Thursday, October 21, 2010

Clarified Butter

Ghee / Nei


·        Butter: As required
·        Salt: One pinch or less at the rate of 500 grams of butter.
·        Leaves of drumstick: A few (optional)

Method of preparation:

·        Melt the butter under low flame in a heavy bottomed vessel along with salt.

·        Reduce heat further when the molten butter starts bubbling.

·        Stir intermittently for about 10 minutes and continuously for about 5 minutes.

·        A pleasant aroma will fill the entire kitchen.

·        A brown coloured residue will start forming.

·        Remove from flame.

·        If you want very good smell, add some drumstick leaves.

·        Wait for about 15 minutes and strain.

List of some kitchen wares and utensils

Some kitchen wares and utensils

·        Apple corer
·        Baba mold
·        Bain-marie
·        Banneton
·        Basting brush
·        Basting syringe
·        Bench scraper
·        Blender
·        Boil over preventer
·        Bone scissors
·        Bread knife
·        Browning tray
·        Butcher block
·        Can opener
·        Candy thermometer
·        Casserole
·        Cauldron
·        Cheese cloth
·        Cheese grater
·        Cheese slicer
·        Chef's knife
·        Chimta
·        Chinoise
·        Chop sticks
·        Chopping board
·        Coconut grater
·        Coffee mill
·        Colander
·        Cookie cutter
·        Corkscrew
·        Crab cracker
·        Crab fork
·        Crockery
·        Cutting board
·        Double boiler
·        Dough blender
·        Drum sieve
·        Egg beater
·        Egg piercer
·        Egg slicer
·        Egg timer
·        Faucet
·        Fillet knife
·        Fork
·        Frying pan
·        Garlic press
·        Grater
·        Grill
·        Hand held electric mixer
·        Heavy earthen pot
·        Herb chopper
·        Idli Pan/Tray
·        Kitchen scissors
·        Kitchen shears
·        Kitchen timer
·        Knife
·        Ladle
·        Lamé
·        Lemon reamer
·        Lemon squeezer
·        Lemon zester
·        Lobster pick
·        Mandoline
·        Mated colander pot
·        Measuring cup
·        Measuring spoon
·        Meat knife
·        Meat tenderizer
·        Meat thermometer
·        Melon baller
·        Mezzaluna
·        Milk watcher/saver/guard
·        Mixing bowl
·        Mixing spoon
·        Molcajete
·        Mortar
·        Muffin tin
·        Nutcracker
·        Nutmeg grater
·        Oven mitts
·        Pastry bag
·        Pastry brush
·        Peel (tool)
·        Pepper mill
·        Pestle
·        Pie bird
·        Pie pan
·        Pizza cutter
·        Pizza plate
·        Pot watcher or minder
·        Potato masher
·        Potato peeler
·        Potato ricer
·        Potholder
·        Puree sieve
·        Rolling pin
·        Roulade needles
·        Salamander grill
·        Salt shaker
·        Saltspoon
·        Scale
·        Scoop
·        Scraper
·        Sieve
·        Skillet - see Frying pan
·        Skimmer
·        Slotted spoon
·        Spatula
·        Spider
·        Spoon
·        Spork
·        Stainless steel soap
·        Strainer
·        String
·        Sugar spoon
·        Tamis
·        Tea kettle
·        Timer
·        Tinfoil
·        Toaster
·        Tomato knife
·        Tongs
·        Trongs
·        Vegetable knife
·        Vegetable peeler
·        Waffle iron
·        Wonder Pot
·        Wooden spoon
·        Zester

Types of sieves / filters / strainers

There are many varieties. Some are highlighted here.

·       Chinoise:  A conical shaped sieve used as a strainer

·       Cocktail strainer: A bar accessory

·       Colander: A bowl-shaped sieve used as a strainer in cooking  

·       Flour sifter: It is used in baking

·       Mesh strainer (strainer): It consists of a fine metal mesh screen on a metal or plastic frame with or without handle

·       Pannadai / Pannaadai: It is a Tamil name of a part of palm tree, temporarily used as natural filter to filter fresh toddy.

·       Spider: It is used in Chinese cooking

·       Tamis: It is also known as drum sieve

·       Tea strainer: To filter tea extract while preparing drinking tea

·       Zaru: It is also called bamboo sieve, commonly used in Japanese cooking

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder

  • Baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents. Leavening agent is a substance used to produce fermentation in dough or in a liquid.

  • Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which does not have any leavening capabilities by itself. When baking soda is mixed with sour cream, molasses, lemon juice, or buttermilk, fermentation takes place. Carbon -di -oxide is formed during fermentation and causes the baked item to rise.

  • The reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake immediately if using baking soda.

  • Baking powder has baking soda with cream of tartar, or calcium acid phosphate, or sodium aluminum sulphate, or a mixture of all these.

  • Single-acting baking powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing.

  • Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking.

  • With double-acting powder, some gas is released while making dough and a lot of gas is released in the oven.

