Kitchen Dictionary

Kitchen tips

>> If curd has turned sour, tie in cloth for a while (1/2-1 hour) remove in bowl add enough milk to get required consistency, beat well. The sourness will be gone. Use in raithas, rices, etc.

>> Rub mustard oil on palms and soles to bring warmth to a shivering body. Also use as massage oil for aching joints and muscles. However, the smell may be a bit repulsive, so add a few drops of perfume if desired.

>> Add a pinch of turmeric powder to the oil before adding green vegetables. The vegetables will retain their greenness better even after cooking.

>> If karanjias are used after too many days and feel stale, warm them for 1/2 to 1 minute in the microwave oven before serving. They will taste freshly fried.

>> If you cannot get hold of diwali diyas (lamps), make your own by mould out of ordinary wheat flour dough, about a week ahead, dry well and paint.

>> Don't throw away old toothbrushes. They form excellent scrubbers for so many places, eg. crevices in tiles, inlaid furniture, grooves in vessels, sieves, meshes, waffle irons, etc.

>> Use the water strained from the curdled milk (paneer) to soak your dull silvers for 15-20 minutes. Wash well. They will shine like new.

>> Use clean skins of boiled potatoes to place as a soothing pack over eyes to refresh and reduce their puffiness.

>> If there is a lot of leftover paneer crumbs, dry in a warm oven. Fry till crisp and store in the fridge. Soften in boiling water, drain and add to thicken gravies of any vegetables and curries.

>> To remove cellotape stuck on walls, etc ( eg. for posters) without removing the paint, hold a warm iron over it for a few seconds, then peel off slowly.

>> Always keep some readymade gingerpaste and garlic paste in the freezer. Comes in handy and enhances the flavor of most dishes in a jiffy.

>> This may sound funny, but when cutting lots of onions, to avoid burning of the eyes, if you have swimming goggles then wear them and cut. This will prevent the eyes from watering. Subbu Balakrishna.

>> Keep an extra potato or two handy. Boil in their jacket, drain dry and keep in the fridge. Use in a jiffy when you to tired to make tedious things. Either season with salt and pepper or put slices in bread sandwiches or fry and season or make a quick stir fried vegetable. The potatoes will stay good in a refrigerator for 2-3 days.

>> When cutting hard vegetables like potatoes, beetroots or carrots, put them in the microwave oven before cutting them into slices. They will be much easier to cut. Subbu Balakrishna.

>> Replace sweets and candy with a few dry fruits like almonds, etc. for after lunch munching. So much healthier.

>> Try substituting kids' lunch bag with lemonade instead of water once or twice a week. They'll be thrilled.

>> Rub a piece of lime (used) inside the lunch box to get rid of strong odours (like garlic) before rinsing off.

>> Using earthen or stone ware for setting curds will result in firmer and better quality curd. Since they are porous they absorb the excess moisture. .

>> Just dip a small clean rag in a teeny bit of any oil (edible too) and rub on creaky hinges. You will experience quiet doors and windows in a jiffy!!.

>> To break open the coconuts easily (the brown ones..), place them in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. This would seperate the shell easily. Ami B Sha.

>> Rinse white clothes in water to which some alum powder is added, for better whites.

>> Put a handful of salt in the rinsing water for glass and crockery for a cleaner, crystal clear wash.

>> Add a cupful of soaked poha to 5 cupfuls of rice soaked for idlis and grind with the rice for softer and lighter idlis.

>> Make bread crumbs from toasts and store some in the fridge. They come in very hand for thickening gravies, especially if you've landed up making them extra watery!!.

>> Do not throw away unused chillies in vinegar while making a chinese course. Blend, bottle and use to spice up soups, rices, etc.

>> Wipe mirrors first with pieces of moist newspaper and then with dry newpaper toget a clean, spotless mirror.

>> Keep is whole cardamom or clove in the mouth to subside the sensation of vomitting.

>> To allow free flow of sauce from a sauce bottle to a pourer, insert a drinking straw half way, into the bottle and hold it there lightly with one hand while pouring with the other.

>> Always add a tbsp. of oil to plenty of water while boiling pasta of any kind. It will keep them from sticking to each other.

>> Line the bottoms of your kitchen cabinet shelves with old newspapers. Instead of tedious cleaning, just dicard and replace with fresh ones. Cheap and quick.

>> Pour a capful of liquid bleach in a stained commode. Keep for 1/2 hour. Add soap powder and brush, for a sparkle.

>> If gloves are inconvenient wear 2 old washed socks while doing chores which are rude on the hands, like carwashing, dish-washing, scrubbing, etc.

>> Save old toothbrushes for quick cleaning of those corner and grooves which are difficult to clean with larger brushes. eg. bottles, bathroom corners, tile joints, engraving on metals, etc.

>> Rub the point of a bee-bite with soft mud and salt made into a paste. The swelling will subside soon, as also the poison will not spread further.

>> A tsp. each of ginger juice and honey to be warmed and taken just before sleeping, to bring relief from severe cough. Repeat every night for a week.

>> Sprinkle a mixture of powdered cardomom and rock sugar (misri) over the tongue, gums and inner cheeks to get relief from mouth sores and ulcers. Repeat 3-4 times a day.

>> A clove and a cardamom kept in the mouth while travelling, brings relief to those suffering from motion sickness.

>> A drop or two of eucalyptus oil add to water for steam inhalation gives excellent relief in common colds.

>> Use the whey (water) from tied curds to make softer chappati, paratha and naans. Use this water instead of plain water to knead the dough.

>> Always use a clean pair of kitchen scissors to trim edges of bread. Much neater and less messy edges as compared to those trimmed with a knife.

>> Place a tsp. of soda bicarb in a corner of the fridge in a small crucible. This will keep smells of foods in the fridge from permeating each other.

>> Dissolve a 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder in hald a cup of hot sweetened milk and drink for relief from cough and cold. Repeat morning and night for a week.

>> Make a decoction of tea leaves, mint, a bit of ginger. Mix in a dash of honey, sip hot to give relief from chest congestion.

>> Use the water drained from curdle milk to knead chappati dough. They will turn out softer and whiter.

>> Soak jewellery (eg. silver, copper, gold) in the water drained from curdled milk for 15 mins. wash them with soap afterwards. Get back the sparkle in them to look new.

>> Apply tamarind paste and salt for greasy, or copped bottomed or brass vessels, and wash. They come out much cleaner, and more easily.

>> Use a large semiboiled potato to make a quick flower arrangement if a flower holder is not available. Push sturdy stalks of flowers into the potato at the required angles. Do not keep for more than 2 days. Immerse in water to which an aspirin is added.

>> Make tomato puree in bulk. Transfer to ice cube trays and freeze. Put the frozen cubes in a thick polythene bag. Store in the freezer and use reddy puree cubes as required. Will keep for over 3 weeks in the freezer.

>> Give a nice big bright star on your kiddies' room calender every day that he cleans out his lunch box fully!! See his enthusiasm soar.

>> Use minimal of wrappers, foils, etc. which they may litter or make messy if wrongly handled. 

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