Top 11 recommended dishes to cook while travelling!

This just could not wait till tomorrow. The hunger came on so sudden and intense that to ignore it never even crossed my mind. For some reason I wanted to eat. I was staying in a fully equipped hostel that had its own fully-equipped kitchen which was open for 24 hours but I was out of groceries at that moment. On that night, most of the fellow travellers in the dormitory were fast asleep and there was a pin-drop silence in the hallways of the hostel. It seemed spooky yet this undying craving or maybe a mid-night hunger pang made me jump out of bed in complete darkness as I was hungry and I needed to eat.

I closed my eyes and tried to picture a white clothed chef, cooking delicious dinner with a big wooden spoon, sautéing round and round continuously like the wheels of a car while stirring and lifting with such agile motion but I could only imagine this from where I had stood i.e. near my bunk bed with a small torch. I did not know whether I would find any 24 hour shop/supermarket to make grocery purchases near to the hostel but I still went outside to look for a open grocery shop. Needless to say on my way out, I first entered the kitchen to check all the available ingredients for the dish I was about to prepare and later headed outside to buy the rest of the stuff.

The main question here is: apart from maggi, what other dishes do I normally cook while I am travelling? A lot of you might find yourself in similar situations where you are hungry and probably confused regarding the type of dishes to cook while travelling? Yes, it’s always easy to just select a restaurant from a plethora of options and enjoy the meal over-looking the mesmerizing views but it may not always be a budget-friendly option for economical and long-term travellers. So this post today is all about the delicious recipes that one can easily cook while they are on the road. Psst! it’s what I personally recommend too:

1) Egg Cheese Bhurji/Indian scrambled eggs

egg cheese bhurji

Simple and quick to make, Egg Cheese Bhurji can easily be done for one person or shared out with extras for a group. Plus any leftovers can be used for the next meal as well.

Ingredients for Egg Cheese Bhurji: Eggs, Bread, onions (chopped into tiny pieces), tomatoes (chopped into tiny pieces), green chilli’s, cheese, salt & pepper and yes the spices!

How to make Egg Cheese Bhurji?

Before cooking Egg Bhurji, whisk the eggs in a bowl and set aside. Chop the onions, tomatoes and green chili pepper.

– Heat oil in a large pan and add cumin. Once the cumin starts to sizzle and changes it color, add the onions and green chili and sauté them well till the onions become golden brown.
– Once the onion changes it colour, add the tomatoes, spices and mix well. Cover the pan to soften the tomatoes.
– Now add the whisked egg mixture in the pan and keep stirring the eggs until they are scrambled well. Switch off the heat once they are cooked well.
– Add the mixture on the bread or pav and grate (parmesan or mozzarella) cheese on top of the mixture.
– Put the bread along with the mixture on the pan and heat it for some time till the cheese melts and voila!

2) Pizza Punch/ Pizza Pani Puri

pizza punch

The pizza punch is a satisfying snack that goes along with hot chai or coffee and gives a fulfilling taste to the foodie.

Ingredients for Pizza punch: Golgappas/ Puri, Boiled Sweet Corn, Capsicum (Chopped into tiny pieces), Boiled Potato (Peeled and crumbled), Grated Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Ketchup, Italian Seasoning or Pizza seasoning, Garlic (Peeled and finely chopped), Chilly Flakes, Butter, Salt and pepper.

How to make Pizza Punch?

– To prepare the fillings, heat butter on a pan. Once the butter starts to melt fry the chopped garlic. Thereafter, add the boiled potato, corn and capsicum to fry and saute properly. Add salt and pepper till well combined. Remove from flame allow to cool.
– To prepare the pizza sauce, heat a pan on medium flame. Add tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and a little bit of water stir well and bring to a boil. Once the sauce boils stir and remove from flame to allow to cool.
– Fill all the puris with the vegetable filling followed by pizza sauce and grated cheese. Finally sprinkle some more chilly flakes and Italian seasoning and microwave it until the cheese melts (around 1-2 mins)

Note: If you are using a convection oven, pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes on 180 degrees.

3) Red Sauce Pasta with Garlic bread

Red sauce pasta with garlic bread

An international budget travellers recipe, Pasta with red sauce tops of the list of widely cooked budget-friendly dish all over the world. Red sauce pasta is a delicious recipe of pasta and mixed veggies in a red tangy tomato sauce.

Ingredients for Red sauce pasta: Penne Pasta, water, salt, tomato puree, olive oil, garlic (finely chopped), chilli flakes, oregano, pepper powder, salt, tomato sauce,
For garlic bread: bread, butter, garlic and coriander.

How to make Red Sauce Pasta?

– firstly add water, olive oil and salt in a large pan. Add penne pasta once the water starts to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is cooked al dente. Drain off all the water from the pasta and keep it aside.
– For the sauce, heat some oil and add chopped garlic and sauté it till the garlic turns golden brown. Thereafter add the tomato puree and tomato sauce in the mixture followed by chilly flakes, oregano, pepper powder and salt and mix the pasta sauce well till it thickens a bit. Add required cheese in the sauce and at the end add the boiled pasta and sauté it for a while till the pasta absorbs the red sauce.
– For the garlic bread, add garlic and coriander leaves in some butter and mix it well. Apply this mixture on both sides of the bread and let it roast on a pan till the bread turns golden brown.

