Cooking on your own when you are in a hostel gives a one a great excuse to escape from the bland mess food which always somehow has rotis that are like leather, watery dal and vegetables swimming in a sad excuse of a curry. It is fun to try your hand at easy and quick recipes which provide the much-needed break from the terrible regular fare. Cooking is a basic and necessary skill which one must learn in order to survive and these basic dishes will indeed help you survive, whether you are in a hostel, or abroad with limited budget and options.
1 Scrambled Eggs
All you have to do is whisk the eggs with mayonnaise and one tablespoon of water. Pour the mixture into the pan and cook it till the eggs set. Take them out on a dish and you can add salt & pepper accordingly. They can be also prepared in the oven. All you have to do is stir the eggs every minute after placing the baking tray in the oven. There are several other ingredients like cheese, vegetables, bacon bits, etc that you can add to make the humble scrambled eggs exquisite.
2 Nutella Toast
Nothing is simpler than spreading Nutella over toasted bread. This is a rich and chocolaty breakfast dish that will definitely brighten up your day and charge you up for studies.
3 French Toast
This is such a simple recipe that one could whip it up in sleep. All you need to do is make the mixture of milk, spices and eggs. Then dip the bread in the mixture. Soak up the slices and cook them in the pan. The slices should be cooked till they turn golden-brown. You can add fruits like berries or pour honey on the toast.
A Gujarati favourite, khichu can be made easily with rice flour. Mix rice flour with water and add salt & roasted jeera. Cook it in the microwave and stir every 2 minutes. After the khichu is prepared, add oil. You can add pickle spices for taste. For better taste, you can also add ginger or garlic.
With ready to cook mixes available for preparing upma, it is very easy to make it with water and a pan. You can add chillies to make it spicier and veggies to make it taste better.
6 Rava Idli
It is easy to prepare with the ready to cook instant mixes available. All you need is the microwavable utensils and a little oil. Prepare the batter by adding curd to the mixture. Grease up the utensil with oil. Pour in the mixture and put it in the microwave. Your batch of idlis will be cooked within 2 minutes. Since it might be difficult to get coconut chutney in a hostel, have your idlis with ketchup.
You can easily make different varieties of pasta from ready to cook options or make it yourself from scratch as easily as well. The only thing that you have to do is boil the pasta and combine it with the gravy or sauce of your choice. Garnish it with cheese and melt it.
8 Mac ‘n’ cheese
Mac n’ cheese might seem just like pasta, but it is another snack in itself. It can be made by boiling pasta and then adding a mixture of milk, cheese, salt and pepper. You can add paprika to enhance the taste. Combine the mac n’ cheese with toasted bread to make a delicious dish.
9 Vegetable Maggi
Maggi is the perfect snack that can be made within 5 minutes. Add vegetables like carrots, capsicums, peas, etc to the maggi and it becomes healthy enough to allow one to indulge in it often.
10 Egg Maggi
Eggs can be added to maggi in many ways, scrambled, fried, poached, etc. Prepare maggi and add eggs along with veggies to make it a scrumptious delight.
The fluffed rice dish with spices and veggies is easily made from scratch as well as from the ready to cook instant mixes. Squeeze some lemon and add it to bring out the zingy flavour of the dish. You can garnish it with coriander, pomegranate, peanuts, and sev.
12 Grilled Cheese Sandwich
A classic entrée, it is the best dish to satisfy hunger pangs. It can be made using a simple grilling machine or toaster or a pan. Butter up the slices of the bread and add slices of cheese and grill it. You can use garlic butter to give it a distinctive flavour. Have it with mint chutney or ketchup.
13 Roti Sandwich
The healthier counterpart to sandwich cravings, roti sandwich can be made from leftover roti and some fresh veggies or stuffing. Prepare the sandwich stuffing and put in the rotis after you have lathered them with butter. Grill the roti sandwich and have it with chutney or ketchup.
14 Potato Pakoda
Rainy season and in the mood of pakodas? No problem. You can easily make paodas in your hostel too with a pan. All you need is potatoes and besan. Dip potato slices in the besan mix and fry it. Have the hot pakodas with chutney or ketchup or chai.
Movie night with hostel buds? Popcorn is the perfect snack for it. With ready to cook instant packets available, you can easily make popcorn in your microwave, that too, in different flavours. If you want to prepare them from the kernel and add some flavours to it yourself, just let the kernels pop for 2-5 minutes in a pressure cooker and your popcorn is ready.
You can go for the traditional, sweet oatmeal or a savoury one. Nowadays there are ready to cook mixes available which you can prepare and add fruits too, for better taste.
17 Masala Omelette
One of the easiest dishes to prepare, masala omelette can be made in minutes. All you need is some eggs, spices and veggies. Crack open the eggs, whisk it with spices and veggies. Spread the mixture on pan and cook. You can garnish cheese on it or even have it with toasted bread.
18 Bread Pizza
All you need to do to prepare this fusion is spread pizza toppings with sauce on toasted bread and garnish it with lots of cheese. Enjoy this cheesy heavenly dish with chutney or ketchup.
19 Chicken Soup
Prepare this easily with small pieces of chicken boiled with chicken stock and veggies. This is nutritious and yummy. You can prepare from ready to cook instant mix too.
20 Chocolate Cake
It must be surprising to see that chocolate cake can be prepared in hostels too. All you need is biscuits like Hiding & Seek or Oreo, chocolates, Nutella, baking powder, milk, and sugar. Crush the biscuits into a fine powder. Warm up some milk and melt sugar in it. Now pour the warm milk into the crushed biscuits. Add a tablespoon of baking powder. Your batter for the cake is ready. Pour it in microwave safe container and bake for 4-5 minutes till it forms a proper base. Melt chocolate and pour it on the base as icing. You can use Nutella too as icing.