Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Kitchen Tips

Add some boiled rice while grinding for Dosa, this will give soft Dosas!

If you don't have any cream to add in the soup or gravy, add a mixture of butter and milk!

Keep boiled eggs in cold water for 5 minutes, this will make removal of the shell easier!Store Sambar powder and Rasam powder in the deep freezer. This will keep the fresh aroma for a longer time!Always soak cut egg plants (brinjal) in water otherwise it will turn black!Never use stainless steel spoons for pickles, this will react with the acids in the pickle!For spongy egg scramble add 3 tsp of milk while beating!
While cooking smelly foods, soak a cloth towel and let it dry in the cooking area. It will absorb the smell of cooking and keep the room fresh!

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

Cut the top of the carrot and store in air tight bag. This will keep it fresh for a longer period!Put the bananas in a black plastic bag before keeping it in the refrigerator - skin will not turn black and they will come out yellow even after a week! Lemon juice added to carrot cooking water will help keep the color bright!

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

Never use metallic bowls to marinate meat - the acids (vinegar or lemon) can react with the metal bowls!Add a small amount of sugar when cooking carrots, peas, beets or corn - this will keep the flavour!

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

Keep the Karela in water and add a pinch of salt in it for 1/2 hour to remove the bitterness of it!

Add a piece of coconut shell to a mutton dish while it is getting cooked, the meat remains tender and gets cooked much faster!
For soft idlies like a sponge do not stir the batter after it has got fermented.Pour the batter as it is!
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!
Placing Potatoes in salt water for 15 minutes before baking make them bake quickly. Salt also adds taste!To keep the chilies fresh for a longer time, remove the stems before storing!

Do not fry paneer, immerse it in boiling water to make it soft and spongy!

When the noodles are boiled, drain all the hot water and add cold water. This way all the noodles will get separated!
Add a pinch of sugar while cooking spinach and green leafy vegetables, it will retain its green colour!
A bay leaf added to the flour container will keep the flour free from moisture!

Never cook mushrooms in aluminum pans because the mushrooms will darken!

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

While frying Onions, add a little milk - this will help retain a rich color and prevent them from burning!

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

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

To restore color and shine to an aluminum pan, boil some apple peels in it for a few minutes, then rinse and dry!
Add atea spoon full of vinegar in water while boiling eggs. Even if they crack content will not come out!
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!

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

Mushrooms readily absorb water, even from atmosphere - they should never be washed. Instead wipe them with a clean and damp cloth!
Potatoes: To keep them from budding, place an apple in the bag with potatoes!
While cooking okra (ladyfingers) add a few drops of lemon juice or a spoonful of yogurt to avoid becoming sticky.!
To remove the coffee stain in the cup, fill it with any kind of soda for 3 hours!
If you drop an egg on the floor, cover it with salt and leave it for a couple of minutes. Cleaning the mess will be easy with a paper towel!
Store tomatoes with stems pointed down and they will stay fresher, longer!
If you happen to bite a chili in your food take a sip of cold milk to sustain the heat!
Never keep greens in plastics, it will rot quickly!
To avoid refrigerator stinking throw a piece of lemon!
When boiling vegetables, cook them whole and then cut them into pieces. This reduces the loss of proteins and soluble carbohydrates!
While storing green chilies, remove the stems. This will help the chilies to stay fresh for a longer time.!
To keep lemon fresh put them in water and store in refrigerator.
While frying onions add salt to it so that it will be cooked very fast!
To Peel Garlic, fry on hot pan for few seconds peel will come out very easily!
Before beating eggs, rinse the container with water. The mixture will not stick to the sides of the vessel.
To peel the almonds easily, keep them covered in boiling hot water for five minutes!
Rub a little oil on the rim of the container, the milk won't overspill while boiling!
To avoid sticky rice, add a tsp of oil and a tsp of lemon juice while cooking!
Never store potatoes near onions! Potatoes rot quickly if stored near onions!
To remove excess salt in the dish you are preparing, add a few pieces of raw potato!
To avoid milk sticking to bottom of utensils while boiling, add sugar into it!
To store chili powder longer, Keep a piece of asafoetida in the same container!
No more tears while cutting onions.. keep the onions in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge. Take out just before cutting!

Kitchen Tips

  • Almonds: To remove the skin of almonds easily, soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes.

  • Ants: Putting 3-4 cloves in the sugar container will keep the ants at bay.

  • Biscuits: If you keep a piece of blotting paper at the bottom of the container, it will keep biscuits fresh for a longer time.

  • Butter: Avoid the use of butter. If it is essential to use, use a butter containing low saturated fat or with plant stanols (which avoid absorption of cholesterol by our body) or similar substitutes.