Note: For tomato puree it is convenient to buy the ready made tomato puree from the market especially when travelling.

4) Vegetable Sandwich

Toast sandwich

A simple and healthy vegetable toast sandwich is a go to dish prepared with easily available vegetables in the market. This customizable dish is made with your favourite vegetable stuffing between of two bread slices and some of them even like to add cheese to the sandwich.

Ingredients for vegetable sandwich: brown / white bread, onion (chopped), corn (fresh / frozen), capsicum (chopped), potato (chopped), and cucumber (sliced), green chutney, salt and tomato sauce.

How to make a vegetable sandwich?

– Take a white/brown bread and apply green chutney on one side of both the bread slice. Place the onion, corn, capsicum, potato and cucumber on the side of the bread where the green chutney is applied and grate cheese on the placed vegetables. Thereafter close the sandwich after placing the other slice of the bread on the top and grill the sandwich. Put tomato sauce on the grilled sandwich and enjoy your meal.

Note: For green chutney it is convenient to buy the ready made chutney packets from the market especially when travelling.

5) Dal Khichdi

Dal Khichdi

The comfort meal of dal and rice is not only nutritious and light on the tummy but it is also delicious and yummy and is absolutely easy and quick to cook.

Ingredients for dal khichdi: You choice of lentil (masoor/moong/urad), rice, water, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped garlic, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, pepper powder, cumin seeds, salt and ghee.

How to make Dal Khichdi?

– Rinse and wash your choice of lentil along with rice together very well and place it in a pressure cooker. Add required water, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt to the pressure cooker. Close the lid tightly and pressure cook on a high flame for 10-15 minutes.
– Thereafter for tadka: in a pan add some oil, ghee followed by cumin seeds, chopped garlic, chopped onion and chopped tomatoes and sauté them well. Add the pepper powder and salt if required to the mixture.
– Once the cooker cools down add the cooked lentil and rice mixture together with the tadka and add some more required water slowly. Close the lid of the mixture and let it all cook for a while and voila! Dal khichdi is ready.

6) Kanda Poha

Kanda Poha

A simple and authentic Maharashtrian breakfast recipe made with beaten rice is a go to dish during breakfast or evening snack. This dish required minimal ingredients and is a simple and quick dish to cook while travelling

Ingredients for poha: cup poha / aval / beaten rice / avalakki, sugar, salt, oil, mustard, cumin / jeera, pinch hing / asafoetida. few curry leaves, onion (finely chopped), chilly (finely chopped), turmeric, coconut (grated), coriander (finely chopped), lemon juice and water.

How to make Kanda Poha?

– firstly, add sugar and salt to soaked poha and mix gently.
– Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard, cumin, pinch hing/asafoetida and few curry leaves. Thereafter add onion, chilly and saute well until onions shrink slightly without browning.
– Later add turmeric and saute well. At the end add in soaked poha and mix gently until everything is combined well. Cover the pan with a lid until the flavours are absorbed well.
– Also add grated coconut, chopped coriander and lemon juice after the simmering and mix gently and finally enjoy the lip-smacking kanda poha

7) Dahi Puri

Dahi puri

The humble yet fulfilling dahi puri is one of the popular street food i.e. chaat everywhere in India. This mixture of sweet, sour, tangy, spicy and crispy flavors all at once makes it a go to dish to eat during travelling. Dahi puri is more about assembling the ingredients rather than cooking thus making it easier for a traveller to quickly make it when the hunger strikes.

Ingredients for dahi puri:  Puris, potato (boiled & peeled), curd / yogurt (thick and fresh), sugar, onion (finely chopped), tomato (finely chopped), sev, tamarind chutney, green chutney, kashmiri chili powder, chaat masala and salt to taste.

How to make Dahi Puris?

– Create a hole at the centre of puri with your thumb and stuff some boiled potatoes, tomatoes and onions into each puris.
– Further, mix some sugar in the curd and add sweet curd in the puris followed by tamarind chutney, red chutney and green chutney.
– Later sprinkle generous amount of chopped onions and chopped tomatoes followed by some chili powder and chaat masala and black salt or cooking salt.
– Lastly, top the filled puris with generous amount of thin sev and garnish with coriander leaves and serve!

Note: Its easier to find ready made tamarind chutney, red chutney and green chutney throughout supermarkets in India and the same chutneys can also be useful to make other chaat dishes like Sev Puri (below), bhelpuri, ragda pattice etc.

8) Onion rings

Onion rings

Crispy onion rings with chipotle sauce dip or mayonnaise dip makes for a great group snack when it comes to socializing while travelling. This addictive dish makes you want to eat more and never stop even after your stomach is full.

Ingredients for onion rings: Yellow or white onions cut into ring shaped, all purpose flour (maida), Baking powder, Corn flour, oregano or Italian seasoning, Garlic, Milk, Fresh Bread crumbs, Oil, Salt and black pepper powder.

How to make Onion Rings?

