Did you know, adding a pinch of turmeric when cooking dal can hasten the cooking process? That wrapping bananas in a newspaper and then refrigerating them can keep them fresh for longer! Here are some more kitchen tips to making cooking easier.
To avoid sticky rice: Wash the grains a few times until the water runs clear. Remove all the water and let it sit for 20 minutes. This will remove all the starch and also won’t make the rice sticky. You can add a few drops of lemon juice to the rice while cooking it to ensure that the grains do not stick to each other.
For instant tomato puree: Pressure-cook tomatoes with salt to taste. When cool, churn them in a mixer and strain the juice. Deep freeze the juice in an ice tray. Place the juice cubes in a box or a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. Use them to make tomato soup, vegetables and gravies when you’re falling short of time or have run out of tomatoes.
To avoid spilling over of milk when boiling it: If you see yourself standing in front of the stove guarding it till the milk boils, here’s what you need to do. Before you pour milk into the pot for boiling, rub butter along the top edge and the inside lip of the pot. Due to this, the milk won’t overflow when it foams up.
To get rid of excess salt: If you have read the recipe wrong and ended up adding a tablespoon of salt, rather than a teaspoon, don’t despair. You need not throw it away. Excess salt in any dish can be brought down by adding diced potatoes, tomatoes or a teaspoon of sugar.
To regain freshness in stale chapatis: Just wrap them in a clean cloth and pack them in an airtight container that will fit into the pressure cooker and pressure cook for two whistles. Serve fresh and hot. Now, you can easily stock up on chapatis without worrying about them turning stale or hard.
To make softer rotis: The next time you make paneer at home, do not throw away the remaining water. Keep it for further use in cooking. Whey (paneer water) is full of protein, calcium and digestive aids. It can be used for kneading soft dough for chapatis or for making soup. It not only adds more taste to the dish, but is also very nutritious.
To preserve lemons for longer: Do you shove lemons in the refrigerator in those flimsy supermarket plastic bags? Lemons, if stored at room temperature can only last a week before they start hardening. To preserve lemons for a longer duration, coat them with coconut oil and refrigerate them in an open container.
To remove extra water from the batter: When you’re making pakoras or vadas, see to it that you do not add extra water to the batter. In case the batter turns watery, there are chances of oil splattering when you try to fry it. Do not panic or throw away the batter. Add a tablespoon of ghee to it and the batter is ready to be fried.
To retain the colour of vegetables: To retain the bright green colour of leafy vegetables, add a pinch of sugar while cooking them. You can also put the vegetables in ice cold water, as soon as you blanch them. When cooking eggplant, add a spoon of milk to a bowl of water and add the chopped pieces to that water. The eggplant will stay dark purple.
To cook faster in the microwave: It is better to use round dishes in the microwave oven rather than square or rectangular dishes as round dishes spread heat faster. Rectangular dishes cook food more on the ends and less on the inside. So always opt for round, shallow and straight-sided dishes when cooking food in the microwave.
For crispy french fries: Do you wonder why your home-made fries don’t turn out to be as crispy as the ones you eat at a snack bar? Try this trick. Cut the potatoes into thin strips and deep-fry (half done). Cool the fries and store them in the freezer for 5 to 6 hours. Make sure they are covered with a plastic wrap. Fry them just before you have to serve them.