101-150 Kitchen Tips

101. Always warm dry spices like cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, etc. on a griddle before powdering. They will grind faster and the powder will be finer.
102. Always keep dough covered with a moist cloth to avoid a dry crust from forming on it.
103. To unmould chilled dishes quickly, dip container halfway into hot water for a few seconds and then unmould.
104. Icecreams set faster and better in aluminium containers. Also, place a thick plastic sheet or spread some salt under the container to keep it from sticking to the floor of the freezer.
105. Avoid cooking sour dishes (like tamarind based dishes) in a non-stick pan as the sourness will remove coating faster.
106. Always use a standard set of measuring instruments for your cooking. This will save a lot of time on approximations, and additions-deletions. Also it will avoid searching for measuring gadgets at the last moment.
107. To avoid dishes from burning when being cooked in a handi, place a tawa (griddle) underneath.
108. While making ghee add betel leaves. They give a pleasant aroma as well as increase the shelf life.
109. If the jam has got solidified add a little hot water to the amount of jam you need and stir.
110. While making mango juice add little milk. The juice will not only be tastier but more nutritious.
111. Instant noodles when crushed and deep-fried, make an excellent topping for soups, salads, etc.
112. Warm cardamom pods very lightly, cool and deseed. These seeds will powder more easily.
113. Use ground sugar to make thick shakes etc. So that the sugar dissolves quickly and completely in the cold milk. If pouring out colours etc. turn out to be a messy job, use a clean ink dropper for this purpose.
114. Rub brinjals with a little salted oil after slicing to avoid discoloration.
115. Keep a little powdered cashewnuts handy in a bottle to thicken gravies, milk, etc. in a hurry.
116. While cutting jackfruit apply little oil to the knife as well as your hands. It will cut easily and prevent your hands and the knife from getting sticky.
117. Chop green chillies, etc. either with a steel knife or steel scissors. Do not use iron knives since the paste will tend to turn blackish later on.
118. Soak lemons in lukewarm water before slicing and squeezing them in order to extract maximum juice.
119. Peel vegetables and fruits thinly as a major chunk of nutrients lie just beneath the skin. Peeling them thickly would result in a loss of these nutrients.
120. To retain the nutrients in vegetables, scrub and wash them in several changes of water before chopping. Once chopped immediately immerse them in gravy.
121. Don't throw leftover vegetables. Use them as a stuffing for making paranthas.
122. While storing the excess dough in the refrigerator coat it with a light layer of ghee or oil. This shall prevent the dough from getting dry.
123. Large or mature carrots can have a slightly bitter taste. To avoid this, slice them lengthwise and remove the core before using.
124. When buying eggplants, select those that have a nice glossy shine. Avoid ones that are dull in colour for they will be overripe and bitter.
125. Use a potato peeler to create cheese peels for garnishing salads, soups etc.
126. After chopping garlic or onions, run a lemon quarter over the knife blade and the chopping board to remove the odour.
127. When the chillies are required to be ground it is best to soak them beforehand so that they soften and make a finer paste.
128. Mash about six cloves of garlic and add to half a cup of butter. Then add chopped chives or parsley, form into logs, wrap in plastic and freeze. Slice as needed to add to meats or vegetables or use as a spread on bread.
129. Basil leaves are tender and bruise very easily. So never chop them with a knife, but tear them lightly with your fingers just before using.
130. If vegetables are cut uniformly, they not only cook evenly and impart a good flavour but also retain their nutritional value and look good.
131. If walnuts or fresh coconut flesh is to be taken out as a single piece from their shells, keep them in hot water for five minutes and then break the shell.
132. To detect the freshness of the egg, drop it into a basin of cold water at least double the depth of the egg. It is freshest if it sinks straight to the bottom on its side. If it hangs on its end but is still under the water, it is stale but still usable. If it floats on the surface, it is bad and should not be used.
133. Lettuce when cut with a knife get discoloured along the edges so they should always be torn by hand.
134. You can add garlic, rosemary, dill or any other herb to wine vinegar and use it to flavour a salad, vegetable or main dish.
135. When you flatten a chicken breast, it not only gives it a uniform thickness but also tenderizes the meat by breaking down some of the fibres.
136. Do not add baking soda to beans to soften it because it actually prevents the beans from absorbing moisture and may also destroy some nutrients.
137. When buying zucchini look for one with a firm texture and glossy bright colour. Any zucchini that feels limp has lost flavour and texture.
138. To rejuvenate muffins that have been sitting around for a while, heat them in the microwave oven just long enough to warm them.
139. Citrus skin contains oils that have intense flavour that can brighten up many a sweet or savoury recipe.
140. Never defrost fish, chicken or meat at room temperature - the surface temperature rises to a point where bacteria can multiply before the centre is thawed.
141. Fish has a tendency to leave its smell in the pan. To eliminate fish smell put used tea brew and boil it for ten minutes and smell should be gone.
142. In order to get rid off the unpleasant odour due to accumulation of food scrap in a refrigerator, place a fresh slice of bread which will absorb all unpleasant odour.
143. Used milk glasses should be rinsed with cold water instead of hot water before washing, as hot water cooks the milk and makes them harder to clean.
144. Unsliced stale bread can be refreshed by sprinkling it with water, wrapping it in a foil and heating it in the oven on 200 ÂșC for about five to ten minutes.
145. To prevent lump formation in a salt container, put little rice granules at the bottom of the container, as they will absorb the moisture from the salt.
146. Use milk instead of water to knead puri dough. Puris will become soft and luscious.
147. When cutting meringue pie, dip knife into ice cold water as this will prevent meringue from sticking to knife.
148. To make whipped cream retain its peaks, add one teaspoon of honey before whipping.
149. If mushrooms are very large, the stalks are likely to be tough; therefore they should be discarded. Always tear rather than cut oyster mushrooms.
150. When using cooked or raw garlic as an ingredient in dishes that will be stored for several days, be sure to remove any small green shoots found in the centre of the cloves. These shoots have a slightly bitter taste, which develop over time and can be imparted to the finished dish.

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