– Slice onion into thick discs and separate the rings. The remaining small rings can be used during regular cooking.
– Dip the onion rings in a bowl filled with all purpose flour. Once all onion rings are dipped, add corn flour (white corn flour/starch), dried herb, garlic and baking powder to the flour bowl and mix it well. Later, add milk in the bowl and mix well to make a batter (the batter should neither be too thick nor too thin)
– Add the bread crumbs in another bowl and coat each batter dipped onion ring with the bread crumbs and fry the onion rings in medium flamed heated oil until golden brown and Yay! Easy isn’t it?

9) Sev Puri

Sev Puri

Sev puri is a crispy, spicy, sweet and tangy to taste dish with so many different textures and tastes that it almost difficult to say no to such a yummy chaat food. This dish is very popular and is commonly found across India throughout the year. Its easy and quick recipe and the mind-blowing flavors will want you coming back for more.

Ingredients for Sev Puri: Crispy flat puris, potato (boiled), green chutney, tamarind chutney, onion (finely chopped), tomato (finely chopped), kashmiri red chilli powder, cumin powder, chaat masala, sev, salt and coriander

How to make sev puri?

– Place small pieces of potato, tomato and onions on the puri and add green chutney and tamarind chutney on them. Thereafter sprinkle chilli powder, cumin powder and chaat masala on the puris.
– Lastly garnish with a generous amount of sev and coriander and finally enjoy the delicious sev puri.

Ingredients for Ragda: white peas/vatana/safed matar, potato (peeled & chopped), turmeric, salt, water, oil, onion (finely chopped), ginger garlic paste, chilly (finely chopped), tomato (finely chopped), turmeric, kashmiri red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder / jeera powder, garam masala, salt, coriander (finely chopped).


– Start with soaked white peas (vatana), potato, turmeric, salt and water in the pressure cooker. Wait for the pressure cooker to complete 5 whistles or until white peas get cooked completely.
– In a large kadai heat oil and then saute onion, tomato, ginger garlic paste and chilli.
– Then add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt and saute until the oil is released from the sides and later now add boiled peas and boil for 5 minutes or until the spices is absorbed well.
– Mash the peas and potato slightly, to thicken the consistency.

Note: This chaat recipe with almost same ingredients as dahi puri recipe shown above so the chutneys and some of the fillings can be used to make sev puri as well.
– Sometimes people prefer to eat ragda with sev puri but making ragda over and above the other fillings but I would suggest skipping the ragda as could be a tedious and time consuming job especially while travelling.

10) Aloo Sabzi

Aloo Sabzi

The humble yet tempting aloo sabzi is a quick and delicious recipe made using potatoes that are topped with basic spices yet turn out to be absolutely delicious. Aloo sabji has been one of the most popular and healthy travel food since a very long time. It is relatively mess free for travel and stay fresh for a long time because of its salt and spice content.

Ingredients for dry aloo sabji: Potatoes (boiled, peeled and cubed), Oil, Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds (Jeera), Turmeric powder (Haldi), Coriander Powder (Dhania powder), garam masala powder, Amchur (Dry Mango Powder), Red Chilli powder, Salt, Coriander Leaves (Dhania chopped).

How to make Aloo Sabji?

– Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard, coriander leaves and cumin seeds. Add coriander powder, garam masala powder, dry mango powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt in the pan and mix it well.
– Add the boiled potatoes and mix it well till the potatoes are evenly coated with the masala.
– Turn off the flame and sprinkle coriander leaves and mix well and voila!

11) Tawa Pizza

Tawa Pizza

Pizza is the most common and popular snack or meal across the globe. Even in India, pizza has a huge audience base and Indians usually craves for this dish as a snack or perhaps as a light meal.

Ingredients for tawa pizza: Pizza bread, pizza sauce, small cubes onion, sliced capsicum, sliced tomatoes, golden corn, grated mozzarella cheese (you may also use parmesan cheese), chilli flakes, mixed herbs, oil.

How to make tawa pizza?

– Place the pizza bread on the tawa and the spread pizza sauce uniformly.
– Further top with onion, capsicum, golden corn and tomatoes and spread mozzarella/parmesan cheese on the toppings.
– Later sprinkle chilli flakes, oregano and mixed herbs on the cheese and cover the pan and let simmer till cheese melts completely. Finally, slice the tawa pizza and serve hot.


1. Check out the hostel kitchen before deciding to cook anything. There’s nothing worse than having all the ingredients for a great meal, but there is no gas, no cutlery, no kitchen at all!
2. Check the Free shelf of the kitchen to avoid buying the same ingredients and tagging it around.
3. Use the free shelf and leave what you can at the end of your trip (edible obviously!)
4. Wash everything you use in a hostel kitchen.
5. Pick one spice that’ll go with pretty much anything (such as turmeric or chili), and a small bottle of sauce as these two items won’t take up much room and will be helpful each time you cook.

Those are some of the easy to cook, budget-friendly and delicious recipes to try out on that next trip of yours! You’ll might gather people around you and make some great friends all while eating some good food. I hope you had fun reading this post as much as I had curating it. If you did then let me know in comments below as to what you think of them! Cheers!

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dishes to cook while travelling

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