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7 Cheap, Easy and Delicious Meal Ideas For Students

Full meals on a shoestring budget, that you, yes you, can rustle up in a jiffy. BrainGain magazine brings 7 choice meals from all over the world for you to savour. Which one will you try?
BY Skendha Singh |   30-07-2015

University life is often about last minute revisions, quick bites, sweet bargains, and frequent all-nighters. The first thing that gets compromised is – your meals! (It’s not something your Mum would like now, is it?)

You don’t have the time, it’s 20 minutes until the lecture starts; or the money to buy a full meal; or the energy to rustle up real food.

Before, you go to University, as your mother said, it’s best to learn how to cook basics. This will help you get along splendidly when time, energy and money are all on a strict budget. We want to share easy meals with you, which will be quick to rustle up, light on your pocket, and full on your tums!

Bon Appetit!
  1. French Toast

    This well-loved dish can be done up in two ways, savoury and sweet.

    Two slices of bread(or however many you might want in a portion)
    Eggs ( 2 for 2 slices of bread)
    Milk (2-3 tbsp)
    Salt to taste
    Black pepper/red chilli powder (a pinch)

    Whisk egg, milk, salt, black pepper together in a bowl. Place a pan on heat. Add butter/ oil for frying. Dip one slice of bread in the mix. Now fry this bread, one side at a time, until golden brown.

    Ta-da! We like ours with some ketchup. Yum!

    Two slices of bread
    (a pinch)

    Whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon and honey together. The rest of the process is the same as the savoury toast. If you try both, tell us which one you prefer!

    No more excuse for missing breakfast.


  2. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup:
    Four slices of bread
    (Cheddar or Parmesan are probably bread)
    Cayenne Pepper (a pinch)

    Butter the bread on one side. Put some grated cheese on it. And then another slice of bread on top. Ladle it on to a heated pan and grill on both sides until the cheese melts. The bread should also look golden brown. If you’re feeling adventurous, or have your gourmet chef hat on, you can chop green chillies, or slice tomatoes, or put some strips of bacon in your sandwich too!

    Have this with some tomato soup from the can. Or if you want to make your own tomato soup, check or


  3. Potato Salad

    Potatoes(4-5 medium sized)
    Spring Onions (3-4 stalks)
    Green chillies (2)
    Pepper (a pinch)
    Salt to taste

    Boil potatoes and eggs separately. Peel the potatoes. Mash potatoes, add eggs, mayonnaise, chopped spring onions and green chillies, salt to taste and a pinch of pepper.

    This is one of the yummiest quick dishes you can have. You can have this cold or warm. Use it as sandwich filling or as a side with baked beans and toast. So yummy.


  4. Dal (Lentils)

    Yellow or red lentils ( a cup full)
    Ginger-garlic paste (1 tbsp)
    Tomatoes (1 or 2)
    Chillies (1 or 2) or Red chilli flakes (1/4 tsp)
    Cumin seeds
    Vegetable stock cube (1)

    Salt to taste
    Oil (2 tbsps)

    Wash lentils and let them soak in water. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, stir until they splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté it. Add green chillies and finely chopped tomatoes. Pour two full cups of water in the saucepan. Add the vegetable stock cube and the lentils. Stir until stock cube dissolves. At this point, you can also add some chopped carrot, peas or potatoes.  Now cook on low-medium flame for 10-15 minutes.  You can check to see if the dal is cooked. Turn off the flame and garnish with some chopped coriander. Enjoy with some yoghurt and naan bread, both readily available at supermarkets.


  5. Fried Rice

    Rice(1 cup)
    Chopped vegetables (frozen or fresh)
    Soy sauce (1 tbsp)
    Salt to taste

    Cook rice and keep to the side. In a saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil. Add a small bowl full of chopped vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, cucumber, bell peppers etc). Saute for a couple of minutes. Add soy sauce and finally rice. Mix well. Additionally, you might want to top the rice with a fried egg. Voila! Cheap, healthy and tasty!


  6. Chicken Drumsticks

    Chicken drumsticks
    Olive oil
    (1-2 tbsp)
    Garlic flakes
    Red chilli flakes, oregano, other mixed herbs
    (a few drops)
    Bell peppers

    Slice bell peppers. Stab the drumsticks with a fork. Squeeze a few drops of lemon. Rub garlic flakes, mixed herbs and salt. Make sure all the drumsticks are covered but not coated with spices. Drizzle oil or brush the peppers and drumsticks with oil lightly. Place in the microwave and cook for 15-20 minutes at 200 degrees. Check to see that they’re done. Serve hot!


  7. Tuna Salad

    Canned Tunachunks (in oil, not water)
    Bell peppers


    Rinse the lettuce. Tear it into small pieces you can eat with a fork. Place in a bowl. Slice bell peppers, cucumbers, and similar vegetables of your choice that you’re willing to eat raw. Add tuna chunks with a tbsp., or two, of the oil. Add vinegar, pepper, salt. Toss well. Lastly, throw in the olives. Perfect mid-study snack. You can have this salad with soup too for a light and wholesome dinner.


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