3 Great Takeaways For A Tight Budget
For most of us, 2020 has been tight financially.
While restaurants and food establishments are trying to recoup their losses following COVID-19 by offering takeaways, many consumers are also living on 80% of their wage, or are out of work.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial for us to all to budget smart and keep our costs low, so we can stay on top of things financially.
But cheap food needs BIG flavour, so whether you’re planning your restaurant menu for the coming months, or simply cooking from home, now is the time to revisit your spice rack!
Here, we have assembled 3 cheap and cheerful (but exciting!) recipes to help scrimp back a few pounds, while still satisfying your tastebuds.
Khatti Daal/Toor Daal
An interesting alternative to the typical Tarka Daal, Khatti Daal is a great vegetarian option, with a hot and sour flavour that complements the creamy texture and flavour of Daal well. At under £2.00 per portion, it makes an unusual menu addition to stay on budget without being basic.
430g red split lentils
2 large tomatoes, peeled
2 green chillies, deseeded
2 garlic cloves
5 cm ginger, grated
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp hot chilli powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
8 garlic cloves, sliced
3 dried chillies
12 curry leaves
- Soak the lentils for 40 minutes and rinse well.
- Put in a large saucepan with the turmeric, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chillies. Add 1.7 litres of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and reduce to a thick puree consistency.
- Season to taste. Add chilli powder, ground coriander, and tamarind.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds, garlic, dried chillies and curry leaves. Fry until the colour darkens slightly. Add to the curry and mix well.
Tagine is a great staple for adding deep layers of flavour to cheap cuts of meat. While this recipe calls for breast, legs, and wings, you may also decide to use up scraps of leftover meat to cut your budget even further. This recipe comes to just £2.00 per portion, but you can make it even cheaper with some creative meat cutting choices!
200g chicken breast, diced
600g chicken legs and wings
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli flakes
450ml chicken stock
100g dried apricots, quartered
1 can chopped tinned tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Cous cous, cooked according to packet
150g Greek yoghurt
Flaked almonds, to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Combine the chicken with the harissa. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Heat the oil in the bottom of your tagine dish or a casserole dish and fry the chicken. Remove from the dish and set aside.
- Fry the onions until soft and translucent. Stir in the spices and fresh garlic.
- Re-incorporate the meat, with the tomatoes, apricots and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas.
- Simmer for a further 15 minutes.
- While the tagine is cooking, fry the flaked almonds in a frying pan.
- Add the mint and parsley to the tagine.
- Serve with couscous, Greek yoghurt and top with the fried flaked almonds.
How about something a little different?
As the beaches open again, and the campsites begin to fill up, people are staying out later while the evenings get cooler.
Spicy and sweet, with a touch of red pepper, this cheap and easy Hungarian dish can simply be poured into a coffee mug, ready to take away – and each portion costs under £1 to make!
550g pork belly
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, large, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
600ml chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 large red pepper, chopped finely
2 tsp cornflour
- Trim the fat off the pork and cube. In a pan, heat half the oil and add the pork. Cook until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Fry the onion and garlic in the rest of the oil for about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika and fry for a further minute before adding the stock and bringing to a boil. Stir in the tomato puree and the pork. Season to taste.
- Simmer for 15 minutes and add the peppers; simmer for another 10 minutes or until soft.
- Make a paste with the cornflour and a little water and add to the goulash. Reduce for 3-4 minutes. Scatter with parsley and serve.
And remember: whatever your style or taste, there are always cheaper options. Why not replace your store-bought pizza bases with homemade one, for a meal that costs pennies to make? Or upcycle your leftovers?
Get inventive and see what you can come up with. You could create an original restaurant-quality dish which is all your own!
Article by Caterquip