So you’ve just moved away for college, or for your job, are new in town, or are a thoroughbred Delhiwaala who regularly entertains friends and family at home. You’ve got your own place, {possibly with a few friends}, and you’re literally in party central! Well, in your head anyway.

You’ve been planning late night get-togethers, video game night, match screenings- hey, there’s no rules, no deadlines, and loads of food! Speaking of which, you’ve probably already collected all the delivery leaflets within a five mile radius.

Here’s what you didn’t think about. You didn’t really consider the exact time frame you and your party can survive on butter toast, Maggi, cereals and chips. The good news? Even for the most amateur of us chefs living alone, there’s a host of food- fresh and packaged- to choose from while shopping at Le Marche.

Here’s your one stop ‘Feed the First-Time-Solo’ shop guide to staying well fed, with variety.

I’m just going to buy food I can eat right away |

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Made fresh daily, Le Marche has an entire salad counter, the contents of which make for full meals. We’re big fans of the seekh salad, cause who doesn’t love a kabab with healthy accompaniments, and a whole new twist on taste! If you prefer your kababs with roomali roti, you could go with the Mexican wings or roast chicken salad. If you’re vegetarian, try the cold pasta salad or the cottage cheese steak.

In addition there is always the live Pasta counter, which churns out 5 types of sauces and different toppings for the ones who love their carbs.

Now’s a Great Time to Experiment |

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We’ve been here, and it doesn’t always turn out so well! Start small – our go to recipe is the whole-wheat pasta with some bottled Ragu – simple and consistently fulfilling. {Pasta Trick – Boil spaghetti and throw one on the wall; if it sticks, it’s done!} If you’re battling homesickness, throw some vegetables into one of the many cooking pastes on display, or just heat up some ready to eat dal makhani, paneer matter, or biryani…

Umm, where’s the gas knob again? Did the place come with a cylinder?

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Stoves can be tricky – flame intensity, turning a cylinder on and off, lighting the stove without singeing off your eyebrows – especially if you’re paranoid you’ll burn the place you can barely afford to rent down. A multi grain multi layer sandwich has our vote – some Mortedella, chicken ham, chicken chorizo, meat loaf, smoked wingreens and miss chhotees, Ruscello pepper cheese, more meat, some Ruscello pesto cheese… you get the drift. There’s also jams and preserves to choose from, if you’re going the basic route.

 

Everything I cook is kinda tasteless |

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Hey, we’ve been there. That’s why they call it “haath ka magic.” In times like these, Mother’s Recipe pickle is the game changer – the perfect combination of spice and love. God knows we licked these bottles clean when we moved for college. Le marche stocks them in every flavour {one for your mama’s personality}. Most of this crew went with the hari mirchi version! Alternatively, choose a less intense chutney to add zing to your meals.

 

Indian food is hard, I think I’ll try…

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We rolled our own Sushi with a DIY kit, rather gingerly we might add. We ended up ditching the chopsticks since we got our hands dirty, but we have to say, we were suitably impressed… with each other! There’s also Burritos, fajitas {some more kits please}, if you like salsa over wasabi.

Back to Square One |

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There’s always a time when you cant stand the thought of spending more than 2 minutes in the kitchen. So that’s exactly how much time we spent on our meals. Our favourite is a secret… not ours, Ching’s! Ching’s Secret veg hakka noodles – boling water, 2 minutes, lots of masala, and we’re sorted with our chinese meal {yes that’s what we call it}. You could try other flavours from Ching’s repertoire, or the many other noodle brands, or just stock up on some good old flavoured cereals – with your ‘degree of fat content’ milk. Time and weight management!

Find out more about Le Marche on Facebook here. Outlets in Gurgaon, Vasant Vihar and Khan Market.

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