University Essentials and one extra easy Indian dal Recipe

I’m leaving to University and it’s also one of the reasons why my blog has been empty for a long time. I could not allot time and it sucks. Now I would like to do a small write-up about the essentials really needed and the things we hear as essentials. I had a big trouble personally to decide as to what I want and what I need. With flights giving away fancy discounts and alluring us with free baggage I guess there is a border to which we can actually carry.

The first thing you guys really need to do other than checking up for freshers and roommates is the availability of shops (clothing and food), near the campus. The smallest of shops also have numbers given in google and we need to call them and check as to what they sell, This is a very essential step because it’ll decrease your luggage ten fold. The second thing you need to do is prepare a check-list. Thankfully I’ve a roommate and we are splitting our supplies, this isn’t the case for many. So know what you eat and what you need to buy. Staying alone requires pre planning our meals if you’re self catered, carry two or three recipe books. ( I like Tarla Dalal’s under five-minutes cook book). Plan your groceries accordingly which suit your meal plan. But do it in the weekend way ahead. Students who don’t drink and aren’t open to drinking carry pepper pastes with you, it’ll really help you keep warm.

The Kitchen Essentials:

  1.  A kitchen towel (x3)
  2.  Pressure cooker (x1), also induction friendly ones.
  3.  Dosa or chappathi tawa (x1), can be used for breads also
  4. few utensils of varying sizes for boiling milk and storing ( get little because for the initial days you guys won’t really have the time to shop)
  5.  plates (x2)
  6. bowl (x1)
  7. spoons (x4) (two soup spoons and two normal)
  8. tumblers or glasses (x1)
  9. water bottle (x1)
  10.  Masalas (whichever region you’re from get the masalas that you use in your regular cuisine, you wont get them there)
  11. 100gm dal packets. (some countries don’t allow please check their immigrations and then carry these)
  12. Ready to eat mixes (x10) – really you won’t have time to cook for the first few days
  13. Chilly powder
  14. Storage boxes (x4) – for leftovers
  15. Blender or food processor you can buy in the country where you’re going to, incase you’ve a gifted baggage allowance carry it according to the marked voltage requirement.
  16. Sugar and Salt is not allowed in many countries. So till you reach your nearest store I would recommend picking up those little packets of sugar and salt you’re given during your flight. No harm and don’t look at it as a token of embarrassment, also don’t hoard them three or four of each will do.
  17. Adaptors if you’re carrying any electrical cooking equipment from your home country.
  18. Tamarind (Please carry this)
  19. Pickles and pastes (homemade ones can be packed, use google and check your nearest packer)
  20. Small packets of tea or coffee (x1)
  21.  Little packets of spices
  22. Turmeric- Needed if you’re shifting to cold regions
  23. Snacks from home whatever you like

Bathroom and Other Utilities:

  1. Wet tissues ( you definitely need it) (x1 during your flight)
  2.  Sanitary napkins for girls (x2): the big packets. Can’t really search for the best brands there when you land.
  3.  Small tube of toothpaste (x1)
  4.  Tooth brush (x3)
  5. Combs (x2)
  6. Beauty essentials ( avoid having liquids above 100 ml in your hand luggage – including foundation)
  7. Chargers for the gadgets you’re carrying
  8. Power banks
  9. Clothing – winter coats (x1) I know it won’t help you sustain the cold there, let me tell you, you really need something when you land and till you go shopping. If you’re in Chennai you can purchase from Joonus Sait and Sons, they’ve an amazing collection.
  10. Shoes (x2)
  11. One pair of slippers
  12.  One extra handbag
  13. USB cables
  14. A pair of thermals (x2)
  15. A small soap
  16. Your medical essentials ( keep the common ones for fever and cold, cream for wounds, cotton, antiseptic lotion and your personal medical essentials)- do take a doctor’s prescription as some are not allowed.
  17. Lip balms (if you’re going to a cold place you need this irrespective of your gender and at easily accessible places in all your bags)
  18. Winter cream, a small box
  19. Hair dryer (check rates at both the countries and buy)
  20. Your documents. Keep two to three copies of each. Don’t ever refrain from taking xerox.
  21. Books or a good source of time pass during wait times and flight cancellations
  22. Check the weather of the place you’re going to and carry an umbrella if needed.
  23. Rubber bands and clips
  24. Other jewellery essentials
  25.  Clothing for winter – carry little as possible guys, let me tell you beneath those layers of coats an sweaters no one is really going to know what you’re wearing. Shop for summer alone.
  26. A bathroom mat (x1)
  27. Towels (x2)
  28. If you’re going to the university halls check their bed sizes and the stuff they provide, if they don’t provide you with a blanket carry one till you go shop.

Feel free to add anything you think as an essential in the comments below. I guess that’s about it. These are the dire essentials from my perspective. Also the under ten minute dal recipe ahead. What I personally love about this dal is that the leftovers can be used on bread and can be had as a sandwich. We students are all about easy go ones. I will start updating recipes that one can really enjoy as a student with minimal cooking over my course of study. Healthy and nutritious of course

Recipe: (serves 3 with little appetite)


  1.  Toor dal or Split moong dal ( 1 cup)
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 medium onion
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. 2 medium-sized tomatoes or 1 big tomato
  6. Jeera or cumin
  7. Chilli – depending upon your spice tolerance levels ( I used one)
  8. turmeric
  9. Asafoetida
  10. Salt to taste


  1. Boil the dal along with water till it becomes mushy and a little thick.
  2. Cut the onions, tomatoes and garlic keep aside. Any other vegetable can also be added.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add Cumin, asafoetida, turmeric, garlic and chilli. Saute them till the aroma dances near your nostrils and fills the room. Don’t burn them
  4.  Add in the onions and cook till they become transparent
  5. Add the tomatoes and wait till they become soft (along with little salt)
  6. Add in the dal and cook till it thickens. (balance your salt at this stage)
  7. Make sure the dal is thick because the left overs can be had along with bread slathered with mint chutney.

Any recipes you guys think is also easy and re-usable do cast your opinions in the comments below.




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