Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vegetable cooking tips

·        A teaspoon of vinegar added to fat when frying doughnuts will keep them from absorbing too much fat.

·        Add a pinch of soda-bicarbonate to spinach while blanching to retain its bright green colour. Also never overcook greens as they will lose their colour, taste and vital nutrients.

·        Add a pinch of sugar while cooking any green leafy vegetables. This will help maintain the bright green color.

·        Always salt the water for boiling vegetables, this enhances their natural flavour and diminishes the need to add salt to the table.

·        Before cooking cauliflower florets soak them in warm salted water for a while to get rid of any tiny insects that may be present deep inside the florets and not visible to the eye.
·        Buy large lemons and limes, they tend to be much sweeter. Make sure that the skin is thin, those are much juicer. To obtain more of the juice from lemons, limes or oranges, microwave on high for 30 seconds and then let stand for a couple of minutes before cutting and squeezing. Rolling them between your hand and the counter will also help release more juice.

·        Dip nuts in milk before placing them on top of the cakes or biscuits to prevent them from falling off while baking.

·        Dip Overripe Tomato in cold water, add some salt and leave overnight. They will be fresh and firm to touch the next day.

·        Do not add saffron directly to a dish, infuse threads in a little hot water for at least 5 minutes before blending in a dish to bring out flavour and ensure even colouring.

·        For maintaining the bright color of any vegetable, don’t forget to put it in ice cold water as soon as you blanch them.

·        If anyone does not like or want the strong taste of onion, you can use cabbage in the recipe for the same taste and good recipe.

·        If soup turns salty, rectify it by immersing potato quarters which will absorb a proportion of salt then discard the potatoes.

·        If the vegetables are not fresh, soak them in cold water to which a little lemon juice has been added. They will become fresh again.

·        Keep lemons in hot water for twenty minutes before squeezing. They will yield more juice.

·        Peeling or scraping ginger – Peeling or scraping ginger with the back of spoon is an easy way to peel ginger. Scrape the ginger with the inside of a spoon, getting the edge of the spoon into the crevices of the ginger. The skin will come off with a gentle scrape.

·        To keep sweet corn yellow in colour, add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the cooking water just about a minute before removing from heat. Never salt the water you cook corn in. It will only toughen the corn.

·        To make aloo tikkis crisp add two teaspoons of roasted semolina to the potato mixture.

·        To peel whole garlic, wash the garlic buds before peeling the skin. The skin of the garlic will come off easily and quickly.. To peel garlic, place your knife flat on the garlic clove and whack with your other hand. The covering will burst open and the clove can be easily removed.

·        Wash a potato. Cut into two. Place the two halves of the raw potato in the curry and it will absorb the extra salt.

·        When using curds in gravy, add salt only after curd is cooked so that it does not curdle.

·        While sautéing vegetables or any meat dish add a small amount of sugar, honey or any fruit juice near the end of the cooking time. This gives glaze, additional flavour and a golden sheen to the finished dish.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kitchen tips

·        A bay leaf added to the flour container will keep the flour free from moisture.

·        Add a piece of coconut shell to a mutton dish while it is getting cooked, the meat remains tender and gets cooked much faster.

·        Add a pinch of salt while frying Puris or Pakoras - this will help absorb less oil.

·        Add a pinch of sugar while cooking spinach and green leafy vegetables. it will retain its green colour.

·        Add a small amount of sugar when cooking carrots, peas, beets or corn - this will keep the flavour.

·        Add a tsp of vinegar in water while boiling eggs. Even if they crack the contents will not come out.

·        Add some cooked rice while grinding for Dosa. This will give soft Dosas.

·        After boiling noodles, splash some cold water to separate one another.

·        Always fry onions in a little oil and then grind. Raw onion paste will turn bitter immediately.

·        Always soak cut egg plants (brinjal) in water otherwise it will turn black.

·        Avoid eggplant (brinjal) turning black by putting the cut pieces in a bowl of water mixed with a spoon of milk.

·        Before beating eggs, rinse the container with water. The mixture will not stick to the sides of the vessel.

·        Cleaning your grater after shredding cheese can be made easy by grating a raw potato after the cheese. The potato clears the gummy cheese out of the holes.

·        Cut the top of the carrot and store in air tight bag. This will keep it fresh for a longer period.

·        Fat can be removed from hot soup by floating a large lettuce leaf on the surface.

·        For soft idlies like a sponge do not stir the batter after it has got fermented. Pour the batter as it is.

·        If you happen to bite a chili in your food take a sip of cold milk to sustain the heat.

·        Keep boiled eggs in cold water for 5 minutes. This will make removal of the shell easier.

·        Keep the bitter gourd in salty water for about ½ an hour to remove the bitterness from it.

·        Lemon juice added to carrot cooking water will help keep the color bright.

·        Mushrooms readily absorb water, even from atmosphere - they should never be washed. Instead wipe them with a clean and damp cloth.

·        Never cook mushrooms in aluminum pans because the mushrooms will darken.

·        Never keep greens in plastics, it will rot quickly.

·        Never store an apple near a banana unless you want to ripen the banana in a short period of time.

·        Never store potatoes near onions. Potatoes rot quickly if stored near onions.

·        Never use metallic bowls to marinate meat - the acids (vinegar or lemon) can react with the metal bowls.

·        Never use stainless steel spoons for pickles. This will react with the acids in the pickle.

·        Placing Potatoes in salt water for 15 minutes before baking make them bake quickly. Salt also adds taste.

·        Potatoes: To keep them from budding, place an apple in the bag with potatoes.

·        Reduce the burning sensation after cutting green chilies by keeping the fingers in a bowl of cold milk added with some sugar.

·        Rub a little oil on the rim of the container, the milk won't overspill while boiling.

·        Sprinkle a bit of salt in the frying pan before adding chicken. It will cut down on the amount of grease splattering.

·        Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay fresher and longer.

·        To avoid sticky rice, add a tsp of oil and a tsp of lemon juice while cooking.

·        To get rid of the smell of eggs in the cakes, add one tablespoon honey to the cake batter while beating it.

·        To keep cauliflower white while cooking, add a little milk to the water.

·        To keep the chilies fresh for a longer time, remove the stems before storing.

·        To keep lemon fresh put them in water and store in refrigerator.

·        To Peel Garlic, fry on hot pan for few seconds peel will come out very easily.

·        To peel the almonds easily, keep them covered in boiling hot water for five minutes.

·        To remove excess salt in the dish you are preparing, add a few pieces of raw potato.

·        To remove the coffee stain in the cup, fill it with any kind of soda for 3 hours.

·        To restore color and shine to an aluminum pan, boil some apple peels in it for a few minutes,  rinse and dry.

·        To store chili powder longer, keep a piece of asafetida in the same container.

·        When adding curd to a preparation during the cooking process lower the heat and add gradually otherwise it tends to curdle up.

·        When the noodles are boiled, drain all the hot water and add cold water. This way all the noodles will get separated.

·        When you make desserts use a heavy bottomed vessel.

·        Whenever gingelli oil is used for deep frying, initially, put a little tamarind in the hot oil. Allow the tamarind to become dark and then remove from oil. Use this oil for deep frying. This prevents foaming of oil.

·        While cooking ladyfingers add a few drops of lemon juice or a spoonful of yogurt to avoid becoming sticky.

·        While frying onions add salt to it so that it will be cooked very fast.

·        While making kachori or kulchas add 1 tbsp of hot oil to the dough.

·        While storing green chilies, remove the stems. This will help the chilies to stay fresh for a long time.