Cooking - Hints and Tips

Oven-to-table dishes can become stained while in the oven. Remove stain with a wet cloth and salt before putting the dish on the table.
Store leftover egg whites in a screw top jar. They will keep for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.

Cooked meat should never be re-heated more than once. Even this should be done as quickly as possible since bacteria multiply rapidly in a a warm, moist mixture.
Frozen poultry or any other meat should be completely defrosted and brought to room temperature before cooking.
To reduce cooking time for meat by almost one-third, marinate it for at atleast 12 hours if possible.
To quickly thaw butter stored in a refrigrator run some tap water over it.
Put a lemon in a hot water before squeezing it. You will get more juice out of it.
To avoid browning of apples after cutting, apply a little lemon juice on the cut surface. The apples will stay and look fresh for a longer time.
If you are making patties or tikkis of potatoes, always make sure that the potatoes are boiled well in advance and cooled before you use them. It would be better if they can be refrigerated for a short time. This helps the starch in the potatoes to settle down and the tikkis will not be gooey.
Smoke Mustard oil first before using for preparing vegetables etc.. by heating to a point till light white smoke emerges from it. This would remove the potency from the oil.
While boiling milk, always add a little water at the base of the vessel to avoid the milk from sticking at the bottom.
Keep coriander leaves in a muslin (cheese) cloth bag in the refrigerator. They will remain fresh for a longer time.
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.
Remove the stems of green chilies while storing them .This will help them to stay fresh for long.
Store raisins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay 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 can also leave a spoon in the vessel in which the milk is being boiled at low heat so that it does not get burnt at the bottom
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 sharp and pungent.
Add a few drops of lemon a tsp of oil to rice before boiling to separate each grain.
Never discard the water in which vegetables are cooked, use it in gravies or soups.
Put tomatoes in a large bowl and cover with boiling water Leave it for about 5 minutes. Take out one by one, piercing them with a sharp knife, the skin will peel off easily.
Immediately after boiling noodles put them in normal cold water to separate them each.
Remove the outer leaves and husks from the corn (bhutta). Holding the corn upright with the flat end firmly in a board, take a sharp knife and run it down between the kernels and the cob to strip them away.
Chopping vegetables can be done in different ways using a sharp knife and a wooden chopping board. Cutting on a marble slab will blunt your knives.
When tomatoes are not in season, tomato puree or sauce can be successfully used as a substitute in the gravies.
If masala sticks to the pan that shows quantity of oil/ghee included is not enough.
Poori can be rolled and place between well-rinsed wet muslin cloth at least an hour ahead and can be Fried before serving
After peeling onions cut in half and soak in water for about 10 minutes before cutting to avoid crying .
Soak almonds in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes .The skin will peel off easily.
To make pooris more crispy add a little rice flour to the wheat flour while kneading.
Pakodas will turn out crisper if a little corn flour is added to the gram flour (besan) while preparing the batter.
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.
If you forget to soak chana/Rajma overnight. Just soak the chana/Rajma in the boiling water for an hour before cooking
Wrap the fruits and vegetables in newspaper before refrigerating to keep them fresh for long.
Curd in winter - Set in a ceramic container and place it on the voltage stabilizer of your refrigerator
Chopping dry fruits - Freeze them first for one hour & then dip the knife into hot water before cutting them.
Potatoes soaked in salt water for 20 minutes will bake more rapidly .
Wrap Celery in aluminum foil when storing in refrigerator in your fridge. It will keep weeks longer.
Zap garlic cloves in the microwave for 15seconds and the skin will come right off.
To ripen Bananas and tomatoes, wrap them in a wet dish towel and place them in brown paper bag. They will ripen in a day or two.