Indian food is renowned for its variety of spices and its complex flavour combinations. At times Indian cooking could get a bit complicated, time taking and messy. A few Kitchen hacks could go a long way in simplifying your cooking experience.
Ever since I was young I always loved to cook. I always volunteered to help my mom in the kitchen as I enjoyed cooking. However, I never got into the depth of maintaining the kitchen and how much effort goes behind the scenes. Now that I maintain my own kitchen, I understand how a few small tips could become a huge help in the process.
All these years of experience eventually taught me a few hacks which I really find useful. I decided to jot down some of them to help out newbies in their daily kitchen activities.
1. Get rid of excess salt
Too much salt spilt into the dish? No worries! Quickly peel a potato and drop it into the saucepan/Kadai. Potato absorbs all the excess salt. You can simmer the food for a few minutes and remove the potato later.
2. Green chilli storage
Chillies are used in almost every savoury dish in Indian food, and so it makes sense to buy in good quantities and store them. To keep the green chillies fresh for a longer time, remove the buds and store them in a ziplock bag.
Additionally, make sure you remove the air from the bag before storing it in the fridge. You will be surprised to see, these green chillies stay fresh for more than a month.
3. Remove Garlic peal
Removing garlic peel could be very tedious, especially when you are in a hurry. An easy way to deal with this is, apply some oil to the garlic bulbs and toss them into the microwave for 30 seconds. Once they are out, the peel comes off smooth and easy. Putting the garlic in boiling water for a minute also works the same way.
4. Separate coconut from its shell
Separating the coconut from the shell was one of the most annoying and tedious task for me. This hack saved a lot of my energy several times.
There are two ways you can make this process simple. First, freeze the coconut before you break it. Second, place the coconut of the stovetop and rotate it evenly until it starts burning and then break it. Either way, the shell separates itself easily.
5. Protect your grains and pulses
Indian cuisine largely depends on grains like rice and wheat and pulses like lentils and peas. Almost every kitchen pantry consists these basic dried goods. Pests and insects are inevitably attracted to these stored goods.
Thankfully, there is a hack to avoid this to a certain extent. Dropping a Bay leaf in each storage box helps keeping the insects at the bay. The strong smell of Bay leaf repels the pests and keeps the pantry clean.
6. Store the greens
Leafy vegetables are not only healthy but also have a rich unique fragrance when they are fresh. They also tend to get spoiled very quickly even after storing them in the fridge.
To keep those leaves fresh and aromatic, remove the unwanted stem, then wash and pat dry( if possible) and finally wrap them in a paper tissue and place it in an airtight container. The leaves will stay fresh at least for a week.
7. Preserve the nutrients
This is more like a health hack than a kitchen hack but noteworthy. Consider using a steamer basket to steam the veggies instead of boiling them in the water directly in order to retain the nutritional value. As a matter of fact, steaming is the best way to cook vegetables in order to preserve the maximum nutrients.
8. Make Curd thick and perfect every single time
Needless to say, curd is one of the most vital parts of an Indian meal. Though making curd is a very simple process, a few tips can bring it to perfection.
Firstly, boil the milk and cool it down to lukewarm temperature instead of just heating it to lukewarm temperature. Secondly, keep it for fermentation in an undisturbed place like a microwave oven overnight. Thirdly, add a spoon of milk powder and mix it well when the milk is warm, to make the curd thicker. Finally, add a chilli to speed up the process.
I hope some of these tips put you at ease in the kitchen. Any additional tips or tricks are welcomed in the comments section below.