Tips & Tricks – Cooking & Baking

To prevent the insides of the cooker from turning black Add a piece of tamarind or lemon peel to the cooker while boiling

To preserve the white color in cauliflower and cabbage. Add a teaspoon of milk or milk powder while cooking.

To prevent the burn sensation after grinding chilies Dip the hands in cold milk

To prevent milk from curdling while boiling Add a pinch pf baking soda to it and it will regain its freshness

To save oil while frying Add a pinch of salt to the oil while frying ‘pakodas’ or ‘koftas’ and you will use up less oil.

Boiling Pasta & Noodles Boil pasta/noodles in plenty of water and remove just before it is fully cooked. They continue to be cooked even after it is removed from flame and drained.

French fries First blanch cut potatoes in hot water or medium hot oil till tender, then deep-fry in very hot oil till crisp. Take care not too add too many potatoes at once to the oil. This causes the temperature of the oil to come down and you will end up with fries that are greasy, not crisp!  

If potatoes or carrots get over-cooked Just mash them well and serve with butter or use it as a batter for preparing cutlets

To soften cream cheese quickly remove it from the foil wrapper and microwave it on medium for 30-40 seconds.

When soups and stews get burnt, you can renew its taste By pouring the liquid gently and carefully into a clean pan and flavor with curry powder or mustard or some chutney to camouflage the burnt taste

When a recipe calls for instant coffee substitute instant espresso powder for an extra boost

To remove bitterness from karela Slit it from the middle and rub a mixture of salt, wheat flour and curd over it. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour, before cooking.

To regain freshness in stale chapattis 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 and serve fresh and hot.

To determine if baking powder is still active add 1 teaspoon to 1/3 cup of hot water. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s still active and will give good baking results

Save your margarine or butter wrappers to grease your baking pans, Just fold in half the wrappers and put in refrigerator. Take out and add a little shortening and spread in pan, then throw away

Retain the green of vegetables Green vegetables lose colour if subjected to continuous heat. So, do not overcook them.

Wet the measuring cup It will make removing the sticky ingredients like shortening or peanut butter easier.

Put folded paper towel in bottom of salad bowl. Add veggies and greens to a salad bowl containing paper towel . Just before serving remove towel (which has absorbed all the water and adds crunchiness to the dressing). Salad will be snapping crisp. This is great for carrying a salad to work. No more limp lettuce.

Tired Of Sticky Measuring Spoons & Cups? Before measuring honey, syrup, or molasses spray the measuring spoon or cup with a coating of nonstick cooking spray.  The sticky ingredients slides right out with no mess on the spoon or cup.

Use your pizza cutter!! It does a great job cutting rolled out dumplin’s into squares. Or use it to cut up the kid’s waffles or pancakes

To prevent icing from running off your cake dust the surface lightly with cornstarch

To keep your bananas from going too ripe too fast keep them in a plastic bag

To avoid stickiness in Rice Add a few drops of lemon juice to the rice while cooking, you will find that the grains of rice will remain separate.

For crispy lady fingers Add a few drops of lemon juice while cooking for a crispy taste

To remove excess oil in any fried vegetables Sprinkle a little gramflour over the vegetables. Gramflour absorbs the excess oil and makes the vegetable tastier.

Serving Boiled Noodles later If noodles/pasta has to be used after some time, then refresh the boiled noodles in cold water and drain. This way they will not stick to each other.

Making potato cutlets? When boiling potatoes for cutlets add the salt to the water itself as potatoes absorb salt better this way.

Curry turned out a bit oily and pungent ? Take two bread slices and powder them coarsely. Add this to the curry and mix well. Bread absorbs the excess oil and spice

Hurry to cook ‘dal’ ? Add a little oil and turmeric powder to the dal before placing it in the cooker. It will get done in 10 minutes flat.

Make a soft fluffy omelet Heat a non-stick pan and add a little more butter than usual. Now beat the egg and stir briskly (even while frying) with a fork. This way more air goes in your omelet, making it light and fluffy. Fry till done and serve hot.

Prevent onions from burning, frying Add a little milk to onions while frying, this will help retain a rich colour and prevent them from burning.

Soft paneer for children After taking out the butter in the milk cream add a little milk or curd to the remaining buttermilk and boil. Voila! you now have a soft paneer which is specially good for small children and those with weak stomachs.

Instant Lemonade Pour lemon juice with sugar and a little salt into ice trays, to make cubes which can be used for instant lemonade.

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