Tips on Healthy Cooking

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  • Lemon juice when added to fruit like apples, bananas after cutting, and tossed lightly will prevent them from turning blackish immediately. This job can be simplified by using a small spray bottle spray the fruit.
  • Add a few drops of lemon juice to rice, while it is cooking. This will keep the grain from breaking easily.
  • Do not discard leftover mojo sauce. Add as a seasoning to clear and tomato or other similar soups.
  • One may marinate the vegetables prior in some vinegar, garlic and chilli if desired. This will give a more piquant taste to the stew.
  • To avoid a layer form on any thick liquid preparation while cooling (for eg. Basundi, tamarind chutney, custard etc.),spinkle some granules of sugar over the surface of the dish.
  • Lightly roast garlic flakes, rub between the folds of a piece of cloth. The skins will come off easily.
  • Try recipes of mangoes with different varieties, to get a variation in flavours, taste as well as colour, since they range from pale yellow (malgoba) to the deep orange (kesari and dusseri) varieties.
  • Always crush icecubes well before putting under an electrical hand mixer for Blending. Using whole cubes, can result in the mixer head breaking and flying To pieces.
  • Always powder citric acid crystals before adding to any preserve or murabba, etc. It will blend into the recipe much better and faster.
  • Choose the smaller, flat, thin skinned tomatoes, for making sauces. They will not only give better quality sauce, flavour will also be better. Even the residue to get puree will be much lesser.
  • Tamarind tends to get very thick on grinding. So save some water to add to the last churning, or To run in mixie, after having emptied it by inverting into container. The stuck paste will dilute Easily, when machine is run for a few seconds. Therefore cleaning is simplified and wastage Minimised.
  • While making dosas or chapattis pour oil 1 inch inside the outer border of the dosa or chapatti so that the oil does not flow out and spoil the non stick coating. – Deepa
  • Never store pastes in open bowls or jars. The smell will permeate milk, butter, cheese, veggies, Fruit, other dishes and even icecubes, and the damage will be irreversible. This is because of High content of garlic in many pastes.
  • Never make a paste of raw onions if you want to keep it for any amount of time. It will turn Bitter. Always fry them in a little oil, and then grind.
  • Grind thick masala pastes on a stone grinder if possible. Since you would be using lesser water. The taste and texture would also be much better.
  • Avoid cooking sour dishes (like tamirind based dishes) in non stick pans coz the sourness will remove coating faster. – Deepa
  • Pour a little water (about 1 cup for a 3 litre vessel) in vessel in which you would boil milk. Then, pour in the milk. Heat container and bring milk to boil, without stirring. This way the milk will not scald at the bottom of the Container. Take care to rinse vessel with clean water before using.
  • Boil peelings of raw mango, in containers like pressure cookers, aluminium skillets, etc. to make them come out clean and shiny.
  • Smash half a boiled potato, add a bit of water, and convert to a smooth paste (use a small mixie for convenience) and add to any soup to thicken and add body, if you have run out of cornflour.
  • Add a lemon and onion to the vessel in which potatoes are boiled, add some water and boil a few minutes. Drain and wash with dishwashing soap. Will keep the vessel from discolouring.
  • Always keep slit or chopped brinjals in salted water, till required. Remove and use as per recipe, when required. This will keep them from turning black, which happens when they are kept otherwise, in a matter of minutes.
  • Keep pan in which any vegetables are cooked, covered, after taking off fire, aside, for a few minutes. This will help the vegetable absorb the juices in. This also allow the hot vessel to blend the flavours slowly, to make the vegtable better, generally.
  • To give abetter flavour to pureed onion, pierce onion with a long fork. Roast over direct flame turning all around, till out 2 layers are burnt. Wash burnt layers under running water, chop and puree onion.
  • To chop onions without tears, slit a clean transparent plastic bag from base, so that both sides are open. Place board, and hands inside this and chop onions with the bag forming a loose out casing.
  • Peel onions easily by dropping them into boiling water and covering. 3 minutes for small varieties, and 5 minutes for the large varieties. Cut a small cross in the root base for larger ones, to prevent from bursting in the water.
  • Rub slices of onion on dosa tawa (griddle) before spreading dosas. This will avoid the dosa from stubbornly sticking to the griddle or tawa.
  • To roast large brinjals on an electric stove top, slice vertically into half right through the stem. Make shallow criss-cross cuts on the cut surface, then apply a light film of oil on all surfaces. Roast both halves together on medium heat (turning now and then) for about 20 minutes. Then raise to high heat and roast for a few more minutes, till soft and limp and both sides are black. Cool thoroughly, then carefully peel the skins off both sides.(Wipe over with damp fingers to clean). Mash and use as required.
  • Use leftover salads in making a nice hot pulao. Steam rice, add a few spices, masalas, salad, cheese if desired, salt and toss well. Cover and simmer till very hot.
  • To crush chillies fine, run in a small electric grinder with a pinch of salt. This will Remove with a rubber spatula. This will save a lot of time on chopping, as also it will Keep the hands safe from handling chillies. Even one or two chillies can be done Easily this way.
  • One tsp. soyaflour, with 3-4 pinches salt, 1/2 tsp. cream and 1/2 tsp. olive oil, mixed together and rubbed gently on skin make an excellent exfoliator for skin. Apply on face, rub with slow gentle strokes till you feel the skin tingling. Wash off with running water, and dab dry with soft towel.

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