9 Hostel-friendly recipes to try when the nation is vaccinated & you say bye to home

hostelfriendly recipe

Hostel life is all about friends, freedom & fun- well at least until you get hungry & miss the comfort of home!

Struggling to eat the half-cooked chapatis or watery-dal or making it to the mess before the shutting-down time; mess food services can feel like a real ‘mess’ for most hostellers. Inventing new Maggi variations amidst those midnight hours is definitely a unique & infamous hostel experience, but is that all there is to the food options for a hosteller?

Here’s a list of hostel friendly dishes to try upon returning back once the whole Covid situation is done and dusted.

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Although there are several restrictions by the hostels & by our parents on what equipment can be kept along in a hostel, a kettle & an iron are the most commonly permitted devices.

Cooking With a Kettle:

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If you think that the kettle can be used to make just warm beverages or boil Maggi, then you’re highly mistaken. The electric kettle is that one piece of equipment that comes quite handy while craving for instant foods that can serve as wholesome breakfast/dinner/lunch meals.

Cooking With An Iron:

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When feeling hungry, go to those neat-freak friends of yours who have an iron in their rooms. As surprising as it may sound, making dishes using an iron is actually quite safe & efficient.

A] Egg dishes

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

It’s almost surprising how often this goes unnoticed, but a couple of eggs, a kettle & some seasoning could lead to healthy & delicious dishes fit for all mealtimes. Eggs are not only Filling but nutritious as well and are one of the best staples for hostel life.

#1 Boiled eggs

The easiest dish, of course, would be boiling a couple of eggs in the kettle, adding some salt & seasoning.

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

A few tips on boiling eggs- 

  • Do fill the kettle with water sufficient to immerse the eggs entirely.
  • Wait for 10-12 mins & keep turning the kettle on every time it shuts down automatically.
  • Once the eggs are boiled, removing the hot water & pouring in cool water eases the process of removing the eggshells a lot.

#2 Egg salad

Boiled eggs do save one the trouble of washing the kettle but with a little more effort & ingredients, a wholesome egg salad awaits you!

Photo by logan jeffrey on Unsplash
  • For the salad, begin chopping the ingredients tomatoes, coriander, cucumber, chillies, or anything that you like & is easily available (Perhaps ask your mess workers if you can get some of the veggies from the mess :D). 
  • Tiny ketchup packets & any cheese would add a fun fast food element to the salad.
  • Mix it all well with the boiled egg chopped into pieces & your salad is ready!

#3 Egg sandwich

An iron, the same ingredients as in the recipe above plus bread & aluminium foil gives you a sandwich similar to what you’d have at home.

  • Cut the veggies of choice- tomatoes, cucumber, chillies, etc into slices while the eggs are being boiled.
  • Once boiled, have the eggs cut into slices too.
  • Arrange your sandwich in the bread-filling-bread order (Don’t forget to include salt-seasoning & ketchup, cheese or any other spread of choice)
  • Close the sandwich and cover with a sheet of tin foil. Close the two ends of foil together, sealing the sandwich tightly. Bonus ingredient if your mom sent some ghee along! Spread it on the bread’s outer side before covering it with the foil.
  • Turn the iron on and press the iron down on one side of the sandwich.
  • Let it sit for 3-4 minutes per side while continuing to press down for a crispy & yummy sandwich!

You can also include boiled potatoes among the veggies.

B] Aloo dishes

#4 Aloo chaat

Where the vegetarian gang at?!

Aloo chat is a dish that is healthy, oil-free & filling.

  • Keep a couple of potatoes in the kettle for boiling, 5-7mins of boiling should do.
  • While your kettle does its work, throw in some coriander, salt, spices and a little ketchup in a bowl. If available- squeeze a lemon in & add any other veggies that you like.
  • Skin the potatoes & mash them using a spoon. You can also cut them, but well that’s the less chosen option.
  • Add the mashed potatoes in the bowl & mix it all well. The ratio is going to be on trial & error basis so don’t add excessive salt or spice in the very beginning.
  • Find the perfect balance, maybe add some ‘kurmure/mixture/namkeen’ & enjoy!

#5 Aloo sandwich

An iron, the same ingredients as in the recipe above plus bread & aluminium foil gives you a sandwich similar to what you’d have at home.

Aloo sandwich is a dish that is healthy, oil-free & filling.

  • Cut the veggies of choice- tomatoes, cucumber, chillies, etc into slices while the potatoes are being boiled.
  • Once boiled, have the potatoes cut into slices too.
  • Arrange your sandwich in the bread-filling-bread order (Don’t forget to include salt-seasoning & ketchup, cheese or any other spread of choice)
  • Close the sandwich and cover with a sheet of tin foil. Close the two ends of foil together, sealing the sandwich tightly. Bonus ingredient if your mom sent some ghee along! Spread it on the bread’s outer side before covering it with the foil.
  • Turn the iron on and press the iron down on one side of the sandwich.
  • Let it sit for 3-4 minutes per side while continuing to press down for a crispy & yummy sandwich!

C] Beverages

#6 Simple Tea & Coffee

Very basic yet important to mention, have coffee/tea sachets in your room, know a place to buy milk from. Not only are these beverages staple but milk + sattu/Haldi/etc are drinks that’d do wonders for your health in the long run.

The only advice is to not put tea powder directly into the kettle as it gets very difficult to clean

D] Snacks

#7 Papad

You either love papad or don’t understand the people who do, there’s no in-between. For the hostellers from the former category, do take a papad packet & an iron along in your hostel.

There’s of course not much to the recipe, you burn a couple & get it right for the eternity to come. Have finely cut veggies, chaat masala & more of your favorite combos for papad.

#8 Bhel

Yes, you read that right! Everyone loves Bhel, surprisingly it’s also easy to make.

The main ingredient is going to be the mur-mura & namkeen that your parents lovingly sent along. Next, we need green chillies, onion, tomatoes, & any other veggie add ons chopped finely mixed with some ketchup & imli chutni if you have it. Mix it all well & eat before the mur-mura turns soggy 😀

E] Noodles

#9 Cup Noodles

This one is no surprise, people buy kettles with the intention of making maggi more than that of boiling water. The former could get a little too much with kettle cleaning though. Hence, do try out Cup noodles available in various flavors & of several brands in the market. You might like it more than instant noodles & voila! No more kettle washing duty.

Honestly, we took great pains to compile this recipe list for you. That’s because we understand your pain of having to endure some of the grossest items on the menu for your daily hostel meals. Thankfully, Covid gave hostellers a breather but now that the success of the vaccine is looming large; it might be time for you to repack your hostel knapsack while sad songs play jarringly in the background. As for quick, delicious, healthy hostel recipes you can make with limited resources, we got you covered!

Yeesha Kalal
Yeesha grew up in a multi-background environment. She's a curious soul and a smart one too, especially when it comes to her academics as a sophomore at IIT, Bombay. Management runs through Yeesha's veins and the spirit of entrepreneurship is quite strong in her. Yeesha is also a pawsitive person coz she positively adores cute puppies and cuddly dogs.