  • Apples: Apply some lemon juice on the cut surface of the apple to avoid browning. They will look fresh for a longer time.

  • Banana: Apply mashed banana over a burn on your body to have a cooling effect.

  • Bee and Scorpion Sting Relief: Apply a mixutre of 1 pinch of chewing tobacco and 1 drop of water. Mix and apply directly and immediately to the sting; cover with bandaid to hold in place. Pain will go away in just a few short mintues. [submitted by Pam R, pr1190@yahoo.com]

  • Bitter Gourd (Karela): Slit Karelas at the middle and apply a mixture of salt, wheat flour and curd all round. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour and then cook.
    Stuffed Karela

  • Celery: To keep celery fresh for long time, wrap it in aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator.

  • Burnt Food: Place some chopped onion in the vessel having burnt food, pour boiling water in it, keep for 5 minutes and then clean.

  • Chili Powder: Keeping a small piece of hing (asafoetida) in the same container will store chili powder for long time.

  • Chopping: Use a wooden board to chop. It will not blunt the knife. Don't use a plastic board, small plastic pieces may go with the vegetables.

  • Coriander/Mint: You can use dried coriander and mint leaves in coarse powder form in vegetable curry or chutney, if fresh ones are not available.
    To keep them fresh for a longer time, wrap them in a muslin cloth and keep in a fridge.

  • Cockroaches: Put some boric powder in kitchen in corners and other places. Cockroaches will leave your house.

  • Coconut: Immerse coconut in water for 1/2 an hour to remove its hust.

  • Dry Fruits: To chop dry fruits, place them in fridge for half an hour before cutting. Take the fruits out and cut them with a hot knife (dip it in hot water before cutting).

  • Dough/Rolling pin: If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, place it in freezer for a few minutes.

  • Egg peeling off: Make a small hole in the egg by piercing a pin before boiling it. You will be able to remove its skin very easily.

  • Egg fresh: Immerse the egg in a pan of cool salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh; if it rises to the surface, it is certainly quite old.

  • Garlic: Garlic skin comes off easily if the garlic cloves are slightly warmed before peeling.

  • Ghee: Avoid the use of ghee. If it is necessary, substitute it with canola oil. Even for making halwa, you can partly substitute it with oil.
    If you are making ghee at home, add a few pieces of meetha paan leaves in the process (remove afterwards) to produce ghee with longer self-life.

  • Green Chilies: To keep the chilies fresh for a longer time, remove the stems before storing.

  • Green Peas: To preserve green peas, keep them in a polythene bag in the freezer.

  • Idlies: Place a betel (paan) leaf over the leftover idli and dosa batter to prevent them sour.
    Do not beat idli batter too much, the air which has been incorporated during fermentation will escape.
    If you add half a tsp of fenugreek seeds to the lentil and rice mixture while soaking, dosas will be more crisp.

  • Fruits: To ripen fruits, wrap them in newspaper and put in a warm place for 2-3 days. The ethylene gas they emit will make them ripe.

  • Frying: Avoid deep frying. Substitute deep frying with stir frying or oven bake. Don't pour the oil, but make a habit of spraying the oil in the utensil for cooking. Heat the utensil first, then add oil. This way oil spreads well. You will use less oil this way.

  • Left Overs: Don't throw away the foods left over. Store them in Fridge. Use them in making tasty dishes.

  • Lemon/Lime: If the lemon or lime is hard, put it in warm water for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to squeeze.

  • Lizards: Hang a peacock feather, lizards will leave your house.

  • Milk: Moisten the base of the vessel with water to reduce the chances of milk to stick at the bottom.
    Keep a spoon in the vessel while boiling milk at medium heat. It will avoid sticking the milk at the bottom of the vessel.
    Adding half a tsp of sodium bicarbonate in the milk while boiling will not spoil the milk even if you don't put it in the fridge.

  • Mixer/Grinder: Grind some common salt in your mixer/grinder fro some time every month. This will keep your mixer blades sharp.

  • Mosquitoes: Put a few camphor tablets in a cup of water and keep it in the bed room near your bed, or in any place with mosquitoes.

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

  • Onions: To avoid crying, cut the onions into two parts and place them in water for 15 minutes before chopping them.
    Wrap the onions individually in a newspaper and store in a cool and dark place to keep them fresh for long time.

  • Oven: Watch from the oven window to conserve energy because the oven temperature drops by 25 degrees every time its door is opened,
    To clean the oven, apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate and water on the walls and floor of the oven and keep the oven on low heat for about half an hour. Dried food can easily be removed.

