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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Top 20 Cooking Tricks for Beginners

When I started cooking initially, I use to make a lot of cooking blunders. Here are some tricks to save beginners from embarrassment.

  1. If your gravy gets too salty, try adding an extra pureed tomato and some vinegar, it will neutralize the salt or you can also add some milk and if your gravy is not tomato based, you can peel and add pieces of raw potato, and then remove it after sometime. It will absorb extra salt.
  2. To avoid crying while cutting onions, peel and cut them into two halves, put it in water for sometime and cut them immediately after that or you can also freeze them for few minutes before chopping them.
  3. After cutting potatoes, soak them in water to avoid discoloration.
  4. Always use an aluminum vessel for making desserts, in order to avoid burning.
  5. If you are making a sugar syrup for your dessert, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to it, you will get a clear syrup.
  6. Store spices in a cool, dark place, not above your stove. Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor.
  7. 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.
  8. If your gravy gets too spicy, you can add some milk or you can also add a pinch of sugar or honey to neutralize the spice.
  9. Don’t add a lot of mustard seeds or fenugreek leaves (methi) to your gravy, it makes gravy taste bitter.
  10. But if your gravy tastes bitter, you can add some milk or whole milk cream (malai).
  11. If your rice is hard, then pour some water (not more than ¼ cup) cover it and let it cook on very low heat for 5 minutes.
  12. Always heat the pan before pouring oil in it
  13.       If your rice gets too wet then uncover it and let it cook on low heat for sometime, extra
    water will get evaporated.
  14. Don’t add too much water to gravies, it will cause over cooking of ingredients and make them too soft.
  15. To make your chapattis softer add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp of milk to the dough.
  16. After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.
  17. Never add salt to pulses while boiling them, they will not get cooked fast. Add salt only after they are soft and completely cooked.
  18. Never refrigerate tomatoes, it kills flavor and nutrients.
  19. For crispier French fries, cut potatoes in thin strips and deep fry them, then freeze it for around 4-5 hours, then fry them just before serving.
  20. Taste what you make before you serve it. And don't overdo seasoning in the beginning, always taste your food and season it accordingly.

       Hope these tricks are helpful. Enjoy cooking!!!

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