This lockdown for some hasn’t been a boon but for some this period has been fruitful in terms of learning new things. For some it has been culinary skills, for some it has been a new art form and for some simply mending their ways of living. Looking at the optimistic side of this lockdown there has been a recent rise in the domestic master chefs who have been creating art through their experimental dishes. The internet seems to be flooded with not only some amazing recepies but also some awe-inspiring presentations as well. Dedicated to all the mommies who have made kitchen their new art studio, here are a few kitchen hacks which may make your life simpler.
GINGER GARLIC PASTE
The most commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisines is ginger and garlic. It is used in various forms, chopped, minced, julians and paste form.
While storing home made ginger garlic paste remember to add some oil in it along with salt and then store it in the freezer. Your paste will last longer.
While using ginger garlic paste while cooking, remember to put the paste only when the tempering or tadka is half done, otherwise the paste in the initial stages would only stick to the bottom of the pan and would not allow the tadka to get cooked properly. The final dish would taste of raw onion or tomato.
MAKING PANEER AT HOME
Paneer or cottage cheese as we call it is a rich source of protein. Since ages moms have been using milk which has been separated while boiling as paneer, or by adding a few drops of lemon into it which eventually also made the cottage cheese taste lemony. There is however another way in which the paneer can be made.
Boil full fat milk for the best results. Add a a tablespoon of white vinegar into it till it separates. If you want the paneer for ‘ bhurji´ you can just strain away the water and use it. Remember not to discard the left over water.
In case you plan to have it chunky then collect the paneer in a muslin cloth and hang it for atleast two hours. The water of the paneer can be used to knead your roti dough. The rotis would turn really soft and also the protein in the water will also not go waste. You can also use the same water in dal or making any vegetable.
Boiling potatoes have been again a ritual in Indian households for various mouth watering dishes.
While boiling potatoes add a little salt, this in turn would make boiling faster and peeling easier.
You can also cut the potato into half before putting them in a pressure cooker for boiling. This process will also make potatoes easier to handle post the boil.
SHARPENING KNIVES AT HOME
In order to keep knives sharp try keeping them in a glass full of rice or any pulses. Further you can also use the bottom of a ceramic mug to sharpen the edges of the knife by simply rubbing on the bottom most rim of the ceramic mug.
USE OF PUDINA OR MINT
Usually mint or pudina is used widely to make chutneys in India and also in various mocktails as well. Many a times it happens that mint is kept in the fridge and it starts withering. The leaves tend to lose the crunch.
Instead of throwing away take the leaves out and dry them in the sun for atleast 3 to 4 hours till they have completely lost their moisture and have become crisp. Now store these dried leaves in an air tight container.
You can use them while making a pudina parantha by crushing them and adding it. It can also be used in the same crushed form in curd also. This would not only change the flavour of the curd but also make it refreshing in summers.
CLEANING OF OUR REGULAR PATEELA WITH MALAI
Many a times it happens that when we boil milk and cool it for taking out malai, despite our best efforts still some malai is left in the pateela and due to being on gas for a long time it seems to get stuck on the bottom and sides of the pateela. To deal with this situation, knead your regular atta dough in the same pateela. The dough will incorporate all the malai in it and make soft chapattis. In turn the pateela wil also be clean for further washing.
STORING GREEN CHILLIES
Whenever you have to store green chillies in the fridge, store them by removing the stem of it. If you store the green chillies along with the stem the life of the chillies reduce and they tend to get rotten faster.
HOME MADE KITCHEN CLEANER
Though there is a lot of variety of kitchen cleaners available in the market, you can make a home made kitchen cleaner easily at home. Take a spray bottle add equal amount of liquid dishwasher and water, to that add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of baking soda. If you wish you can also add a teaspoon of dettol. Shake the mixture properly and your home made kitchen cleaner cum disinfectant is ready to be used.
EGG SHELLS ACCIDENTALLY IN OMELETTE MIX
So many times while making omelettes in a rush, when you break the egg, the small shells of the egg tend to fall in the omelette mixture. No matter how hard you try its very frustrating to take them out of it. A simple hack, just wet your finger with water and the shell particle will easily come out.
HOW TO MAKE DAHI BHALLAS SOFT
Dahi bhallas are a favourite of people across all ages. Many a times you would hear people saying that the bhallas were hard despite of putting them in water after frying. The trick to softer bhallas is, that before putting them for deep frying ,into the dahi bhalla batter add a pinch of baking soda. After deep frying when you put the bhallas in water to get rid of excess water the baking soda would simultaneously make the bhallas softer. Then you can drain the water and your soft bhallas are ready to be added to dahi and served with green or tamarind chutney.
Hope these hacks make your social distancing and lockdown easier and help you reduce your work plus give you an additional happiness while binding your family together on the dining table.
Author: The post is written by an Army Wife Jaspreet kaur who is a blogger, a kathak dancer and also a kitchen enthusiast. She keeps discovering new ways to make kitchen life easy for Indian homemakers who she believes are superwomen. It is her attempt to lighten up their work load amidst their busy schedule managing house, kids and office all at once.