  • Paneer: To keep paneer fresh for several days, wrap it in a blotting paper while storing in the refrigerator.
    Do not fry paneer, immerse it in boiling water to make it soft and spongy.

  • Papad: Bake in microwave oven.
    Wrap the papads in polythene sheet and place with dal or rice will prevent them from drying and breaking.

  • Pickles: To prevent the growth of fungus in pickles, burn a small grain of asafoetida over a burning coal and invert the empty pickle jar for some time before putting pickles in the jar.

  • Popcorn: Keep the maize/corn seeds in the freezer and pop while still frozen to get better pops.

  • Potato: To bake potatoes quickly, place them in salt water for 15 minutes before baking.
    Use the skin of boiled potatoes to wipe mirrors to sparkling clean.
    Don't store potatoes and onions together. Potatoes will rot quickly if stored with onions.

  • Refrigerator: To prevent formation of ice, rub table salt to the insides of your freeze.

  • Rice: Add a few drops of lemon juice in the water before boiling the rice to make rice whiter.
    Add a tsp of canola oil in the water before boiling the rice to separate each grain after cooking.
    Don't throw away the rice water after cooking. Use it to make soup or add it in making dal (lentils).
    Add 5g of dried powdered mint leaves to 1kg of rice. It will keep insects at bay.
    Put a small paper packet of boric powder in the container of rice to keep insects at bay.
    Put a few leaves of mint in the container of rice to keep insects at bay.

  • Samosa: Bake them instead of deep frying to make them fat free. Don't fry the filling potato masala.
    Preserve the samosas in freezer. For eating, take out of the freezer two hours in advance and bake them over low temp.

  • Sugar: Put 2-3 cloves in the sugar to keep ants at bay.

  • Tadka: Use sprouted mustard seeds (rayee) and fenugreek (methi) seeds for your tadkas. Both of them when sprouted have more nutritional values. Also this add flavour to the dish and can be more beneficial, besides giving decorative look to the dish. Submitted by MS Itisha Madhav ( itisha_madhav@yahoo.com)

  • Tomato: To remove the skin of tomatoes, place them in warm water for 5-10 minutes. The skin can then be easily peeled off.
    When tomatoes are not available or too costly, substitute with tomato puree or tomato ketchup/sauce.
    Place overripe tomatoes in cold water and add some salt. Overnight they will become firm and fresh.

  • Tamarind:Tamarind is an excellent polish for brass and copper items. Rub a slab of wet tamarind with some salt sprinkled on it on the object to be polished.
    Gargles with tamarind water is recommended for a sore throat.

  • Utensils: Use nonsticking utensils. Use thick bottom utensils, they get uniformly heated. For electric stoves, use flat bottom utensils.
    Add a little bit of common salt to the washing powder for better cleaning of utensils.

  • Vegetables: Don't discard the water in which the vegetables are soaked or cooked. Use it in making soup or gravy.
    To keep the vegetables fresh for a longer time, wrap them in newspaper before putting them in fridge.
    Chop the vegetables only when you are ready to use them. Don't cut them in too advance. It would spoil their food value.

  • Sink (Blocked): To clear the blocked drain pipe of your kitchen sink, mix 1/2 cup sodium bicarbonate in 1 cup vinegar and pour it into the sink, and pour about 1 cup water. In an hour the drain pipe will open.

  • Soup Salty: Place a raw peeled potato in the bowl, it will absorb the extra salt.

  • Yoghurt (Home Made): To set yogurt in winter, place the container in a warm place like oven or over the voltage stabliser.

  • Yogurt: If the yogurt has become sour, put it in a muslin cloth and drain all the water. Then add milk to make it as good as fresh in taste. Use the drained water in making tasty gravy for vegetables or for basen curry.
    To keep the yogurt fresh for many days, fill the vessel containing yogurt with water to the brim and refrigerate. Change the water daily.

  • Kitchen Tips

    1. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
    2. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle - perfect shaped pancakes every time.
    3. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
    4. To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.
    5. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature & roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.
    6. To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop-skillet will be much easier to clean.
    7. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead-no white mess on the outside of the cake.
    8. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato-it absorbs the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."
    9. Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
    10. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.
    11. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.  (ah, an old 1940’s Fannie Farmer trick!)
    12. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh-if it rises to the surface, throw it away.
    13. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
    14. Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
    15. If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
    16. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
    17. To get rid of itch from mosquito bite: try applying soap on the area, instant relief.
    18. Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march-see for yourself.
    19. When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
    20. NOW Look what you can do with Alka-Seltzer:
    • Clean a toilet-drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush, and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.
    • Clean a vase-to remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
    • Polish jewelry-drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
    • Clean a thermos bottle-fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
    • Unclog a drain-clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.