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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Useful Cooking Tips - 3

Dear Lady of the House,

It is a last quota of Cooking Tips that surely help you in kitchen.

* 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.

Rice Pulao and other recipes.

* 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.

* 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 freeze.

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.

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Useful Cooking Tips - 2

Dry Fruits
Dear woman of the house,

Let's take a look on following cooking tips that may help you in your cooking skill....

* 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.