Cooking Secrets You Never Knew
Handpicked kitchen secrets that will not just save your cooking time but will also add more taste to your food and your mood. Follow these kitchen secrets and enjoy cooking to the fullest.
A cracked egg can be boiled by wrapping it in aluminium foil.
A pinch of salt added to ginger-garlic paste will help increase its shelf life though it should be stored in the refrigerator.
A smooth shiny egg shell is a sign of old age. Fresh eggs have a chalky rough shell.
A tablespoon of salt added to the water before boiling eggs will prevent the egg from cracking.
A teaspoon of buttermilk or curd added to melting butter just before removing it from heat will enhance its flavour.
A teaspoon of lemon juice added to rice while it is boiling, gives pure white rice with separate grains.
A teaspoon of vinegar added to fat when frying doughnuts will keep them from absorbing too much fat.
Acid foods such as tomatoes are best stored in porcelain and enameled utensils since this ware is acid resistant.
Add a few cloves to dals before storing them in bottles, avoids ants and worms in summers.
Add half cup of yogurt to onions while sautÃ©ing them for a curry. Yogurt gives good texture and taste, also comes in handy as a substitute for tomatoes.
Adding a little oil to the cooking water will prevent noodles, spaghetti and similar starches from sticking to each other.
After making ghee from butter, take the residue and boil it in water. Strain. Use water for making chapati dough.
After shelling eggs, dip them in a bowl of cold water to remove any small speck of the shell that has stuck on.
Bacon cooks better if you dip it in cold water before frying.
Basil leaves are tender and bruise very easily. Never chop them with a knife, but tear them with your fingers just before using.
Before grating boiled potatoes or cheese, grease the grater with a little oil or butter. The job is less messy and there is no wastage.
Bread crumbs added to scrambled eggs will improve the flavour and make larger servings possible.
Brown sugar is an antidote for salt. If you make your soup too salty, add a small teaspoon of brown sugar and the briny taste will disappear.
Cheese melts and blends better if you shred it or cut it into small pieces.
Combine leftover mashed potatoes with chopped onion and shredded cheese and then bake. It will taste like twice-baked potatoes.
Crushed and deep-fried instant noodles make excellent topping for soups and salads.
Dip raw liver slices in milk before frying. They will be tender when fried.
Dried cherries keep cakes, muffins and cookies moist.
Fish tends to leave its smell in the pan. Put used tea brew and boil it for ten minutes and smell should be gone.
For crispy French toast add a little corn flour to the egg mixture.
For leaving the skin of potatoes a little firm while microwaving, make sure to pierce tiny holes in them with a fork before putting them into the microwave.
For potato patties or tikkis, boil potatoes and cool them well before use. This helps starch in potatoes to settle down. They will not be sticky.
For rectifying curdled mayonnaise, add a spoonful of hot water and mix well till it blends well.
Grate the rinds of lemon, grapefruit and orange and store in the freezer. They make excellent flavouring for muffins, cakes and frostings.
Green chillies will stay fresh if the stem is removed and then refrigerated.
If a cooked dish is too spicy for your taste, dilute it with sour lemon juice and add some fried onions.
If a lemon seems to be dried out, or the skin is too stiff, soak it in hot water for ten minutes before cutting.
If a pastry dough breaks while rolling, place the dough between two sheets of butter paper and then roll.
If mutton is hard and cannot be cooked quickly, put a few pieces of betel nut while cooking the mutton. Betel nut will help in softening the mutton.
If you use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar to sweeten whipped cream, it will make the cream fluffy.
If your cutlets fall apart, soak some bread in water for a few minutes, squeeze them well, add to the mixture, mix well. Cutlets will retain their shape.
In winters, adding a little fruit salt to the idli batter helps it to ferment faster and also makes the idlis softer.
Meat is an important protein but also expensive, so use best cuts for roasting, cheaper cuts for stewing or slow cooking.
Peaches will ripen quickly if you put them in a box covered with sheets of paper.
Pour a little water in the milk cooker before boiling milk in it to prevent it from getting burnt.
Rub brinjals with a little salt water after slicing to avoid discoloration.
Rub chicken pieces with turmeric powder and keep for a few minutes before washing to get rid of any peculiar smell that might be there.
Rub chopping board with lemon dipped in salt after chopping chillies. This helps to avoid chilli flavour creeping into other things.
Sauce has turned lumpy? Cool, and run it for a minute in a food processor. It will be as smooth as velvet.
SautÃ© vegetables in oil or butter before adding them to soup. This ensures that they remain firm and flavour intact.
There is a way to preserve bananas in the refrigerator. They should be put in tightly sealed glass jars before refrigerating.
To break coconut easily into two equal halves, apply water in the line of its widest portion three to four times and break it.
To defrost fish, chicken or meat simply place them in a bowl of water at room temperature.
To disinfect meat, add garlic paste half an hour before cooking.
To keep mushrooms white add one teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of melted butter while sautÃ©ing them.
To make a curry look dark red, deseed 2 red chillies, soak in water for half an hour. Grind, add to curry and bring it to a boil.
To make crispier dosas, add half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to the lentil and rice mixture while soaking.
To make instant tomato puree, cut the tomatoes into half and grate it finely. Leave the skin and use the grated portion.
To make potato wafers whiter, crisper, soak the potato slices in water to which some alum crystals and salt are added. Drain, deep fry.
To make thick yogurt, add one teaspoon of milk powder to the milk while setting.
To poach an egg, stir warm water in one direction with a spoon and drop egg in the middle of this swirl. It sets faster.
To prevent biryani from sticking to bottom of the pan and getting burnt, spread a layer of banana leaves at bottom of pan and then layer.
To prevent greying of yolks after boiling the egg, once done, immediately dip in cold water till it cools down.
To prevent milk from boiling over and spilling out of the vessel, apply ghee or glycerin on the rim of the vessel.
To prevent strong odours when cooking cabbage, add a whole walnut to the cooking liquid. Or add some caraway seeds to reduce the cabbage smell.
To prevent the cake from burning, cover the tin with a greased brown paper when the cake is half baked. When it is fully baked, it will be soft.
To prevent the cooker from turning black while boiling potatoes add a little turmeric to the water.
To prevent the icing on cakes from cracking, add a teaspoon of condensed milk to it while preparing it.
To prevent the texture and structure of fish from breaking down, thaw fish slowly in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
To produce more juice from a lemon or other citrus fruit, place the fruit in a bowl of hot water before cutting and squeezing.
To remove excess salt from the mutton curry, add some pieces of raw papaya to it. It will absorb the excess salt in the curry.
To remove the skin of roasted brinjal easily, put it in water for few seconds after roasting it and then peel the skin.
To remove walnuts or fresh coconut flesh as a single piece from the shell, keep them in hot water for 5 minutes and then break the shell.
To retain the colour of green vegetables while boiling, add salt to the water until done and then refresh in cold water.
To retain the white colour of cauliflower, add lemon pieces while boiling it.
To save time and tears while cutting onions finely for gravy, halve them and boil them. Cool and grind and then sautÃ© the paste in oil.
To soften cheese that has become hard and dry, place it on a plate and hold the plate over boiling water.
To speed up ripening of bananas or papayas, wrap in paper bag or newspaper.
To speed up the process of shallow frying large quantities of onions add a few crystals of rock salt to the oil.
To tenderize chicken first marinate it in buttermilk.