- Add three to four drops of vinegar or a little sugar while cooking green peas. They will retain their natural colour. The same will work with spinach.
- Break the cucumber into half with your hands, before peeling it. It will not be bitter.
- You can remove the bitterness from bitter gourd by washing it with the water in which rice has been soaked.
- Add a pinch of soda-bi-carb while making sugar syrup to prevent it from crystallising or forming a crust.
- Raw meat can be sliced easily if you dip the knife in hot water before slicing the meat.
- Place rolled ‘puris’ in the fridge for 10 minutes before frying them, they will consume less oil and will be crisper.
- Add a pinch of alum to potatoes while boiling them if you want them to remain white.
- After roasting brinjals for bhartha, cover and keep them aside. The heat and moisture will loosen the brinjal skin instantly.
- Curd mixed with honey makes an excellent dressing for chopped parsley, mint, onions or paprika.
- An egg white at room temperature will whisk to a greater volume than a cold egg.
- If you don’t like the smell of eggs in the cake or puddings, add a little lemon juice to the batter. Instead of juice you can use powdered lemon rind also.
- A pinch of soda-bi-carb darkens a chocolate cake.
- While making butter icing add a few drops of lemon juice to get the white colour.
- If you want the top of a baked dish to remain crisp, mix grated cheese with breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top before baking.
Cooking in a hurry
- If you need mashed potatoes in a hurry, peel and cut them in small cubes. Boil for 10 minutes and then mash.
Improvisations in the kitchen
- If you have run out of tomatoes, add tomato soup powder to the curry. It will taste good.
- Left over sweets makes an excellent filling for sweet chapatis.
- After making paneer (cottage cheese), keep the remaining water. Use it to knead the chapati dough or making soup. It not only adds to the taste, but is also very nutritious. This whey can also be used to curdle milk to make more paneer.
- Asafoetida (hing) will remain fresh if you place a green chilli in the container.
- Mushrooms should always be stored in paper bags in the refrigerator.
- To keep bananas fresh for longer time, hang them up.
- If you want to check the purity of honey put a few drops in a cup of water. If it settles down it is pure.
- To test the effectiveness of baking powder, stir one tsp into ¼ cup of water. If the mixture bubbles, the baking powder is effective.