Cooking Tips By Expert Master Chefs
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A teaspoon of ghee with a pinch of turmeric powder when added to half a cup of dal before pressure-cooking it will enhance the flavour.
Add 1 teaspoon of hot oil to homemade pastes of garlic, ginger or green chillies, along with salt to make them last longer and taste fresher.
Add a few drops of lemon juice while preparing sugar syrup. The impurities will collect on the surface, which you can then remove.
Add a pinch of sugar to the batter when making waffles and pancakes to help them brown faster while cooking.
Add dalia while grinding mint chutney. The chutney will taste better and will not become watery.
Add few pieces of raw mango while cooking bitter gourd. It will not only remove the bitterness but also add to the flavor of the curry.
Add fresh celery leaves to the pan while cooking shrimps as it helps to remove the fishy odour.
Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to each quarter of water when cooking rice, this will keep the rice fluffy.
Add soaked and ground poha to the leftover dosa batter to make tasty uttappams. Top with chopped onions, tomatoes and green chillies.
Adding two or three grams of cooking salt to homemade ghee while you are making it helps to keep it fresh for longer.
After cutting a jackfruit into two if you find it is not ripe enough, cover it tightly with a clean muslin cloth.
Always powder citric acid crystals before adding to any preserve or murabba. It will blend into the recipe much better and faster.
Always set puddings and jellies till firm, but do not allow them to freeze hard. They will lose their original lightness by doing so.
Baking the beetroots helps to retain their colour. They also become tender but not limp.
Be extra careful when you melt chocolate in a double boiler as even a drop of water touching the chocolate can harden it.
Before cooking or frying fish, add a little vinegar or lemon juice to the marinade. This will keep the fish pieces firm.
Do not throw away the syrup from canned fruits. Add some cornflour to it and cook till it thickens. Use it as a sauce for cakes.
Do not throw out leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
Don’t cook tomatoes at a rolling boil. They will burst and turn acidic. For sweet, mellow tomatoes, simmer slowly.
Dried chillies should be soaked before grinding so that they become soft and make a fine paste.
For retaining the shiny green colour of green peas, boil them in boiling water for 5 minutes and then immediately refresh in cold water.
Fresh spices and herbs should be added towards the end of cooking. But add the dry spices earlier especially in dishes that cook fast.
If beetroot is to be used in any salad, toss it in just before serving the salad or its colour will run into other ingredients.
If cookies come out too hard, place them in a bag with a bread slice overnight. Cookies absorb the moisture of bread and become soft.
If mushrooms are very large, the stalks are likely to be tough; therefore they should be discarded. Always tear rather than cut oyster mushrooms.
If using nutmeg, add freshly grated nutmeg only at the end of cooking as heat diminishes the flavour.
If you add a few teaspoons of oil while boiling lentils, it will not only prevent a spill over but the lentils will cook well too.
If you are using wine in a risotto, add it before any other liquid as the dry rice will quickly absorb its flavour.
If you butter the rim of a pan in which you are going to cook rice or pasta, it will not boil over.
If you don’t have sour cream, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to every half pint of fresh cream and stir. Let it stand for 10 minutes before use.
If your chicken curry is too spicy, add sufficient curd to make the taste and flavor milder.
In order to prevent fruit from darkening as it poaches, keep it submerged in the cooking liquid.
Instant noodles when crushed and deep fried, make an excellent topping for soups and salads.
Leafy vegetables retain their natural colour if cooked in an open vessel with less water rather than in a covered one.
Marinate kebabs twice. First, in a light marinade like garlic, salt and lemon juice. Then, for a few hours in the main marinade.
Muffins will slide right out of tin pans if the hot pan is first placed on a wet towel.
Never cook mushrooms in aluminium pans. The mushrooms will darken.
Never fry saffron directly in hot oil or butter. This will ruin the flavour.
Never keep raw eggs and fish together as raw eggs will get a fishy smell.
Overflowing of soup (rasam, saru) while cooking can be prevented by placing a wooden spoon inside the vessel.
Pasta for a salad should be a little undercooked, so that it will not become soggy when it is mixed with the dressing.
Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl of ice cold water before preparing a salad. This will give a fresh, crisp, crunchy feel to it.
Quickly stir in 1 teaspoon of butter or cream when the scrambled eggs start to overcook. This will prevent the eggs from becoming tough.
Remove the tough strings from beans before slicing for cooking.
Resist adding baking soda to soften the beans. Baking soda keeps beans from absorbing moisture and may destroy some nutrients.
Set jelly has a thick chewy layer at the bottom? Always ensure that the gelatin has dissolved very well.
Shelled nuts will last much longer, up to a year, if you keep them stored in the freezer in a freezer-safe container or bag.
Since a paste of raw onions will turn bitter with time, always fry them in a little oil and then grind.
Skim any froth off the jam just before filling the jars. If you try to do it earlier you may skim away a lot of the jam.
Slice fruits immediately after removing from the refrigerator. It is firmer and easier to slice when cold.
Slicing raw meat in thin strips for stir-frying (for Chinese or Thai cooking) is easier if you freeze it first for about one hour.
Soak tamarind in warm water for getting maximum extract and a smooth paste.
Something boiled over onto the stovetop? A sprinkle of salt will absorb the juices and stop the smoking.
Sprinkle chilli powder and asafoetida on papads before storing them. They will keep away ants and insects.
Sun dry sago for half an hour before frying. This will ensure that the centers, which otherwise may remain hard, get fried well.
The best way to thaw fish is in milk. The milk draws out the frozen taste and gives the fish a fresh flavour.
The core of pumpkin becomes a tasty chutney when fried lightly and ground to a paste with green chillies, tamarind and salt.
To cut any rolled rounds in desired shapes use a pizza cutter instead of a knife.
To get most juice out of fresh lemons, roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.
To give a subtle garlic flavour to salads, cut a garlic clove and rub the inside of the salad bowl with it.
To heat leftover tortillas, dip them in water and place them on a lightly greased skillet. Cook over medium heat.
To keep cottage cheese soft and luscious after deep frying, dip it in lukewarm water to which a pinch of turmeric powder is added.
To keep sweet corn yellow in colour, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the cooking water one minute before removing it from heat.
To make good crispy bhaturas, add one teaspoon semolina to every cup of refined flour while kneading the dough.
To make softer dhoklas, add a little cream to the batter.
To melt crystallized honey, place the container in a pan or bowl of hot water and let it stand until the honey melts.
To obtain a perfectly whipped cream for dessert toppings, chill the beater, cream & the cream bowl for two to three hours before using.
To obtain soft and flaky paranthas add ghee instead of oil to the flour while kneading the dough.
To prevent fungus in pickles, burn some hing over hot coals and invert the empty pickle jar over it for some time.
To prevent rings used in pressure cookers from elongating in the heat, place them in the freezer when not in use.
To prevent the icing on cakes from cracking, add a teaspoon of condensed milk while preparing it.
To prevent your chocolate cake from having white streaks on the brown crusts, dust greased cake pans with cocoa powder instead of flour.
To reduce the sourness of tomatoes while cooking paneer curry, add milk instead of water.
To remove bitterness from fenugreek leaves, add a teaspoon of sugar when the vegetable is almost cooked.
To remove the skins of garlic cloves easily, lightly roast them and rub between the folds of a kitchen towel.