Talking about zero wastage in food is one thing, implementing it is another. As zero-waste cooking becomes the new, hot topic in the food industry, five chefs share recipes that use leftovers from their kitchen.



Chef Aabhas Mehrotra, executive chef at Sorrentina by Foodhall, aspires to make his kitchen a zero per cent waste kitchen and to start with, he already uses Parmesan rinds to make sauces such as bolognese and minestrone, or stalks and herbs used to make lasagna verde sheets and herbed burrata ravioli dough, among other dishes. The dish he shares is to reduce the excess wastage of celery, the leaves are dried and blended with butter, parmesan and leftover breads to create a crunchy crust on the pasta.

Ziti Alla Gamberi (Celery Crumb)


  • 250 gms prawns (de-shelled and de-veined)
  • 10 ml olive oil l 10 gms butter
  • 8 gms garlic
  • 2 gms Thai red chilli
  •  1 onion
  • 25 ml white wine (for deglazing)
  • 250 ml full fat cream
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp Sicilian lemons (juice)
  • 5 gms parsley
  • 3 gms salt
  • 2 gms pepper
  • 15 gms parmesan cheese
  • 150 gms ziti pasta (penne/macaroni or any other dried pasta can be used for the same preparation)

For celery crumb:

  •  200 gms celery leaves
  •  200gms (can use various herbs if old and dried, parsley stalks, basil if discoloured)
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread/ multigrain
  • 50 gms butter
  • 20 gms parmesan cheese

METHOD Steps for celery crumb:

  1. After removing the stalks from the celery, remove the leaves and dry in an oven or in a dehydrator.
  2. Discard the brown part from the sourdough bread and use the white part, blend in mixer.
  3. Put the butter cubes while blending bread.
  4. Toast in the oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. After crispy, let it cool, add grated parmesan and parsley leaves and blend.

Steps for pasta:

  1. Add olive oil in the pan and allow it to heat.
  2. Add in the prawns, full or diced.
  3. Add garlic, chilli and fresh parsley and cook.
  4. Deglaze the mixture with white wine.
  5. Add vegetable/ chicken stock to reduce overcooking of prawns, remove prawns.
  6. Add cream and season with salt, pepper and oregano.
  7. Add pasta and cook inside the emulsion. Once reduced, add prawns.
  8. Finish the pasta with parmesan cheese. 10. Garnish with celery crumb crust and gratinate for two minutes.


O Pedro has been advocating using up every ingredient for a while now, whether it is using the egg whites in cocktails or the yolks in egg tarts. Executive chef Hussain Shahzad, with his Goan-inspired restaurant, uses coconut shells, husk and all parts of the fish in different recipes to make sure that everything with coastal value reaches his customers.

Smoked Pork Ribs Vindaloo


  • l 1.5 kg 2 bone-in pork ribs, fat cap trimmed
  •  2 tbsp ginger, peeled and roughly minced
  • ¼ cup garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 pieces of clove
  • ½” cinnamon stick
  • ½ tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • ½ tbsp turmeric powder
  • 8 pieces whole Kashmiri chillies (medium-sized)
  •  l ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  •  3 cups onions chopped
  • 3 tbsp jaggery
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  •  Leftover coconut shells to smoke
  • Salt to taste


  1. Season ribs with salt and store covered in the refrigerator.
  2. Grind allspice, ginger and garlic to make a paste using red wine vinegar and a cup of water.
  3. Heat a large stew pot over moderate heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and add minced onions and cook until transparent. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the spice paste and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Add jaggery and 3 litres (approx) of water and boil.
  6. Add the ribs to the pot and cook till tender on a very low simmer, making sure that the ribs are submerged through the cooking process (60-90 mins approx).
  7. Turn the flame off and cool the ribs in the cooking liquid for an hour.
  8. Pull the ribs out of the cooking liquid and smoke over coconut shells for 20mins. Cool and store covered.
  9. Reduce the cooking liquid by half to make a sauce to accompany the pork ribs. The sauce should taste slightly acidic and spicy.
  10. Pour the sauce over the ribs and reheat in the oven when ready to serve.
  11. Serve the ribs by itself or with some rice sannas or fresh-baked poee.



Chef Regi Mathew is one of the founders of Kappa Chakka Kandhari, a restaurant that’s setting a new standard for regional food in India with its “planned production only” policy, by not remaking dishes that they run out of. Chef Mathew uses excess ripened bananas for dessert, excess gooseberries to make fish marinade, ginger peels for dry ginger coffee and this highly nutritious rice gruel as well.

Pazhan Kanji


  • 1 cup leftover boiled rice
  • 2 shallots l 5 bird’s eye chilli
  • 2 tbsp curd l Sea salt to taste
  • 2 cups of water


  1. Soak the excess/leftover boiled rice in water, cover and leave aside for overnight fermentation.
  2. Crunch shallots and birds eye chilli and add it on the rice gruel.
  3. Add beaten curd, season with sea salt and serve cold with pickle or chutney



In an entirely different conversation, chef Prateek Sadhu of Masque explained to me how important it has become to minimise and entirely eliminate wasting food and ingredients in the kitchen. From using carrot peels to using full fruits like persimmons and apples, Sadhu shares a recipe that uses a whole kilogram of vegetable trimmings.

Veggie chips with farm greens and smoked buttermilk


For chips:

  •  1kg vegetable trimmings
  • 500gms tapioca starch
  •  15g salt


  1. Cook all the vegetable trimmings. Blend it and add tapioca starch.
  2. Spread thinly on a silpat. Steam in the oven at 100C for two mins.
  3. Leave in a hot place for up to two days.
  4. Once dry, break into shards and fry

For ranch dressing:

  •  2 egg yolks
  •  2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 100 ml oil l 100ml onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp lime juice
  • 2 black peppers
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste
  •  2 tbsp yoghurt
  •  30 ml buttermilk
  •  60gms dill (chopped)


  1. 1. Whisk the yolks, mustard, onion and garlic powders, lime juice, pepper and salt together.
  2. 2. Very slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously, until it forms a thick emulsion.
  3. 3. Add the remaining ingredients. Fold in dill.

For chilli juice (buttermilk):

  •  4 chillis
  • 3 parts lime juice
  •  ½ cup water
  •  ½ bunch coriander
  •  15ml tequila
  •  Salt to taste


  1. Blend all ingredients together. Freeze it overnight. Then let it drip over muslin cloth.
  2. Collect the juice.

For buttermilk:


  • 100 ml chilli juice
  •  Salt to taste
  • 1ltr buttermilk
  • Smoke the buttermilk in a clay pot over smoker for 10 mins.
  • Season with salt and chilli juice


Chef Arina Suchde is known for advocating sustainable menus and has also designed the new menu at The Pantry. From using curd water to knead dough, corncobs or corn silk boiled and steeped in water to make green tea, she believes in putting back food into the plate and advocates the benefits of broccoli stems here.

Broccoli Stem Salad


  • 1.5 1-2 broccoli stems
  • 3-4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  •  1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel the tough outer layer of the broccoli stems and thinly slice. Blanch and set aside to cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing and add the blanched broccoli stem slices and toss.
  3. Let it marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving