As a student, the end of the month can be a time to despise. When the value of your bank account is even less than the number of lectures you weekly go to, you will be counting the days until new money arrives. Until then you have to make do with the cheapest ingredients from the local supermarket plus the things you can steal from your roommates. That is when Low Budget recipes come in handy.
With a limit of €4,- for a full meal the challenge was set. Since I did not look for a recipe before going to the store I was forced to walk back and forth through the store with my calculator at hand. After ten minutes or so wandering through the supermarket, adding prices to see if some of the recipes I knew by heart would work within the budget, I realized that it is hard to find amounts that are meant for a single meal. I normally cook either for more people or for more days at once, which does not work when you are on a tight budget for a single meal. As I did not have all day I chose to go for a cheap version of a normally already affordable version of nasi. Where I would normally go for beef or chicken, there was nothing to fit within the budget but a 300 gram, 33% discount, minced meat (€1.23). For the vegetables some variety was needed, which sadly could not be bought in small enough amounts, besides in a pre-packed vegetable mix (€1.49), which cost even more than the meat, but would still be cheaper than buying too large amounts of three or more different vegetables. The cheapest version of rice (€0.42) is not something I would normally recommend, but on a budget it is a money saver. And a Conimex Nasi Mix (€0.50) did fit within the budget so that I would not have to go through the trouble if I still had enough of all the herbs. In total the meal cost €3.64. The best thing is, there is enough for two meals.
- White rice 400 gram (€0,42)
- Minced meat 300 gram (€1,23)
- Conimex nasi mix (€0,50)
- Vegatable mix (€1,49)
The cooking cannot be any simpler.
- Get a pan of water to boil, throw in the rice. Besides making sure the water does not boil over the edges, stirring once or twice is the only thing you have to do concerning the rice.
- Throw the minced meat in a big pan, ideally a wok, and with a spatula slice/crunch the meat in small parts while baking.
- Once the meat is all brown, keep flipping it for about a minute and then add the vegetable mix.
- Stir or flip it a couple of times and add the herb mix. Keep stirring until the mix is evenly divided.
- See if the rice is ready, drain the rice and add it to the rest. Mix everything up and dinner is ready.
If you can find an egg laying around, some sambal, or “borrow” some satay sauce or krupuk from a roommate, you can spice things up a little.
Writted by Tjeu