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Réchauffé: The Art Of Reusing Leftover Food And Why It Is Important- A Nutritionist's Perspective

Rechauffe cooking: Leftover cooked food must be used as soon as possible. Not only does it help in avoiding food wastage, it is also an interesting way to churn out new recipes from already cooked food. Nutritionist Vandita Jain explains it all.

Réchauffé: The Art Of Reusing Leftover Food And Why It Is Important- A Nutritionists Perspective

Leftovers safety: Reusing cooked food helps in preventing food wastage


  1. Leftover rice can be used to prepared fried rice
  2. Make sure that the quality of food does not deteriorate
  3. Do not re-cook, only reheat leftover foods

Réchauffé is referred to a dish of warmed-up food left over from a previous meal. The practice helps in preventing food wastage by utilisation of leftovers. Cooked food cannot be stored for too long without its quality deteriorating, but it is important to reuse it in some way. Efforts should be to devise ways of incorporating it as soon as possible, into new dishes, dishes in which the food is completely unrecognisable, yet almost care should be exercised to ensure that there is no relaxation in terms of the standards of quality offered. At commercial level, when food remains unsold, or unused in large quantities, it usually gets pilfered or wasted through mishandling and spoilage.

General rules for reheating the food:

  • Never re-cook, only reheat wholesome left-over foods (that there are not spoilt)
  • Cut the cooked foods, finely for quick reheating and penetration of flavorings and seasonings
  • Cook any raw ingredients thoroughly which are to be cooked in order to réchauffé
  • Add additional moisture (sauce or gravy) during reheating
  • In case of meats, it is advisable to remove the skin but not fat unless in excess because fat helps to keep the food moist
  • Protect the food from direct heat by coating with egg and bread crumbs, enclosing in batter or pastry
  • The prepared dish should be well-heated and garnished neatly. The left-overs should be used on the same day to create dishes

Also read: Avoid These Foods For Healthy Cholesterol Levels; Know Other Heart Friendly Foods

Advantages of réchauffé

  1. No food wastage.
  2. You can use leftover foods to come up with interesting dishes.
  3. Its helps in saving food preparation time.

Also read: Cooking Tips: Nutritionist Gives 10 Tips To Use Less Oil For Frying And Sautéing


  1. Leftovers like boiled rice can be used to prepare fried rice, stuffing for paratha, kheer, binding agents for cutlets etc.
  2. Leftover boiled pasta can be converted to salads, as filling of spring rolls/ samosas.
  3. Chapati and Parathas can be converted to paratha pizza, choorma, for making rolls with stuffings.
  4. Idlis which are left can be converted to idli vada, idli pizza, idli pakoda.
  5. Cakes and Muffins which are not to be consumed in original form can be used for making puddings, can be served with icecreams and jellies.
  6. Cooked pulses can be used for making dough which can be further used for making dal parathas/ rotis, drying it and making cutlets, can be used as stuffing for roti/ paratha.
  7. Leftover paneer can be used for making curries, chenna murki, kalakand, stuffing for parathas/ rolls/ sandwiches/cutlets, can be used as pizza topping.
  8. Leftover salads can be used for making raitas, gravies, stuffing for roti/ parathas.
  9. Boiled Eggs can be converted to egg pakoras, egg bhurji, can be put in fried rice, sandwiches, garnishing for kormas, biryanis.
  10. Fish curry which is unused can be used for curries, cutlets, topping for pizza, for making cocktail snacks.

Leftover food must only be reheated, not re-cooked
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Cooking Tips You Must Try To Make Your Meals Healthier During Lockdown

(Vandita Jain is Delhi-based nutritionist and Diabetes educator)

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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