Tips that come handy in Kitchen
Working in kitchen can really be fun if you know some basic keys. Here are some special tips to make your work interesting and comfortable.
1. To remove the skin of almonds easily, soak them in hot water for 15-20 minutes.
2. Putting 3-4 cloves in sugar container will keep the ants at bay.
3. If you keep a piece of blotting paper at the bottom of the container, it will keep biscuits fresh for a longer time.
4. Avoid the use of butter. It 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.
5. Apply some lemon juice on the cut surface of the apple to avoid browning. They will look fresh for a longer time.
6. Apply mashed banana over a burn on your body for cooling effect.
7. Apply a mixture 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 minutes.
8. Slit karelas at the middle and apply a mixture of salt, wheat flour and curd all round. Keep aside for ½ hour and then cook.
9. To keep celery fresh for a long time, wrap it in aluminium foil and place in the refrigerator.
10. Place some chopped onion in the vessel having burnt food, pour boiling water in it, keep 5 minutes and then clean.
11. Keeping a small piece of hing (asafoetida) in the same container will store chili powder for long time.
12. 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.
13. 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 longer time, wrap them in a muslin cloth and keep in a fridge.
14. Put some boric powder in kitchen in corners and other places. Cockroaches will leave your house.
15. Immerse coconut in water for ½ an hour to remove its hust.
16. To chop dry fruits, place them in fridge for half an hour before cutting. Taking the fruits out and cut them with a hot knife (dip it in hot water before cutting).
17. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, place it in freezer for a few minutes.
18. Make a small hole in the egg by piercing a pin before boiling it. You will be able to remove its skin very easily.
19. 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.
20. Garlic skin comes off easily if the garlic cloves are slightly warmed before peeling.
21. 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.
22. To keep the chillies fresh for a longer time, remove the stems before storing.
23. To preserve green peas, keep them in a polythene bag in the freezer.
24. Place a betel (paan) leaf over the leftover idli and dosa batter to prevent them from becoming sour.
25. Do not beat idli batter too much, the air of which has been incorporated during fermentation will escape.
26. If you add half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to the lentil and rice mixture while soaking, dosas will be more crisp.
27. 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.
28. Avoid deep frying. Substitute deep frying with stir frying or even bake. Don`t pour the oil, but make a habit of spraying the oil in utensil for cooking. Heat the utensil first, then add oil. This way oil spreads well. You will use less oil this way.
29. Don`t throw away of the foods left over. Store them in fridge. Use them in making tasting dishes.
30. If the lemon or lime is hard, put it in warm water for 5-10 minutes to make it easier for squeeze.
31. Hang a peacock feather, lizards will leave your house.
32. Moisten the base of the vessel with water to reduce the chances of milk to stick at the bottom.
33. Keep spoon in the vessel while boiling milk at medium heat. It will avoid sticking the milk at the bottom of the vessel.
34. Adding half of teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in the milk while boiling will not spoil the milk even if you don`t put it in the fridge.
35. Grind some common salt in your mixer/grinder for some time every month. This will keep your mixer blades sharp.
36. 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.
37. When the noodles are boiled, drain all the hot water and add cold water. This way all the noodles will get separated.
38. To avoid crying, cut the onions into two parts and place them in water for 15 minutes before chopping them.
39. Wrap the onions individually in a newspaper and store in a cool and dark place to keep them fresh for a long time.
40. Watch from the oven window to conserve energy because the oven temperature drops by 25 degrees every time its door is opened.
41. 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.
42. To keep paneer fresh for several days, wrap it in a blotting paper while storing in the refrigerator.
43. Do not fry paneer, immerse it in boiling water to make it soft and spongy.
44. Bake in microwave ovens. Wrap the papads in polythene sheet and place with dal or rice will prevent them from drying and breaking.
45. 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.
46. Keep the maize/corn seeds in the freezer and pop while still frozen to get better pops.
47. 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.
48. Don`t store potatoes and onions together.
49. Potatoes will rot quickly if stored with onions.
50. To prevent formation of ice, rub table salt to the insides of your freezer.
51. Add a few drops of lemon juice in the water before boiling the rice to make rice whiter.
52. Add a teaspoon of canola oil in the water before boiling the rice to separate each grain after cooking.
53. Don`t throw away the rice water after cooking.
54. Use it to make soup or add it in making dal (lentils).
55. Add 5gm of dried powdered mint leaves to 1kg of rice. It will keep insects at bay.
56. 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.
57. Bake them instead of deep frying to make them fat free. Don`t fry the filling potato masala.
58. Preserve the samosas in freezer. For eating, take out of the freezer two hours in advance and bake them over low temperature.
59. Put 2-3 cloves in the sugar to keep ants at bay.
60. 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.
61. 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.
62. Place overripe tomatoes in cold water and add some salt. Overnight they will become firm and fresh.
63. 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.
64. Use non-stick utensils. Use thick bottom utensils. They get uniformly heated. For electric stoves, use flat bottom utensils.
