EASY WAY TO SKIN GARLIC CLOVES
For many of us, cooking is great fun. But it’s getting all the ingredients ready that can be a major headache. For instance, skinning cloves of garlic or baby onions isn’t a task many cooks look forward to. Well, here’s an easy way to go about it. Dry the garlic or baby onions in the sun before using them (or even before storing them). Rub a few drops of oil on your palms. Then rub the garlic or baby onions between your palms. The skin will come off easily.
BOILED EGGS WITHOUT THE CRACKS
Potatoes as well as eggs tend to split or crack while boiling, making them messy and unpalatable. Well, here’s a simple way to prevent that from happening. Just add a pinch of salt to the water you will be boiling the potatoes or eggs in. They will remain in perfect shape after boiling.
BOIL MILK WITHOUT CONSTANT STIRRING
While boiling milk you need to stir constantly, otherwise it tends to burn at the bottom of the pan. To avoid this, especially when thickening it, simply place a tiny porcelain / stainless steel bowl inverted in the pan before pouring in the milk. This will do the job of stirring by creating light ripples in the milk and will prevent it from burning at the bottom of the pan.
Browning onions for garnish requires deep-frying. Here’s a healthy alternative.
Cut onions into thin strips, sprinkle little salt and keep aside. After a few minutes, squeeze out the water that drains from the onions and spread the strips onto a clean cloth or a large tray. Dry them well in the sun. Store this in a dry container. When you need to use them in cooking, remove from the box and fry. The onions will turn crisp brown in no time, consuming very little oil. Garnish over pulav/biryani or any other meat dish.
WHEY FOR NUTRITION!
When the whey--the liquid residue after making the paneer/cottage cheese--cools, preserve it in a glass bottle and refrigerate. This whey is rich in protein and can be added to wheat flour while making dough for wheat breads (chapattis). It also adds a flavour to the breads as well as keeps them soft hours after baking.
TENDER & NUTRITIOUS MEAT WITH PAPAYASDo you often have a problem where the meat just doesn’t seem to be tender enough? Try this: just add a few pieces of raw papaya to the meat while it is being cooked. This makes the meat very tender and tasty. What’s more it’s healthy too. This is because raw papayas are very nutritious as they contain the vitamins A, B, C and D. Papayas are also good liver cleansers and aid digestion.
MAKE BASMATI OUT OF ORDINARY RICEHere are some tips to prepare paneer that’s soft and fresh. The milk used to prepare paneer should be heated in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium flame. Dissolve about 1/4th teaspoon of fresh lemon juice in two table-spoons of water. When the milk is just about to rise, pour this lemon water slowly into the milk, stirring with a wooden ladle. The milk will start to curdle almost immediately. Keep stirring the milk till the paneer rises to the top, leaving a clear greenish liquid in the pan. Shut off the flame. Strain the paneer in a clean muslin kind of cloth. To prevent the paneer from hardening or becoming rubbery, dip it in cold water for 10 minutes. Hang it for about 2-3 hours to drain water completely. Paneer made in this process remains soft even after frying or cooking.
COOK CRISPY LADYFINGERS
To prepare ladyfingers without getting the vegetable all sticky and messy, wash the vegetable before cutting and wipe it with a clean soft cloth or tissue. While cooking add a sour ingredient perhaps tomatoes/kocum/amchur (dried mango powder) or even a teaspoon of lemon juice --- to the preparation. The sour ingredient prevents the vegetable from getting sticky.
FLAVOURED YOGURT AT HOME
Chill out this summer with one of the world’s most favoured diet snacks. To make flavoured yogurt at home, mix together the following: 1-2 table spoons of your favourite jam/jelly, a few drops of vanilla essence and sugar (just as much as you want to taste). Stir this and a teaspoon of yogurt into warm milk and leave aside to set. You may also add chunks of fruits like strawberries and pineapples. Select fruits that will not secrete excessive juices. When the yogurt is set, keep it in the refrigerator to cool. Serve chilled.