Oneeda's Kitchen Blog

cooking tips

Posted on: April 21, 2010


1. Avoid Sticky Rice

Wash the rice a few times until the water runs clear. Remove all the water until no water remains. Let it sit for 20 minutes. This will remove all the starch and help the rice to remain separate.

Also adding a few drops of lemon juice to the rice while cooking, you will find that the grains of rice will tend to remain separate.

2. For Crispier Puris Add a teaspoon of Semolina / Rava and 1 teaspoon of Rice flour to the wheat flour while kneading.

3. Quick Tomato Paste Cubes : Spoon tomato paste into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight. Transfer into plastic bags and freeze. Frozen cubes can be dropped right into curries.

4. Eggplants Retaining Color : When cooking eggplant add a spoon of milk to a bowl of water and add the cut up pieces to that water. The eggplant will retain their color without becoming black.

5. Remedy for Salty Curry : Wash a potato. Cut into two. Place a the two halves of the raw potato in the curry and it will absorb the extra salt.

6. Ready To Use Masalas Indian cooking requires a lot of pre-preparation. Make wet and or dry the masalas ahead of time making extra portions. Divide the masala into the desired portions according to the recipe. Place the portions in Ziploc Freezer bags and freeze till the next time. A great time saver….for next time you make the same recipe !

7. How to cut an onion without crying ? Indian food requires a lot of onions sometimes. Use sweet onions. Peeling and cutting under running water, chopping near a gas flame, and refrigerating onions before chopping, all methods for reducing the volatility of the sulfide that causes the irritation.

8. Alternative to Fresh Coconut Ever try to break open a fresh coconut for making Indian chutney? Well, here is a great alternative. Out here in the US look for UNSWEETENED dry grated coconut. Make sure it is not the sweet kind. Add just enough water so that the coconut is covered with water. Use as directed in the recipe instead of freshly grated coconut. Making chutneys will be a breeze.

9. Using Kitchen Scissors Most Indian dishes require the use of freshly chopped coriander leaves as a garnish. Use the scissors to chop fresh mint, chilies and coriander finely and without any mess.

10. Buying Lemons and Lime Buy large lemons and limes, they tend to be much sweeter. Make sure that the skin is thin, those are much juicer. To obtain more of the juice from lemons, limes or oranges, microwave on high for 30 seconds and then let stand for a couple of minutes before cutting and squeezing. Rolling them between your hand and the counter will also help release more juice.

11. Skinning a Chicken with Ease Have you tried skinning a chicken? Well, always peel off a little part of the skin to start with and hold it tightly with a paper towel. The skin latches on to the paper towel and skinning the chicken…even the tough skin on the chicken legs becomes a breeze ! Try it.

12. Overripe Tomatoes Dip them in cold water, add some salt and leave overnight. They will be fresh and firm to the touch the next day.

13. Trying New Recipes Remember….Try ONE NEW recipe at a time. Get all your ingredients together. Check the spices for freshness. Lay the spices and ingredients out in the order that they are to be used. Make a plan and get started with ONE easy recipe. Most of all make sure you have the time to make the recipe. Do not try something new at a “rushed time”.

14. Tips for Making Dosa : To ensure that the griddle (tawa) is hot enough before spreading dosa, sprinkle a little water over it. If it sizzles immediately, then the griddle is hot enough. Wipe with a clean rag or half a raw onion and proceed.

15. Tip for making soft chappati dough. While making paneer from milk, don’t throw away the paneer water. This nutritious water can be used for making soft dough for chapatis or can be used to cook dals.

16. Retaining the “whiteness” of white rice : While cooking rice add a few drops of lemon juice. The color of the grains become bright white.

17. Reheating left-over Rice : Refrigerate leftover cooked rice in a well-sealed container. Reheat cold rice with a sprinkling of water in a microwave oven or in a covered pot over low heat. Left over rice is great to have on hand for stirring into soups and broths and for making fried rice — it’s perhaps the world’s best vehicle for turning leftovers into something fresh and new.

18. Peeling a whole Garlic : To peel garlic, place your knife flat on the garlic clove and whack with your other hand. The covering will burst open and the clove can be easily removed.

19. Peeling or scraping Ginger : Peeling or scraping ginger with the back of spoon is an easy way to peel ginger. Scrape the ginger with the inside of a spoon, getting the edge of the spoon into the crevices of the ginger. The skin will come off with a gentle scrape.

20. Dicing Onions : The best way to avoid crying when dicing an onion is to use a very sharp knife and to move as quickly as safety permits.

Cut off the end of the onion end with the small roots sticking out.

Cut it into half lengthwise, so that the end that is still together is cut into half.

Now remove the skin and may be one of the layers to clean the onion.

Holding your knife parallel to the cutting surface slice the onion parallel to the cutting surface so that you are making slices that are 1/4 inch from each other. Remember to never make a cut that would break through the end of the onion. The onion will come apart if you slice through the bottom end. Remember to never make a cut that would break through the end of the onion. The onion will come apart if you slice through the bottom end.

Turn the onion. Make lengthwise slices remembering not to cut all the way to the end . The onion will still be in one piece and look like half an onion.

Turn the onion and chop the onion all the way to the back of the part that is still together.

You will have perfect small dices of onion.

Now chop the other part of the onion the same way.

Finely chopped onion is a very important ingredient for many Indian curies.

21. Avoiding over-spilling milk when boiling : Before pouring milk into a pot for boiling rub butter along the top edge and inside lip of the pot. When the milk foams up, it will stop over spilling when it hits the butter.

22. Removing the garlic skins : Use ‘Jar Openers’- round flat pieces of rubber. Put the clove of garlic in the center of the jar opener and fold it in half over the garlic. Then press down with your hand while rolling it back and forth over the garlic.

23. Instead of Onion : If anyone does not like or want the strong taste of onion, you can use cabbage in the recipe for the same taste and good recipe.

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