65. Don`t discard the water in which the vegetables are soaked or cooked. Use it in making soup or gravy.
66. To keep the vegetables fresh for longer time wrap them in newspaper before putting them in the fridge.
67. Chop the vegetables only when you are ready to use them. Don`t cut them in too advance. It would spoil their food value.
68. Place a raw peeled tomato in the bow, it will absorb the extra salt.
69. To get yogurt in winter, place the container in a warm place like oven or over the voltage stabiliser.
70. 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.
71. To keep the yogurt fresh for many days, fill the vessel containing yogurt with water to the brim and refrigerate. Change the water daily.
72. To easily shred cheese, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. The firmer cheese is less likely to make a melted mess on your grater.
73. To cut grease and odour on dishes, add a tablespoon of vinegar to hot soapy water.
74. You can clean darkened aluminum pans easily by pouring in two teaspoons cream of tartar mixed in some of water. Place on heat and boil for 10 minutes.
75. To unclog a drain, mix a cup of salt with a cup of baking soda. Pour these into the drain, and then add a pot of boiling water.
76. If you drop an egg on the floor, cover it with salt and let it remain like this for a couple of minutes. You will be able to easily clean the mess with a paper towel.
77. Mix extra pastry dough, to the breadcrumb stage, and store in airtight container in refrigerator. Use as and when required, for simple and quick result. Same dough may be used in a number of tarts, pies, cookies and puddings.
78. Warm garlic flakes slightly either in a microwave oven or on a griddle before peeling. The skin will come off easily.
79. When mixing cake batter, icings or whipping any liquid, keep a folded cloth under the vessel. This will help you get a better grip of the vessel since it will not slip over the work surface.
80. To get the full flavour out of saffron, warm it slightly before crushing (you may do so in a microwave oven for ten seconds on HIGH), add one teaspoon of warm milk and stir well.
81. Wipe the blades of greasy knives with a peeled lemon. Then wash under running water. The greasiness will disappear.
82. If karanjis get a bit stale, warm them for half to one minute in a microwave oven before serving. They will taste like freshly fried.
83. A handful of well-soaked moong dal added to any salad will increase the proteins and make it extra nutritious.
84. It will be easier to chop raisins if you sprinkle some flour over them so that they do not stick. Then cut with a small kitchen scissors.
85. To smoothen the icing on a cake use a knife dipped in hot water and gently rub it over the top and the sides.
86. A handful of salt added to the rinsing water for glass and crockery will not only make them cleaner but sparkling clear.
87. You can eliminate tedious cleaning of the shelves of your kitchen cabinets if you line them with old newspapers. Just discard and replace with fresh ones.
88. Ideally use a long handled spatula or spoon while stir-frying food in a wok. You will not burn your hands.
89. Place a large jug filled with hot detergent water on the kitchen platform so that large knives, forks, spoons, spatulas, etc. can be put straight into the jug after use. Thus they will require only a quick rinse before use again.
90. Crush chikkis coarsely and use as nougat over cakes and ice creams.
91. When adding flour to any liquid to thicken it, first mix the flour in a little liquid to make a smooth paste and then add it to the rest of the liquid and stir well. This will prevent lumps from forming.
92. To prevent chopped brinjals from getting discoloured keep them in salted water, till required.
93. Keep grated potatoes in cold water to prevent them from getting discoloured. When required, drain, press out excess water and dab on a clean kitchen towel. Use immediately.
94. To refresh old laddoos, heat them in a microwave for thirty seconds. The laddoos will taste as good and fresh.
95. Use a wooden spatula to stir dishes like halwa, etc. while cooking, to avoid scratching of utensils. Besides it will be easier on the hands too.
96. Whenever lemon slices are added to any tea, make sure to remove every single seed, or the tea will taste bitter.
97. Add cardamom peels to the tea canister, instead of throwing them away. It will lend a very subtle flavour of cardamom to every cup of tea you brew!
98. Crust removed from bread for making sandwiches etc. can be sundried or ovendried and powdered in a mixer to form fine breadcrumbs. Refrigerate and use as required.
99. Add a few drops of salt water to banana chips while frying them as this will make the chips crisper.
100. Do not throw away the water in which dal is boiled. Use it as a stock for a soup or even add to any gravy.
101. Always warm dry spices like cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, etc. on a griddle before powdering. They will grind faster and the powder will be finer.
102. Always keep dough covered with a moist cloth to avoid a dry crust from forming on it.
103. To unmould chilled dishes quickly, dip container halfway into hot water for a few seconds and then unmould.
104. Icecreams set faster and better in aluminium containers. Also, place a thick plastic sheet or spread some salt under the container to keep it from sticking to the floor of the freezer.
105. Avoid cooking sour dishes (like tamarind based dishes) in a non-stick pan as the sourness will remove coating faster.
106. Always use a standard set of measuring instruments for your cooking. This will save a lot of time on approximations, and additions-deletions. Also it will avoid searching for measuring gadgets at the last moment.
107. To avoid dishes from burning when being cooked in a handi, place a tawa (griddle) underneath.
First Published: Friday, August 26, 2011, 14:08