Cooking Tips:-

  1. To make 1 cup dal always add 2-3 cups of water depending on the type of the dal.
  2. Soak whole pulses overnight and other dals for 1 hr before cooking.
  3. Always add hot water to the gravy to enhance taste.
  4. While making kulchas and kachoris add 1 tbsp of hot oil to the dough.
  5. Always use heavy bottomed vessel while making desserts to avoid burning.
  6. When ever curd is to be added to the masala, it should be beaten well and added gradually.
  7. Never discard water in which vegies are cooked, use it later in gravies,soups, rasam or kolumbu.
  8. If u r grinding poppy seed/mustard seed/ cumin seed/ etc then soak it for 10-15 min hot water before grinding.
  9. Add 1 tsp of hot oil to home made paste of ginger-garlic or green chillies along with salt to make it last longer and taste fresher.
  10. Store the dry fruits in airtight jars in the refrigerator..they will stay fresh for much longer..before using them, pour very hot water over them, drain and spread n paper towel to dry..
  11. Immidiately after boiling noodles,put them in normal cold water to separate them each.
  12. If u forget to soak chana/rajma overnight, just soak them in boiling water for 1 hr before cooking.
  13. Potatoes soaked in salt water for 20 mins, will bake more rapidly.
  14. For removing the skin of tomatoes:- put tomatoes in a large bowl, and cover with boiling water...leave for about 5 mins..take out one by one, piercing them with a sharp knife,the skin will peel off easily...
  15. To avoid browning of apples after cutting, apply a little lemon juice on the cut surface, the apples will stay and look fresh for longer time..
  16. Wash vegies before peeling and cutting to preserve water-soluble vitamins.
  17. Soak potatoes and brinjals after cutting to avoid discoloration.
  18. After peeling onions,cut them in to half and soak them in water for 10 mins before cutting to avoid crying.
  19. Blanching of almonds:- Soak almonds in boiling water for 10mins or boil them in water for 5 mins...the skin will peel off easily.
  20. Wrap the fruits and vegies in news paper before refrigerating to keep them fresh for long.
  21. Dip the knife in to hot water before chopping dryfruits...
Tips On Frying the Food :-
  1. To make poories more crispy, add a lil rice flour to the wheat flour while kneading.
  2. To make pakodas more crispier, add corn flour with gram flour(besan) while making batter.
  3. Heat the oil thoroughly before frying .
  4. Add some hot oil and baking soda to the batter for pakodas.
  5. If u r making patties/tikkis of potatoes or using potatoes in koftas, just make sure that potatoes are boiled well in advance and cooled before using...after shaping it for patties/koftas/tikkis , its better to refrigerate them for at least 15 mins..This helps the starch in potatoes to settle down , so that koftas/patties/tikkies will not b gooey.
  6. Sprinkle little amount of salt in the frying pan, before adding bacon to fry..that way, it will not splatter all over..
  7. Poories can be rolled and place between well rinsed wet muslin cloth at least 1 hr ahead...and can be fried before serving..
  8. Double fry the pakodas/samosas/ chicken pakodas to make them more crispier :- 1st in normal medium heat and then in high heat for 2 mins.
Tips while making Gravy :-

  1. Using ghee instead of oil, make the gravy more tastier.
  2. Fry the ground masala in reduced flame, so that it retains its taste and do nut burn.
  3. Use little caramelised sugar instead of food colors to give a nice color to the gravy.
  4. Using little plain sugar to the gravy, makes it tasty.
  5. U can use tomato ketchup or sauce instead of tomatoes for making gravy.
  6. Using chilli flakes to the gravy, give it a good taste.
  7. Use ginger-garlic paste of ginger-40%  and garlic-60% ratio..
  8. Kashmiri deghi mirch powder for red chilli powder gives a nice red color to the gravy..
Tips for making soft Idli

  1. Use 4 cups parboiled rice/idli rice to 1 cup urad dal and 1 tsp fenugreek seeds for soaking to make the idli batter.
  2. Soak them 5-6 hrs.
  3. Some people use cooked rice to make soft idlis..u can use chuda/poha/beaten rice soaked in water instead of the cooked rice.
  4. Clean the rice in cold filtered water(chlorine free)
  5. Do nut wash lentils.
  6. The more u'll grind the batter,the result will be better.
  7. Use as lil water as possible for grinding a smooth batter.Add lil water in between grinding if needed..
  8. Always use the water u used for soaking in grinding the batter.
For formentation:- ideal temp is 80-90 F.
  1. Addition of fenugreek seed(methi) aids in the formentation process.
  2. In hot seasons and generally in India, if we keep the batter for overnight outside, then its formented well..but in some cold countries, we need other things for formentation such as:-
  3. If u have oven:-Pre heat the oven at 200 F for 10-15min, turn off and place the loosely covered vessel(with batter) in the rack.After 5-6 hr, remove the vessel, pre heat again for 10 min and put the vessel back  for formentation.Sometimes placing the container wrapped in a shawl, in the oven with the oven lights on during the night also helps in formenting.
  4. In case of room heater:- Before going to sleep, place the container wrapped in a old shawl/thick blanket in the morning, the batter has formented.
  5. Soak some rice flakes in curd and then grind it along with the lentils.
  6. U can also use yeast mixed water with sugar and add it to the batter.
  7. Use fruit salt before steaming the idlis.
Cooking Idlis in Steamer/Pressure cooker:-
  1. Grease the idli plates well before pouring batter in to them.
  2. Place the idli plates in the pressure cooker with lil water underneath.
  3. Take care since lots of water will make the idlis in the last plate soggy and too lil water will burn the bottom of the cooker.
  4. Cook for 10mins in high flame and then 5 mins in low flame.


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