Luscious Leftovers

Excess food from your parties can be turned into delightful eats.

The party season is in full swing and with each trying to be hostess with the mostest, ending up with leftover food is quite common. While feeding your family with the same dishes is not easy, it is criminal to waste food as millions of people remain hungry.

According to Foodbank, each year, in Singapore alone, around 140kg per person is wasted, which is equivalent of each person trashing two bowls of rice every single day. So it is best to minimise wastage by shopping and cooking smartly and realistically, store food in the right places, keep track of what you throw away and donate to food banks and farms. While it is easy to streamline purchase and consumption of ingredients, it is difficult to redistribute or dispose cooked food due to its limited ‘consume by’ time. To ensure that cooked food lasts longer, lay out smaller portions and serve food in clean containers at the right temperature. Ensure personal hygiene and use proper cutlery for service. 

But despite taking such measures, it is important for families to put their leftovers to good use. Here are some interesting recipes that will trick your family into believing that you have cooked them a fresh meal the next day.

Cheese Cigars

10 mins




  • 3-4 leftover chapatis/rotis
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • Finely chopped vegetables of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp pepper pdr
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 1/4 tsp tandoori masala 
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tbsp flour mixed in 2 tbsp water


  1. In a bowl, add cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, pepper pdr , chilli flakes , tandoori masala and salt. Mix well.
  2. Put some of the above cheese mixture on one roti/chapatti and roll it carefully like a cigar. Roll the chapatti/roti and seal the edges with flour paste.
  3. Heat oil in deep pan, and fry all the cigars till golden brown. Drain and serve hot with sauce or chutney.

Date Rolls

10 mins




  • 250 gm dates, pitted and minced 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped

For the dough/covering:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1/4 tsp baking pdr
  • 2 tsp sugar pdr 
  • 1/2 cup butter or ghee softened 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chilled water

For the egg wash (optional):

  • 1 egg yolk lightly beaten
  • 1-2 tsp water


To make the filling:

  1. Mix the minced dates and walnuts in a bowl and knead well.
  2. On a clean surface roll out the mixture into a long sausage. Pinch and make small oblong pellets.

To make the covering:

  1. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub butter into it until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  2. Add the sugar and sprinkle the chilled water a little at a time to knead the mixture into a smooth dough without any cracks on the surface. 
  3. Roll out the dough on a clean working surface into a large square or rectangular shape. Cut out squares approx 1-1/2 or 2-in each.

To assemble & bake:

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C for 15 mins. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment
  2. Place a square of dough on the working surface, place the filling inside, roll up the covering around it and gently seal the open edges using some pressure. 
  3. Place all the rolls slightly spaced apart on the prepared baking tray and brush them with the egg wash for a golden glaze.
  4. Bake for 15-16 minutes until golden on top. Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before transferring into an airtight container.