How awesome would it be to have sambar rice for lunch on a backpacking trip ?!
And I have figured out a few recipes that work really well for us.
- A dehydrator : https://smile.amazon.com/Nesco-FD-61WHC-Snackmaster-Express-Dehydrator/dp/B0002WSQHU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1497980520&sr=8-2&keywords=nesco+dehydrator
- Home cooked food or left overs
- Just cook like you would regularly and layer them up on the dehydrator until they become crispy with no moisture. At the highest temperature setting, it took me around 7-8 hours. I usually do the dehydration overnight.
- The key here is thick consistency.
- And spike up all the spice levels. Extra chilly powder, salt, and sourness. Just little extra does it for me.
- After the dehydration the spice levels do go down. So, these extras will come in handy to compensate. Experiment with your spice level.
- Vegetables I have tried – Finely chopped onions, tomatoes, carrots, peas, potatoes in the sambar. They have been rehydrating reasonably well.
- This takes a bit longer than rice to dehydrate. At highest temperature, around 15-16 hours sometimes. If you only make a smaller quantity it might not take that long. With Dhal, if I try to flip them in the middle and rotate the trays from top to bottom for even heat distribution.
Storing in the fridge:
- I store them in the zip-loc cover and freeze.
- I generally make them a week or two before the trip.
- Since its frozen, it does stay just fine over a longer period too.
- The longest we have kept the food outside the fridge was 10-days, with no preservatives. I haven’t experimented beyond that.
- 10-day road trip in hot New Mexico, the dehydrated Dhal survived. The left overs, we just ate them like chips. Yes, the Dhal chips are awesome snacks.
There are basically couple of ways to rehydrate.
- Cook them with water until you see the food has rehydrated enough. Simmer slowly. Might take about 30 mins with this method.
- Use the old dry-freeze bags and add food and hot water. Leave for 15-20 mins and its ready to be eaten. We bought some Kathmandu curry packs for Patagonia trip. (Chile doesn’t allow unsealed dehydrated food. ) We saved these empty packs that we currently use for rehydrating.
Next, I plan to try Chakrapongal for dessert. Will update on how it turns out !!