Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Look Before You Cook

This picture was taken sometime back at Ivan and Chandra's place when I made the dinner: Deep fried whole fish (after marination with salt and lemon), layered first with cinnamon powder and then a tablespoon of honey before serving. Pineapple slices browned in a little oil. Potato wedges and shredded cabbage in cheese sauce.

So, here out of my humble culinary experiences of trying to continue to belong to the land of living are a few simple kitchen tips for those in the regular ambit of this zone. But please do not stew over this for too long even if it whets your appetite for more. In the end I don't want to mince any words, when I leave some food for thought and I hope I can let these ideas simmer (even as you forgive my puns):
  1. Unknown to many people is that the vanilla essence can be used for many functional purposes besides flavouring desserts. For example, after you have cleaned the fridge wipe the insides of the fridge with a cloth soaked in vanilla essence. This removes all the bad odours from from the fridge. Also if your room has a bad smell, just put a few drops onto your table lamp bulb, and switch it on. It wipe out all bad odours and fills the room with a pleasant smell of something freshly baked.
  2. Before grating cheese smear a little oil onto the grater. This prevents the cheese from sticking to the grater.
  3. If ghee turns rancid, heat ghee in a frying pan and fry some 15-20 pods of garlic till they become brown. Remove the garlic and store the ghee in a container, and let it cool.
  4. To prevent biryani from sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burnt, spread a layer of bay leaves at the bottom before layering it with rice and meat and spices to cook.
  5. To make karela (bitter gourd) less bitter slice them in half and rub them with wheat flour and salt and set aside for at least half an hour. Wash thoroughly before cooking them.
  6. While bottling jam, soak parchment paper in vinegar, place it inside cap before closing the bottle. This will prevent the formation of mold
  7. To remove oil stain in a non-stick pan (usually after prolonged use of the vessel), boil together three cups of water, one table-spoon bleaching powder, one table-spoon of vinegar and one table-spoon  of salt in the non stick pan for 5 to 8 minutes. Scrub gently and wash with soap as usual.

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