You desperately need this, right – the ones who stay outside, all alone? Living away from home has its own ups and downs. It may look like Heaven on earth for some, but the ones who actually stay, know, what it is to live alone. The biggest tragedy always happens in the morning – what to cook? With due respect to good old Maggi, too much of it can’t be taken for long. You have to go to the kitchen, take out things and cook, and yes, on your own. Let’s see some of the kitchen tips which can make your mornings a little less bothersome:
1. Boil Potatoes Before Hand
You need potatoes for your dish? Boil them the previous night. When you’re ready for cooking, take them out, cut into pieces and use it in your dish. It cooks faster and is super delicious.
2. Keep rice soaked in water
You’re a rice-oholic? Rice keeps you up and takes you to bed? But it takes you time to cook it, right? Use a pressure cooker to take down the cooking time much lower. For best results all you need to do is keep the amount of rice to be cooked, soaked in tap water. This way cooking gets faster and you use very little gas. Liked the second saving more, right?
3. Keep dough Covered in Muslin Cloth
It’s not possible to make dough each and every morning and only then make chapattis or parathas. You have tried refrigerating them only to find little stones in place of the dough, didn’t you? Try this: Take a moist muslin cloth and wrap the dough with it and then store it in the refrigerator. This way the hard crust formation can be avoided on them and the end product (whatever you are making) will be very soft.
4. Make Small Slices of Vegetables or Meat
We are always in a hurry, no two thoughts about it. However fast you’re trying to be, you do end up rushing at the end. Cooking, in this case, eats up most of the time. What you can do is chop your veggies or meat in very small slices. This way cooking gets very fast and you’ll see the veggies or meat taking up very less time to be fully boiled or cooked. The larger the pieces the more time it takes to cook.
5. Heating the Pan is very Important
Heating the pan is very important for cooking, you know it by now. You must always put oil on your pan after it’s fully hot. Do not start the heating process with oil in the pan – this way the oil loses its nutrients and takes up a huge amount of time. You’ll know the oil is perfectly heated if you sprinkle few drops of water on it. If it sparkles, it’s ready. What you can do is put the pan on full flame, make the preparations and when it’s ready, pour the oil and start cooking.
6. Boiling Woes
Boiling vegetables for a long time takes away all their nutrients. There’s no point in having them that way. However, mummy won’t be even remotely happy if you haven’t had vegetables. What you can do is boil the water to 100 degrees in a pan and then add the vegetables. It’ll take about a minute or two to boil while keeping the nutrients intact. Use this vegetable stock in your cooking in place of water, it’ll taste lovely.
7. Chill Onions and Say No to Tears
Enough of crying and being teary and making a mess of everything while chopping onions. You’ve abhorred this part of cooking, didn’t you? We agree. Chill the onions for a change. Bring them out and chop them, you’re never going to be teary ever with this. It’s high time you start loving your onions.
8. Keep your Knives Sharp
This is the foremost tip. Keep your knives and other cutting and chopping tools sharp with a capital S. If they are not sharp they are going to take away a straight 15 minutes more from your cooking time. Also keep different knives for veggies and spices. If you’ve haven’t had the time of taking their flavors off, they’re going to affect the smell each time.
9. Immersion blender
A blender works like magic. Be it a hand blender, an immersion blender or any other variety – it’s sure going to make you very happy. Get hold of one initially. Beat your batter or eggs or frost or any other thing with it and see within a bat of a lid you’re done with smooth, thick and lovely liquids.
10. Peel Ginger with a Spoon
Again, freeze it before cutting it. Freezing any vegetable makes it crispy and easier to chop the skin. Take a spoon and use it to peel the skin of ginger. We would advice that you peel a whole ginger one day and keep it refrigerated instead of doing it every morning for the little amount that you need.
11. Cinnamon for Some Change
Missing out the spice needed in your dishes? You never know, a dash of cinnamon might be the only thing you’ve been keeping missing. Some say that even a cup of coffee can be magically turned with a bit of cinnamon. You could also add it to any of those boring curries to make them spicier.
12. Fresh or Stale Eggs?
You’ve forgot to use those eggs – and now you are vary of them becoming stale. Reason enough to worry. But, no sweat, take a bowl of water, add a pinch of salt, and put the eggs. The ones that sink are good, but the ones that float should find their place in the bin.
13. Boiling Spaghetti and not Sticking
What we want is not what we get in case of spaghetti, right? They stick to each other, get over boiled or under boiled. While you are boiling pasta or spaghetti put few drops of oil in the water along with a pinch of salt. They won’t stick to each other. Also, boil the pasta a minute less than that prescribed. The rest of it will get cooked once you toss it with the sauces.
14. Vinegar for that Extra White Rice
You’ve invited friends and you don’t want to make that heck of rice you make every day? All you do is put few drops of vinegar in the water used for boiling the rice. They become sparklingly white and much fluffier.
15. Removing skin of Garlic
Garlic cloves have taken away our nails. It’s a fact and it must be changed. You take the cloves, immerse them in water for just about a while. Now take them out and they are smooth as anything. Nails saved and garlic used – a strict mummy superior trick.
16. Too much salt? Add a Brinjal or Potato
This happens more often than we would wish to. Salt makes or breaks a dish. Take few pieces or brinjal or potato and keep it in the dish (which you have over-salted) for some time. It takes away the salt and your preparation is ready and perfect.
17. Onions and Potatoes away from each other
To avoid your dear potatoes from rotting away faster, keep them away from onions. It is said that onions enhance the process of ripping in potatoes.
18. Work clean
Lastly, work factory clean. No one’s going to clean everything for you here. To avoid finding yourself going mad at doing dishes, take out the least number of utensils required. Keep your hands safe and the kitchen safe. Think mummy in the kitchen.