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.