Hi All, this is just a faint attempt to help one & all save food/cook better/cook easy!
As & when I remember more tips or come across new one’s I’ll update them here.
You have a few tips? Send them across I’ll add them here. :)
Storing Vegetables & Herbs:
1. Green Chilli’s : Remove their stems before you fridge them. They will last longer this way. The stem is the first part that begins to rot.
2. Coriander leaves : Cut off the roots or keep the stems short. Pat them dry if there is any water on them. Keep them wrapped up in a kitchen paper towel in an air tight box & fridge it. They will stay fresh longer. Anytime you see some turning yellow or beginning to rot, throw those bad ones away.
3. Curry leaves : Separate the leaves off their stems, pat them dry if they have any water. Just like coriander leaves, keep them wrapped up in a kitchen paper towel in an air tight box & fridge it. They will stay fresh longer. Anytime you see some turning brown/black or beginning to rot, throw those bad ones away. Curry leaves are known to possess anti-diabetic properties & they are also used in Ayurvedic medicines. Most of always pick them out of the food & keep it to the side, so help you add these medicinal values to your body instead of discarding it; you can sun-dry or microwave or dry roast the leaves for a few minutes and grind in mixer.. and use this powder instead of curry leaves.
4. Mint Leaves : Separate the leaves off their stems, pat them dry if they have any water. Just like the rest, keep them wrapped up in a kitchen paper towel in an air tight box & fridge it. They will stay fresh longer. Anytime you see some turning brown/black or beginning to rot, throw those bad ones away.
5: Celery : Wrapping celery in some silver foil & storing it in the fridge keeps it fresh for a longer time.
6. Tomatoes : Never, ever refrigerate tomatoes. A chilled tomato will not finish ripening as cold halts the ripening process. Cold also kills the flavour of tomatoes, so even when the tomatoes are fully ripe, keep them out of the refrigerator. In fact, place them on your counter where they can ripen and you can enjoy them. Storing tomatoes stem down can prolong shelf life.
7. Basil : Fresh basil, kept loosely wrapped in a plastic bag, will last about one week in the refrigerator, provided the leaves are not wet.
8. Broccoli : While picking up Broccoli, pick those which are dark green with no hints of yellowness, these are fresh & crispy..
Peeling & Chopping:
1. Onions : To prevent yourself from crying when chopping onions, peel their skin off & put them in the fridge for 10-15 mins or chop the root in the end, these two methods are tried & tested.. will prevent you from crying while chopping them.. Try out which one works for you..
2. Lady’s finger/Bhindi/Okra : Wash them thoroughly before you cut them & pat them dry before you begin to chop. Never wash after you cut them.
3. Green Chilli’s : Always use a kitchen scissors or a herb chopper if you have one to finely chop green chilli’s, else you may end up with some burning sensation on your fingers for a day.
4. Tomatoes : The seeds of a tomato are known to lead to kidney stones in men, hence try to take them off when you use fresh tomatoes in your cooking.
5. Potatoes: Soon after you peel & chop potatoes, add them to a bowl of water to prevent them from turning brown.
6: Mushrooms: Never wash or cut mushrooms & keep aside for a long time, they begin to turn brown. Wash & cut them just about 4-5 minutes before using them.
7. Beetroot: If the beetroot is hard to cut, cook it in boiling water for 5-10 minutes & then peel & cut them.. it’s easier this way.
8. Garlic : The easiest way to peel a garlic cloves is to place it on a cutting board and give it a good whack with the flat side of a large chefs knife or cleaver. The garlic clove will now slip easily out of the skin.
Spices & Ground Spices:
1. Salt & Pepper Shakers : Add a few rice grains into your salt/pepper shakers; avoids moisture from ruining the contents & ensures free flow…
1. Onions: When you need to fry onions for any dish, always add a pinch of salt. Salt acts as an accelerator.
2. Tur/Toor Dal: Add maybe half a tsp of oil while cooking Tur dal, it acts as a accelerator.
3. Cauliflower: Soak cauliflower florets in a bowl of warm salted water to kill any worms present.
4. Curry Leaves: Tear curry leaves roughly before adding them to any tempering or when cooking. This induces a better flavour into the food.
5. Boiled water: Do not throw away any excess water that you mean to throw after boiling vegetables or pressure cooking them.. You can cool this & add use them to water your plants..
General Health tips:
1. Out late partying? Try incorporating basil into your brunch! It’s known to have calming effects on your nerves & an awesome detoxifying effect on the liver..!!
2. Salt: Try to eat less salt – no more than 6g a day for adults!
1. Banana : To make banana’s last longer, wrap the stem/stalk in some plastic food wrap. You could even separate each banana & wrap so that you don’t need to disrupt the entire bunch when you take one out.
2. Oranges : Oranges do not ripen after they are picked, but lemons do.
Walnuts: Store walnuts in the refrigerator up to 6 months, or in your freezer for longer than 6 months. Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long periods of time.
When storing walnuts in your refrigerator, store them away from foods with strong odours (e.g. fish, cabbage). Walnuts can absorb flavour of other foods..
Meat & Eggs:
1. Duck Eggs: Duck eggs should only be eaten thoroughly cooked. Duck eggs have a richer, oilier taste than chicken eggs. When duck eggs are boiled, the white turns bluish and the yolk turns a reddish orange.
2. Eggs: Always crack eggs on the edge of your kitchen platform or elsewhere; not the edge/top of the bowl in which you plan to whisk the egg in, to avoid unseen shell shards contaminating your food.
1. Bread: Bread lasts longer when stored in the fridge. I always ended up wasting almost half of a loaf each time.. now this saves me from wasting bread. If you don’t like it cold, keep it out for 5-10 mins before you eat it and it will be fine to use…
2. Using ground spices : When adding ground spices to bread or cake batter, cream the spices with the butter and sugar instead of adding them with the other dry ingredients. The fat in the butter helps disperse the flavors of the spices for a much more intense taste. —Joy Wilson, of Joy the Baker
Milk & Dairy:
1. Hard Cheese : Store hard cheese in wax paper. Storing cheese tightly wrapped in wax paper makes it last twice as much longer than when wrapped in cling film or plastic. This is because it lets the cheese breathe, keeping it from growing mold or turning slimy…
General Kitchen tips:
1. Empty air-tight containers: When storing empty air tight containers, throw in a pinch of salt to prevent them from getting smelly.
2. Smell of eggs from pans: To get rid of the smell that a pan is left behind with after frying/scrambling your egg, just add 2-3 drops of washing liquid & use your fingers to work it well around the pan, wash & rinse. If this still does not work for you, use a used/squeezed lime rind to work around your pan. This should do the trick.
1. Use your pickled juices: If you are left with some hot & spicy juice (rather vinegar) from a bottle of pickled jalapeños/capers/ cucumbers etc. do not throw it away, use a tbsp of it to flavour finely sliced onions each time you serve some hot Indian starters..
2. Leftover spoons of Stir-fries: If you have a tbsp or two of your favourite stir fry left, do not throw it away, just add to your egg when you make your omelette for breakfast.