somehow always taste a notch or two below the fresh produce.

Make the best use of the left overs – There is always a situation of some left over. Remember if you store cooked food in the safe temperature zone of 0c-5c and reheat it to 65c or above for 20 seconds or more, the food is safe is safe to consume. In a lay man’s term immediately refrigerate the leftover food and always reheat it properly before consuming.

Keep your kitchen clean – Remember to clean your kitchen once you have cooked. Have a preventive pest control of the house done every month. Doing this you ensure pest control which reduces food wastage.

Missi Roti There is a lot of misconception about Missi Roti. Most of the restaurants prepare a missi roti using besan. But a real Punjabi Missi roti is always made with a the left over dal from last night. Dal undergoes some magic over night as it always tastes better after a day. When this dal is mixed with atta along with spices and make into paranthas, the taste of the parantha is divine. The use of left over dal is best used this way.

Ingredients

  • Atta – 2 cups
  • Onions chopped – 1/4th cup
  • Green chilly chopped – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Dal (leftover) – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 2 tbl spn

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together except ghee. If required add little water and make in to a soft dough. Give it rest for 5 mins.
  • Now make small balls, roll out apply a little ghee, fold into a triangle. Use dry atta and rool out the parantha into the shape of a triangle.
  • On a hot tawa cook parantha on both sides, smear ghee and make it crips. Enjoy while it is still hot with curd.