Tips On Cutting & Peeling :
· Wash vegetables before peeling or cutting to preserve the water solublevitamins.
· Peel vegetables as thinly as possible to preserve the minerals andvitamins.
· Soak potatoes and eggplant after cutting, to avoid discoloration.
· If you boil vegetables in water, do not throw the water, keep it to makegravies.
· To avoid browning of apples after cutting, apply a little lemon juice onthe cut surface. The apples will stay and look fresh for a longer time.
· Keep coriander leaves in a muslin (cheese) cloth bag in therefrigerator. They will remain fresh for a longer time.
· Remove the stems of green chilies while storing them .This will helpthem to stay fresh for long.
· After peeling onions cut in half and soak in water for about 10 minutesbefore cutting to avoid crying.
· Soak almonds in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes .The skin willpeel off easily.
· Chopping vegetables can be done in different ways using a sharp knifeand a wooden chopping board. Cutting on a marble slab will blunt your knives.
· Remove the outer leaves and husks from the corn (bhutta). Holding thecorn upright with the flat end firmly in a board, take a sharp knife and run itdown between the kernels and the cob to strip them away.
· Wrap the fruits and vegetables in newspaper before refrigerating to keepthem fresh for long.
· Chopping dry fruits - Freeze them first for one hour & then dip theknife into hot water before cutting them.
Tips On Frying :
· Heat the oil thoroughly before adding seasonings or vegetables.
· Fry the seasonings until they change color, to get full flavour ofseasonings.
· If masala sticks to the pan that shows quantity of fat included is notenough.
· Add some hot oil and 1/2 tsp of baking soda in batter while makingpakodas.
· When coconut is used in grinding masala, do not fry for a longer time.
· If you are making patties or tikkis of potatoes, always make sure thatthe potatoes are boiled well in advance and cooled before you use them. Itwould be better if they can be refrigerated for a short time. This helps thestarch in the potatoes to settle down and the tikkis will not be gooey.
· Smoke Mustard oil first before using for preparing vegetables etc.. byheating to a point till light white smoke emerges from it. This would removethe potency from the oil.
· Poori can be rolled and place between well-rinsed wet muslin cloth atleast an hour ahead and can be Fried before serving.
· To make pooris more crispy add a little rice flour to the wheat flourwhile kneading.
· Pakodas will turn out crisper if a little corn flour is added to thegram flour (besan) while preparing the batter.
· Heat a non-stick pan and add a little more butter than usual. Now beatthe egg and stir briskly (even while frying) with a fork. This way more airgoes in your omelet, making it light and fluffy. Fry till done and serve hot.
· Sprinkle a little amount of salt in the frying pan before adding baconto fry. That way it will not splatter all over.
· When browning meat in fat, choose a large, deep pan. This will enableyou to fry quickly, without splashing the stove with fat and meat juices.
Tips For Gravies:
· Always use ghee or vanaspathi with or instead of oil, which gives a goodflavour to the gravy. If oil alone is used, it does not get separated easilyfrom the ground mixture, as ghee separates from it.
· Fry the ground masala in reduced flame, so that it retains its colourand taste.
· Little plain sugar or caramelised sugar added to the gravy makes ittasty.
· When tomatoes are not in season, tomato ketchup or sauce can besuccessfully used in the gravies.
· To retain colour in the gravy always use ripe red tomatoes. Discardgreen portions if any.
· Good variety chillies and chilli powder also gives colour to the gravy.As far as pos sible try to use long variety red chillies. Dry it under sun forfew days and powder coarsely at home. Always the coarse powder gives good tastein gravies and pickles.
· While using ginger and garlic paste in curries, always use garlic at 60%ratio and ginger at 40% as ginger is very strong and may make your dish sharpand pungent.
Tips On Cooking :
· To make 1 cup of dal, add atleast 2-3 cups of water, depending on the typeof dal.
· Soak whole pulses overnight and other dals for one hour before cooking.
· Always add hot water to the gravy to enhance the taste.
· Add 1 Tbsp of hot oil to the dough for making Kachories or Kulchas.
· Always use heavy bottomed vessels to make desserts, in order to avoidburning.
· Make desserts with full cream milk, to get thick creamy texture.
· Whenever curd is to be added to the masala, it should be beaten well andadd gradually.
· Chop some extra vegetables, for next day stir fry.
· Use the leftover dal water to make rasam or sambar.
· Never discard water in which vegetables are cooked, use it in gravies,soups, rasam or kolumbu.
· Onions and masala are fried in the cooker body itself, raw vegetablesare added to that with enough salt and water. Cook under pressure according tothe cooking time of the vegetable. This method helps us minimise our cookingtime, use of utensils and nutrients are also preserved.
· If poppy seeds are used in grinding, soak it in hot water for 10 to 15minutes, if you are grinding it in a mixie.
· While boiling milk, always add a little water at the base of the vesselto avoid the milk from sticking at the bottom.
· Add a tsp. of hot oil to homemade pastes of garlic, ginger or green chili,along with salt to make it last longer and taste fresher.
· Store raisins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They willstay fresh for much longer. Pour very hot water over them if they had harden,after that drain them immediately, and spread on a paper towel to dry. You canalso leave a spoon in the vessel in which the milk is being boiled at low heatso that it does not get burnt at the bottom
· Add a few drops of lemon a tsp of oil to rice before boiling to separateeach grain.
· Never discard the water in which vegetables are cooked, use it ingravies or soups.
· Put tomatoes in a large bowl and cover with boiling water Leave it forabout 5 minutes. Take out one by one, piercing them with a sharp knife, theskin will peel off easily.
· Immediately after boiling noodles put them in normal cold water toseparate them each.
· If you forget to soak chana/Rajma overnight. Just soak the chana/Rajmain the boiling water for an hour before cooking.
· Curd in winter - Set in a ceramic container and place it on the voltagestabilizer of your refrigerator.
· Potatoes soaked in salt water for 20 minutes will bake more rapidly.
· Roasting is a dry heat method of cooking - it does not use water. Theflavors roasting draws forth result from the process of browning. As thesurface of the meat browns, and its juices and fats drip down and brown on thesurface of the hot roasting pan, it adds to the flavour of the meat.