  • Double-acting baking powder has corn starch as a drying agent.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Different names of spices in India


  • Adrak - Fresh ginger -Inji -Shoonti -Allam

  • Ajwain - Tymol seeds -  Omam – Oma - Vamu

  • Amchoor -Mango powder -Mangay powder -Mavinkai powder -Mavadi kaya powder

  • Arhar dal /Tuvar dal /Toor dal -Yellow lentil -Tuvaram paruppu -Togiri belae -Kandi pappu

  • Ata -Wheat flour -Godumai mavu -Godi hitoo -Goduma pindi

  • Besan -Gram flour -Kadalaimavu -Kadale hitoo -Senaga pindi

  • Buna channa -Roasted gram -Pottu kadali -Huri kadalae –Gulla senagapappu

  • Channa -Chick peas -Konda kadalai -Konde kadalae -Senagalu

  • Channa dal -Bengal gram - Kadalai paruppu -Kadalae balae -Senagapappu

  • Dania -Coriander seeds- Daniya -Kothambari -Dhaniyalu

  • Dania patha -Coriander leaves/cilantro -Kothamalli elai -Kothambri soppu -Kothimeera

  • Haldi -Turmeric - Manjal -Arsina 

  • Hing -Asafoetida -Perungayam -Ingu -Inguva

  • Jeera -Cumin - Jeeragam -Jeerigae -Jilakara

  • Karipatha -Curry leaves -Kariveppilai -Baisoppu -Karivepaku

  • Kuskus -Poppy seeds -Kasa kasa -Kuskus -Gasagasalu

  • Maida –All purpose flour - Maida mavu -Maida hitoo -Maida pindi

  • Methi -Fenugreek -Vendayam -Menthae -Menthulu

  • Moong dal -Green gram -Payatham paruppu/Paasipparuppu - Hesuru belae -Pesaru pappu

  • Poha -Rice flakes -Aval -Avalakki -Atukulu

  • Rava –Semolina - Ravai -Sajeegai -Upma rava

  • Sabudana -Sago -Jawarisi -Sabaki -Saggu biyyam

  • Sabut moong -Whole green gram -Pasipayaru -Idi hesaru -Pesalu

  • Sonf -Fennel -Perunjeeragam -Sombu -Peda jilakara

  • Sont -Dry ginger -Sukku -Ona soonti -Sonti

  • Til ka tel -Gingelly oil -Nallennai -Ellanai -Nuvvula nune

  • Til -Seasame seeds- Ellu -Ellu -Nuvvulu

  • Urad dal -Black gram -Uluttham paruppu / Ulundham paruppu -Uddina belae –Minapappu

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tips for easy cooking

  • Add sugar to fresh green vegetables before cooking to improve the flavour.

  • Apricots bruise easily and decay. So keep them away from heat and direct sunlight.

  • Fresh eggs are best for poaching, as they hold their shape.

  • To serve better, the poached eggs should be served as soon as they are pulled from the water.

  • Quickly stir in a tablespoon of butter or cream when the scrambled egg is likely to be overcooked.

  • To check whether the cake is fully baked or not, insert a knife. It is fully baked if the knife comes out perfectly clean. Also when fully baked, the cake shrinks slightly away from the sides of the tin.

  • To retain the freshness of nuts, store them in freezer.        

  • Use milk instead of water to knead puri dough. Puris will become soft and luscious.

  • Use skimmed milk while making paneer (fresh cheese) to obtain a lot of proteins and very low fat.

  • When whisking egg whites, greater volume can be achieved if the eggs are a little old. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cooking Tips / Samaiyal Kurippukal

  • Avoid cooking at high temperatures; this may destroy some of the vitamins due to oxidation.

  • Avoid foods that are typically sprayed with pesticides.

  • Avoid using copper vessels. It destroys vitamin content.

  • Boil potatoes and beetroots with the skin.

  • Do not soak fruits for more than 15 minutes in water.

  • Do not strain the starch water from rice.

  • Don’t add too much of salt to your food.

  • Instead of frying, boil or bake.

  • Limit intake of pickles as pickles contain lot of salt.

  • Limit intake of salty processed meats.

  • Select lean meat cuts and trim the fat.

  • Steam or microwave the vegetables instead of boiling them.

  • Steaming is the good cooking technique. It retains more nutrients than boiling.

  • Store the vegetables in a refrigerator to retain vitamin content.

  • To prevent excess oil absorption, remove and drain on kitchen napkins.

  • Try to boil vegetables as whole and then cut. This will retain nutrients.

  • Use boiled vegetable water and lentil water for soups and gravies.

  • Use fat free chicken broth.

  • Use lemon juice, vinegar or spices to reduce need for salt.

  • Use less soda or baking powder as it irritates intestine.

  • Use low fat cooking methods like steaming, baking, poaching, broiling or grilling.

  • Use low fat milk instead of full cream milk.

  • Use low fat yoghurt or skim milk.

  • Use neat and clean tools for cutting, especially the knife and cutting table.

  • Use non stick cookware while you cook so that you use less oil.

  • Wash vegetables before you chop them.