Tips and Tricks

There’s a plethora of cooking tips and tricks you pick up over the years while you cook, but there’s a handful that are particularly helpful for the eager home cook. I picked some of my favourites that everybody should to know.

  • To make homemade pastes of garlic, ginger or green chilly last longer and taste fresher, add a tsp. of hot oil along with salt to it
  • To prevent the burn sensation after grinding chilies Dip the fingers in cold milk
  • After making cottage cheese/paneer don’t throw the whey, use it the to make roti dough or use in any curry
  • Always add hot water to the gravy to enhance its taste
  • To determine if baking powder is still active add 1 tsp. to 1/3 cup of hot water. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s still active and will give good baking results
  • While using ginger-garlic paste in curries, always use garlic at 60% ratio and ginger at 40% as ginger being very strong makes your dish sharp and pungent
  • Pakodas/Fritters can be made crisper, just add a little corn flour to the gram flour (besan) while preparing the batter
  • While making potato patties/tikkis, always make sure that the potatoes are boiled well in advance and cooled before you use them. It would be better if they can be refrigerated for a short time. This helps the starch in the potatoes to settle down and the patties/tikkis will not be gooey
  • Add an apple with potatoes ,they will stay fresh and will not sprout easily
  • To make your dosa crisper, add a little sugar/fenugreek seeds to the dosa batter
  • While storing green chillies, remove the stems. This will help the chillies to stay fresh for a longer time
  • Rubbing your hands on a stainless steel sink or container removes the pungent smell of garlic, onions or other spices from them
  • Never store onions and potatoes in the same bag or container. Separate them to prevent the potatoes from rotting
  • Before grating cheese, rub some oil onto the grater. This will ensure that the cheese doesn’t stick to the grater
  • Use scissor to chop green chillies and coriander
  • If you have added too much chilli powder in a gravy then add some curd ,lemon juice or 2 tsp. ghee in it to balance it
  • The smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature for perfect end result
  • While grinding red chilli powder add little mustard oil in it to get a bright red colour
  • Whipping cream? The colder it is the better it whips
  • If you find you need more oil in the pan when sautéing, add it in a stream along the edges of the pan so that by the time the oil reaches the ingredient being cooked, it will be heated
  • Do not use oil in the water when boiling pasta: It will keep the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta
  • Revive wilted herbs or get back the crunch in veggies like celery and carrots, by putting them in a bowl of iced water
  • When boiling milk, smear ghee on the edges of the vessel to prevent overflow
  • Store fresh herbs like you would flowers. Pop them in a jar of water on the kitchen counter. Pluck off what you need and change the water daily
  • To prevent the insides of the cooker from turning black Add a piece of lemon peel to the cooker while boiling

Got any tips and tricks you swear by in the kitchen? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.

Happy Cooking!!

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