Rejuvenate tired, leftover rice with these simple recipes

If you have rice leftover from the previous day, here is what you can do to give it a delicious twist. All you need are some herbs, spices and vegetables. Here are a few recipes that are tasty and that make your life easy.

Puli Saadham


Leftover rice: three cups

Tamarind (size of a small lemon): soaked and strained

Shallots (peeled and chopped): Ten

Turmeric: a pinch

Salt: To taste

Red chillies: to taste

Roasted and powdered fenugreek: a pinch

Mustard and curry leaves: for tempering

Gingelly oil: for cooking


Add tamarind pulp, salt, turmeric and fenugreek powder into the leftover rice before putting it away in the fridge.

The following day, take gingelly oil in a kadai. Heat and temper with mustard seeds. Add chopped shallots and saute till tender. Add the curry leaves and red chillies.

Stir in the soaked rice, and cook covered for a couple of minutes till the raw smell of tamarind is gone.

Drizzle some gingelly oil on top, check for seasoning and mix well.

Ideal for a packed lunch. Serve with papad or vadaam.

Vegetable rice


Leftover rice: three cups

Beans (finely chopped): one cup

Carrot (finely chopped): one cup

Peas: half a cup

Potato (diced): half a cup

Caspsicum (chopped): quarter cup

Corn (shelled): half a cup

Coriander and curry leaves: for garnish

Salt: to taste

Seasoning powder: to taste

Oil: to cook

Turmeric: a pinch

Mustard: for tempering

Grated coconut: two teaspoons

For the seasoning powder

Urad dal: one tea spoon

Bengal gram: one tea spoon

Fenugreek seeds: 10

Red chilli: to taste

Dry roast all ingredients and grind coarsely.


Heat oil in a kadai and temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add vegetables and cook till half done.

Add the seasoning powder and salt and allow to cook fully.

Add the coconut and coriander leaves and cool. Add the leftover rice to this mixture and stir well with a spoonful of ghee.

Serve hot with vadaam.

Note: You can add a pinch of jaggery to lend a dash of sweetness.

Herbed rice


Leftover rice (preferably basmati): three cups

Leeks (finely chopped): one

Green and yellow zucchini (chopped): one cup

Sweet corn: one cup

Onion (finely chopped): half a cup

Garlic (crushed): four pearls

Celery (finely chopped): for garnish

Butter: for cooking

Pepper and salt: to taste

Dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano and rosemary): to taste


Heat butter in a kadai and add the herbs, salt and pepper and sauté.

Add garlic and onion and cook.

Add the vegetables and stir fry on high flame.

Check seasoning, add the rice and stir again.

Garnish with chopped celery and serve.

Note: Boiling the vegetables in a microwave for five minutes reduces cooking time by half.

Go Traditional

Leftover rice can be converted into tangy lemon rice or coconut rice with a nice seasoning and crunchy peanut for added taste.

You can recook the rice with some water and milk, mash it up and add curd and seasoning for extra-creamy curd rice.