Homemade Cooking Recipes and Cooking Tips

Manage kitchen easily
General Tips

Tips to manage kitchen easily during busy schedules !

1. Plan menu for a week and purchase items on weekend based on the prepared menu.

2. Boil the potatoes, cut the vegetables, peel shallots and garlic, grate coconuts and pack them separately to store in refrigerator.

3. Mince the meat and marinate the fish and keep the same in freezer.

4. Use separate chopping boards for vegetables and meat. It can help you to cut them easily and reduce the strain for your hands.

5. Use induction cookers to boil milk and water as it can save your time.

6. Arrange your everyday kitchen necessities in pullout baskets, so you can have everything under your eye point.

7. Clean the refrigerator once in a month. Check the expiry dates and remove the unwanted things.

8. Remove broken glass and plates from your kitchen and make good space in the kitchen.

9. Use vegetable peeler, garlic peeler and vegetable chopper effectively, if you have them in your kitchen.

10. Use cloth bags or paper covers instead of plastic covers, thereby reducing the use of plastics which can help in the waste management.

11. Use a shopping bag made of cloth when you go out for purchasing. It will be better if you avoid the polythene covers from shops.

12. Make a small vegetable garden in your home or balcony. You can grow chilli, curry leaves, mint leaves, celery, brinjal, etc. You can use grow bags or clay pots.

13. Cook some special rice or dessert once in a week and arrange them in serve wares which are meant for your guests. All family members can sit together and enjoy the delicious meal prepared.

Amazing kitchen tips and tricks
General Tips

Amazing tips and tricks to make your daily food delicious !

Hi, let me share some useful tips to keep in your mind which helps you to become a star in your kitchen and among your family. Given below are the points to be noted. I will be sharing more tips on upcoming blogs. Kindly stay updated with my blog.

  • During cooking of dal, add one teaspoon of ghee or oil so that dal gets cooked easily.
  • While boiling egg, add a pinch of salt to water. This prevents the egg shells from cracking.
Egg Curry
  • Adding 1 tablespoon of rava or semolina to the wheat flour, makes poori tastier.
  • If you cover your milk vessel and keep it for refrigeration overnight, you will get thick cream.
  • Wrap celery in aluminium foil and keep it in fridge. This helps to keep celery fresh for a longer time.
  • Add a drop of pineapple essence to sponge cakes to remove the egg smell.
Sponge cake
  • Soak almonds in warm water to make the peeling easier and faster.
  • Adding peeled potatoes to the curry removes the excess salt from the curry.
  • Do not over-cook or over-fry the prawns. This makes prawns harder.
Prawns fry
  • Soaking cashewnuts and almonds in water before cooking helps to grind them easily.
Coriander leaves seasoning
General Tips

When do we need to add Herbs during Cooking ?

Have you ever thought why we use herbs in cooking? That origano mix that we spread on pizza or coriander leaves that we spread on top of biriyani are all herbs. But why we put it?

Herbs bring a dish to life with their fragrance. We perceive flavour mostly through smell, which herbs deliver via aromatic essential oils present in them. Actually these essential oils are meant to repel animals that would eat the plant and are toxic in large quantities, that is why we use herbs in small amounts.

Cooking with oil allows herb flavours to infuse a dish far better than without using them. There are hardy herbs as well as tender herbs. Rosemary, thyme, sage and bay leaves comes under hardy herbs. Mint, basil, parsley, coriander leaves, etc. comes under tender herbs. These hardy and tender herbs are used in different ways. Hardy herbs release flavour molecules more slowly than tender herbs.

Hardy herbs have robust leaves. Hardy herbs must be added early in cooking to allow the leaves to soften and release oils. Whereas tender herbs disperse flavour molecules as soon as they are picked or chopped. So, tender herbs are added at the end of cooking to garnish the dish and keep the flavours intact.

Hardy herbs tend to have more powerful flavours. The resilient structure of their leaves and the potential substances that make up their oils, means that are best added early in cooking to enhance the flavour of the preparing dish. The flavours of delicate herbs evaporate quickly, so they are added in the last stage of cooking or sprinkled as a garnish. If they are added early, the flavour will get destroyed by the heat of the pan.

Leaves to be added in the early stages of cooking are bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. And leaves which needs to be added at the end of cooking are basil, coriander, mint, parsley, etc. I had discussed only a few herbs which are commonly used in our cooking nowadays. There are lots of herbs, which are used as fresh and dried for enhancing the flavour of our dish. It will be shared with you all as soon as possible in this page. Follow this page for more updates.

Slow Cooking
General Tips

Do you prefer slow cooking?

