Cheap take on a traditional Indian dish for the cash-strapped student

Image of various curry dishes

As many of you already know, Academics Can Kill Your Sanity is dedicated to pretty much all things related to being a college or university student in the twenty-first century.

Image of a student with books

This naturally (in my opinion) includes matters pertaining to all student’s stomachs and that is why, as a little gift to you our valued Indian reader/student, I have decided to share a much cheaper take on a traditional Indian dish (with an added South African Indian twist of course) with all my valued readers. Enjoy!

Image of curried rice

Easy Cheap Curry And Rice

1 Onion (diced)
1 Diced potato
2 Peeled and diced tomatoes
1 Can mixed vegetables (drained)
2 Teaspoons turmeric powder
1 Teaspoon coriander
1 Teaspoon cumin
2 Bay leaves
Curry powder (as per spiciness/heat preference)
2 Cups uncooked rice

Method: Boil the rice in some salt water until cooked. Steam or boil the diced potato until it is soft enough to eat, but still firm. Fry the diced tomatoes and onion in a large pot, using some olive or sunflower oil and then add the spices, curry powder, vegetables and potato to the pot. Finally add a half a cup of water to the mix and bring to the boil. Cook the mixture through for approximately 15 minutes and then, finish off by serving the mixture on a bed of the cooked rice. Viola! There you have it; the easiest and most cheap Indian curry recipe you’ll find anywhere online!

Image of a fork

I hope you try this dish and that you thoroughly enjoy it!

Till Next time


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2017


Edit: If you need some more yummy cheap recipes, like the ultra cheap Indian curry recipe I shared with you above, visit the following link. Also be sure to check out my/our post entitled, ‘Starving student? Budget food ideas‘.

Need some cheap recipes? We’ve got you covered!

Cheap recipes: Image of a scale, eggs, flour and baking utensils

Ah the magical life of a student; perpetually broke and on the brink of starvation! The constant rise in living and food costs does not help the situation much either. That is why I am sure most students will agree that cheap recipes and meal ideas are a high priority; especially ones that don’t taste like cardboard.

Cheap recipes: Image of cardboard food on a white plateDon’t despair as today I thought I would share with you four very simple and cheap recipes that I was originally going to add to my e-book; call it a little gift from me to you since I pity you poor hungry souls so much during exam times. So without further ado, here they are:

Cheap recipes: Image of a hotpot Student’s Budget Hotpot
1 can of beans
6 pork sausages
A cup of, or 1 can of peas
1 cup uncooked macaroni
1 packet instant pasta sauce – tomato flavoured
Method: Boil the macaroni until soft/cooked. Slice the pork sausages into rounds and fry in a little oil until cooked through. Prepare the packet pasta sauce as per the instructions on the back of the pack (which is normally adding 250ml boiling water to the powder and stirring for one minute until thick). Then simply open the cans (beans/peas) and mix everything together in a large pot (the cooked sliced sausage rounds, macaroni, beans, peas and sauce).

Cheap recipes: Image of eggs and a recipe book with 'eggy delight' in the cornerEggy Delight
3 eggs
1 cup grated cheese
1 cup grated polony/baloney
Method: Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add a little water and mix/whisk. Then pour the eggs into a very hot frying pan that has been thoroughly sprayed with a non-stick agent, or greased with butter/margarine. Put a lid on the pan and let the eggs steam and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. You are basically going to be making an omelette that you will be leaving open; think something in the lines of an egg pizza. Once the ‘omelette’ is cooked, gently lift it out of the pan into a plate. Cover with grated cheese and polony/baloney.

Cheap recipes: Image of tuna cakes

Tuna Cakes/Patties
2 eggs
3 cans of tuna (in water)
½ a diced onion
½ cup bread crumb or instant oats
Pepper and salt (to taste)
Method: Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and then form little cakes/patties with your hands. Fry each cake/patty in a little oil (on each side) for about three minutes. Note: You can add any other spices you choose; parsley and oregano compliment the tuna flavour quite nicely.

Cheap recipes: Image of cheese and onion breadCheese and Onion Bread
1 packet white onion soup
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
300 ml milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
Method: Mix all the ingredients together, pour into a bread loaf tin/pan and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 to 40 minutes (depending on the oven you use).



Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2017


Starving student? Budget food ideas

So you have managed to do it yet again. You are two weeks away from receiving your part-time job pay cheque (or your money transfer from dad), and you are almost completely broke. What are you going to do about food for the next few days?

What went wrong? Was it all the boozing and partying? Or maybe it was because you bought that new game you just had to have. Well whatever the reason, you are totally screwed. Or are you?

Most students live a life of meagre means, due to the high cost of studies (including books), student accommodation and living the general “party every night” existence. But this does not mean you have to starve or sing on the streets hoping people throw food at you. There are many low budget options out there guaranteed to fill you. Just don’t expect any champagne and fine dining.

Some of your options include:

1. Instant noodles – This option is very versatile (and wallet friendly). You can rev it up with canned peas, beans, corn or bits of sausage. You can even turn it into a soup. The options are endless. I love the cheese flavoured variety (on which I eat extra grated cheese), but the beef and chicken flavours are probably the most versatile ones (since they can be made into soups and other dishes).

2. Vienna sausages – One of South Africa’s much loved instant meals. Very versatile as well since you can make hot dogs, viennas and chips, enhanced instant noodles or scrambled eggs using them.

3. Bread – A MUST have. Can be used to make toast, sandwiches, pizza bread (bread with melted cheese and bits of sausage on top) and jaffle’s (filled toast). When you are on an extremely tight budget all you need each week is bread, margarine and jam (jelly), and you’ll survive.

4. Instant soup packets – Another winner since it’s cheap and you can eat it on the go or whilst learning. They (the soup packets) can also be used to make a gravy for potatoes or meat (not that you will be able to afford meat mind you).

5. Eggs – Love them or hate them, eggs are a nutritious winner. Not only are they filled with protein, they are also very versatile. You can fry them, bake them, boil them, poach them or scramble them. They can be eaten with bread (or toast), tomato’s, beans et cetera.

6. Potatoes – Cheaper if bought in larger bags. Can be used to make chips (fries), mash, soups, stews, hash browns or baked potatoes.

7. Corn on the cob – Relatively cheap and easy to make. Just boil them until the kernels are soft and you are ready to eat.

The top list should get you by until your next pay day. However if you only have a few cents or rands/dollars left to your name, try hosting a board games or puzzle building evening at your house/flat for your friends (or any activity that won’t cost you money to host). Make each person bring a food stuff such as chips, peanuts, pizza or sandwiches (any food that can be stored afterwards will do). You can then freeze the left over pizza, vacuum seal (or seal in a bag) the chips and peanuts, and toast the sandwiches. This should ensure a supply of food for the next few days.

My tip for you for next month however, would be to first put aside some food money before splurging on booze and other non-necessities (even though many students will argue that booze are the main priority and a general necessity).

Keep well and happy budgeting (yeah right)!


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016

Edit: Just thought I would share a little tip with you. As a student even when you have money, you don’t really have money (well enough of it anyway). I am sure you all know what I am talking about. So why pay full price for take-out or cafe food if you don’t need to? What many students don’t realise is that there are often Groupons for foodstuffs available on the Groupon website. Just look under the “Food and Drink” category and/or the recently added “Delivery and Takeout” category (added on only). This way, even your little “treats” can become budget food items (providing there are coupons actually available in your area that is).