Cooking at low temperature over a long time will change a tough cut of meat into a tender soft meat.

Slow cooked meat curry

Slow cooking was trending since the beginning of time. Ancient people prepared their food using plants, herbs, etc. Recent studies reveals that cooking of food increases the bio availability of some nutrients. So, this will become a contradiction to the mindsets of “eating fresh and raw is the best”.

In this method of cooking, the heat is kept low. Muscle fibres cooks from 60°C. As the temperature rises more, moisture is lost. Food is generally cooked for a long period of time, immersed in liquid. Slow cooking is mostly used in tough cuts of meat, root vegetables and pulses.

Long and low temperature cooking converts the chewy collagen in tough meat to velvety gelatine. This reaction takes place between 65°C and 70°C. In the cooking liquid, gelatine breaks down and creates a rich and flavourful gravy. After the meat gets completely cooled in its liquid, you can see that it has become extra soft.

White, chewy connective tissue is made of collagen and elastira proteins. Collagen begins to denature at 52°C (126°F), then
contracts and shrinks at 58°C (136°F), squeezing moisture out. At around 68°C (154°F), the collagen breaks apart and reforms into soft gelatine, giving succulence to the dehydrating meat. However, elastin does not break down at normal cooking temperatures, so remains as inedible gristle.

Slow cookers are heated from the bottom, so can burn if the pot is dry. Add enough liquid just to cover the food, but not too much as the sauce will be too thin and lack flavour. Also, put the lid on to stop the heat and steam escaping. Thus the inside temperature becomes steady and prevents the liquid evaporating away. Heat spreads across the bottom and sides of the inner pot. Heat then passes into the cooking liquid and directly into food resting on the base. Do not open the lid in between, as it may cause steam and heat to escape.

Cooking meat in a liquid at lower heat, reduces the number of cell-damaging compounds known as AGEs ( Advanced glycation end products) that are produced in the meats. That is why slow cooking has become the safest means of cooking.

So, next time when you go for cooking a meat, turn up the flame and slow cook your dish.

Organic Meat
General Tips

Is it better to choose Organic Meat ?

Organic meat is sold as a tastier, healthier,
and more ethical alternative, but what are the facts ?

Science shows us that animals that have had enough exercise, have been well fed, and spared undue stress produce meat that has lots of well-textured muscle and
flavoursome fat. Organic-status meat should help guarantee all of these things, however, several other factors come into play that mean it’s important to check the provenance of your meat (mentioned below).

What we know about organic meat

Buying organic status means you can be happy that a key set of standards has been met in the rearing of an animal.

• Organically reared animals have been well looked after, with outdoor access and a stress-free existence, so tend to be healthier overall and should have good-quality meat.
• Animals eat organic feed with no artificial additives, however, this has little bearing on the quality of meat.
• Animals reared organically aren’t given antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones, although this is already the case for all cattle in many countries.

• Organic farmers are encouraged to look after the environment the animals are reared in.
• Organic stock are more likely to have been slaughtered humanely, which produces better-quality meat. If an animal is stressed pre-slaughter, adrenaline levels surge,
burning energy and producing dry, firm, dark meat.

Factors beyond organic :

There are some factors beyond whether or not an animal has been raised organically that can affect meat quality. Being fed grass or grain has more impact on flavour. Grain-fed muscle has more flavourful fat, is less acidic, and contains pleasant-tasting substances called lactones, while grass-fed cows’ meat can have a bitter, grassy flavour.
If meat isn’t stored or transported with care, this affects quality, High demand for organic means it can travel far and be stored for a long time. A non-organic farm rearing humanely treated animals slaughtered and sold locally is likely to be superior.

Cooking Tips
General Tips

Cooking tips

Hi all ! Here I am sharing with you some of the tips you can definitely try in your kitchen while cooking.

For all preparations of pork, mix pork pieces well with salt and keep aside for 20 minutes. Then wash and make any dish required. The fatty skin of the pork will be soft like butter when cooked! Try!

While frying fish add little lime juice or vinegar with the chilly paste used for frying; It will taste better. Serve with fried onions.

When preparing sambar use asafoetida without roasting. Sambar tastes better without tamarind and with more tomatoes.

While preparing pickles, keep them in the sun for a day or two and mix them well intermittently. This helps the pickle to last longer.

Plum cake tastes better if a table spoon full of milk powder (for 6 eggs) is mixed with the flour.

To make palappam soft, and more tasty, use roasted rice flour and little flour also. The correct proportion is 3 is to 1. (For 3 cups of rice flour add 1 cup of flour )

More tips are on the way. Happy cooking.

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